We’re approaching spring time! That beautiful time of year when the sun comes out and you realize it is possible to be happy again! It also means it’s time for some spring cleaning. If you’ve got a backyard pool (above or below ground), now is the time to start cleaning it out. Here are some step by step tips (provided by Aquatech) to help you through the process.
Step 1: Check Your Equipment
Before you start this whole process, make sure to check your equipment thoroughly for damage. It’ll save you time in the long run. Also, make sure to check all your pool chemicals and replace any that have expired.
Step 2: Clean and Remove Cover
You’ll likely need to use a small pump to remove the melted water and debris on top of your pool cover. Pull the edges of your cover tight as you pump out the water to make sure it all pools in the middle of your cover and is easier to vacuum up. Then use a net to remove any debris the pump didn’t get. You’ll want to get as much of this gunk off as you can, so it doesn’t end up in your pool.
Once you’ve gotten as much of the debris off your cover as you can, carefully remove it (you’ll want some help here, so you can make sure nothing gets into the pool), and lay it on the ground. Hose it off and let it dry before you fold it up and store it for the year. You may want to use a cover cleaner to get rid of all the dirt on your cover (they’re usually around $15). You should also take this time to check for any holes or tears in the cover. Most can be fixed with a small patching kit ($10-$30).
Step 3: Remove and Replace Plugs
The water level in your pool will have dropped during the year. Fill it up to the point where the water reaches the middle of the skimmer’s opening. Then remove the winter plugs from your jets and skimmer and open all the necessary valves. Make sure you clean the plugs before you store them. Then put the drain plugs back into the pump, the filter, the heater, and the chlorinator.
Step 4: Start the Pump
Make sure you clean out the filter before you start the pump! You won’t want the gunk in there to get into your water. After that, turn on the pump and check for any leaks.
Step 5: Remove any Floating Debris
Skim any floating debris with a net and vacuum any debris out of the bottom of your pool. If you use your filter system to remove debris, make sure you set it to “waste” so that all the debris is flushed out of the pool.
Step 6: Check the Chemicals
Let the water circulate in the pool for 10-12 hours to remove any contaminates before adding chemicals to the water. After that, you’ll want to add a chlorine shock to your pool to get rid of any bacteria or organic compounds that may have built up over the winter (about $30+ for a bucket). You may also want to add an algaecide, to kill any nasty algaes and prevent them from growing in your pool. Let the water circulate for a night, and then test the pH level in your pool and adjust the chemicals until they reach a happy medium between 7.2 and 7.6.
Some General Tips
To keep your pool in shape throughout the year, here are some general tips I garnered from my conversation with Aquatech:
Skim your pool for debris and clean out strainer baskets every few days. This will increase your pool’s circulation and lower the amount of chlorine you’ll have to add.
Vacuum your pool and scrub the tiles once a week. This will keep algae from growing, as well as lower the amount of chemicals you’ll have to use.
Don’t clean your filter too often. It actually works better when it’s got a little dirt on it (the dirt collects other dirt).
Check your water level weekly and replenish. If it gets too low, it could damage your pumps.
Check and maintain pH balance. Doing so often will protect your swimmers and keep your other chemicals functioning properly.
Chlorine shock your pool whenever it needs it. Hair spray, sunscreen, and other contaminates in your pool react to the chlorine, making it less effective and causing that overpowering chlorine smell. You’ll know your pool needs to be shocked when the total amount of chlorine in your pool is more than the free chlorine still available. There are test strips available to help you figure that out. Shocking your pool when it needs it will keep the necessary chemicals balanced and working properly.
Mary Kremer is a writer for Aquatech. She loves traveling, writing, and learning. In here spare time, she enjoys bugging her husband with everything that's on her mind just as he's about to sleep.