It’s spring and even though it’s snowing up north, the southern states have been warming up for weeks. With the continuing 80 degree days, you are longing to get back into your pool. However, having gone unused for the last few months, the pool needs to be cleaned in order to prepare it for the summer swimming season. You can either hire an expensive pool cleaner, or with these few easy steps, save yourself the money and you will be enjoying your pool in no time!
1.Clean the area surrounding your pool:
Take advantage of the pool cover and dirty pool to clean the area around your pool. Trim any trees, shrubs, or plants and pick up any dead leaves or debris that has accumulated around the pool. If your cover has collected dead leaves you may use an air blower to remove the debris. Hose off the deck to remove loose pollen, leaves, etc that have accumulated.
2.If your pool is covered, uncover it at this time:
Do your best to clean the pool cover, removing not only debris but also water, before trying to take off the cover. In order to avoid accidentally spilling the dirty water or debris into your pool when you remove the cover, first raise the water level to the middle of the skimmers. Blow off with a blower as described above. Then, with someone helping you, grab a corner at the shallow end and uniformly drag the cover from the pool. Clean and dry the cover then store it in a dry location.
Inspect your pool for signs of damage that may have occurred during the winter. If you see cracking, staining or any other damage it is best to contact a qualified professional to see about repairing these.
First, make sure that you have all of the tools you need to clean the pool yourself. You will need a pool brush, a skimmer net on a pole and some kind of vacuum system. Depending on your pool system, some of the chemicals can include chlorine and bromine for sanitizing the water and destroying any bacteria. You may also need muriatic acid to set the correct pH balance.
5.Plug the pool equipment:
Close or replace any of the drain plugs that were opened or removed when you prepared your pool for the winter. These may include but are not limited to the drain plug on the pump/s and the filter.
6. Inspect pool filter cartridges or DE grids:
Prior to starting up the pool you will want to inspect your pool filter cartridges or DE Grids and the Tank O’ring. If you find any tears in the cartridges or DE grids they will need to be replaced. The tank o’ring needs to be inspected as this in important to the function of your pool filter. If it is torn or flattened then it could allow pressure to escape from the filter. Always coat the o’ring with the a silicone lube to extend its life and assist in sealing the pool filter.
7.Just skimming the surface:
Use the skimmer net on a pole or commercial-grade net to clean any debris that is visibly floating on the top of the pool.
8.Let ‘er go:
After priming the pump allow your pool filter run for a full 24 hours. After the 24 hour period add chlorine shock in order to disinfect the pool and filter system. Test your water and adjust the chemical in the pool accordingly, allowing another 24 hours to pass, then test the water balance again.
9.Checks and balances:
Check and balance the chemical levels. There are four levels you need to check: the pH level (7.4 – 7.6), which measures the base and acid levels, the Alkalinity level (80-120ppm) which measure the water’s resistance to changing pH, the Calcium hardness (250 – 450 ppm), which measures the hardness of your water, and the chlorine (1 – 3 ppm) (sanitizer) content. An additional reading on some testers is for the Total Dissolved Solids, this number wants to be (250 -1500 ppm)
The last step is to shock the pool using chlorine to kill off any remaining bacteria prior to use. A good rule of thumb is using one pound of shock chlorine for every 10,000 gallons of water. This should be done weekly if needed. This may also need to be done after a heavy rain or more often during very hot summers. All these instructions are a general guideline and need to be adjusted based on your area of the country. Some areas have very hard water, where others will have very soft water so always check with your local pool store if you have questions about your particular area.
11.Jump on in and enjoy your pool!
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That clean and clear water that sparkles in a swimming pool cannot be achieved by cleaning the pool often. In fact, it is not a sign of cleanliness as much as it is representative of a delicate balance of chemicals in the pool. If you have been tasked with keeping a swimming pool’s chemicals in balance, the look and smell of the pool is not enough of an indicator of the state of the pool chemicals. You need to check the chemical balance in your pool by taking the following steps.
1. Testing in a public pool is run often to ensure the safety of the swimmers. Most public pools test their chemical levels every hour. For the homeowner that is maintaining a private pool, testing can take place less often. A few times a week should be fine. If you are managing an issue, test once a day. Make sure to test the chemicals at least twice a week.
2. The first step to take when you want to test the chemicals in your pool is acquiring a good test kit that will test the four main indicators of chemical balance and imbalance: chlorine, pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Those with outdoor pools should also check the level of cyanuric acid. While your local hardware store may offer a test kit, you are better off shopping with a full service pool store that will have a test kit that is appropriate to your pool. You should shop with a pool supply store that offers a full range of test kits. If you have questions, associates working in pool supply stores are experienced with all sorts of scenarios and will be able to help you with your specific situation.
3. You will find two types of chemical tests in a pool supply store. One type is the litmus papers that you dip into the pool, and the other requires capturing a sample of water. The litmus tests are one step. Dip them in the pool and await the results. However, keep in mind that litmus tests are usually limited to testing only the pH levels in a pool. The tests that require a sample of pool water will also need a few drops from chemicals provided in the test kit put in each water bay in order to receive a result. Read the instructions of your test kit carefully. The test that you purchase will have specific instructions on how to gather a sample and test for chemical levels. Once you have your test results, your test kit should have instructions on what to do next.