Your pool has been winterized for months, sitting there sad and unused. Well, now is the time to start getting it ready, repaired and back in working condition for spring swimming!
Remember that all pools are unique and have varying equipment, and for this reason, it is always good to consult a pool specialist who is familiar with the specific features of your specific pool. For quick reference reminders, check out the Timbertown Austin quick guide to getting your pool ready for the first swim of the year.
Step #1 – Don’t be Fooled by the Cooler Temps
Algae can grow in temperatures as low as 55° F. That means even in mid February algae can become a problem before it’s even swimming season. So don’t remove the safety cover of the pool until you’re ready to start the needed maintenance for spring swimming.
Step #2 – Keep Your Water Levels High
Once the cover is off it’s time to clean and get things running again. Don’t be surprised if your water is dark green to black even if it was covered. If the water isn’t already about halfway up the skimmer you’ll need to take your hose and fill the pool up so it can be properly cleaned.
Step #3 – Remove Plugs
If you put winter plugs in the return lines these will need to be removed. Warning – you’ll probably have to reach into the dirty water to get these.
Step #4 – Check the Skimmers
Remove the plug in the skimmer if one was put in place when the pool was closed. Put your skimmer baskets back in so they can get to work!
Step #5 – Get Your Equipment Back Up and Running Correctly
Now it’s time to turn your attention to the pump and filter. First replace all of the drain plugs, the pressure gauge and the sight gauge.
While you’ve got the pump lid off check the o-ring to make sure there’s no cracks and that it’s not brittle or dry. Lubricate the o-ring and put it back in place. Once that’s done close up the pump housing.
Next, turn your attention to the filter system. It’s probably on winterize. If so, you need to turn it to the filter setting.
Finally, fire up the pump and filter. If nothing starts coming through the pump shortly after turning it on you’ll need to prime the pump. To do so you’ll need to take the pump lid off when the filter isn’t running and fill it with water. Put the lid back on the pump. When the pump is going you should be able to see through the clear pump lid and see the water start to bubble, which indicates that circulation is happening.
Step #6 – Make Sure the Water is Balanced Correctly and Clean
You’ll need to first check the water’s pH, alkalinity and calcium levels. These three components need to be in balance before shock is added.
For shock you’ll want to find one that has the active ingredient of calcium hypochlorite. This kills the algae that has accumulated over the winter. If the pool is really dark use one pound of shock per 10,000 gallons in the pool. It will take about a day for the shock to do is thing.
Follow up the shock with a clarifier once the pool is a cloudy blue color. The clarifier will help the filter system do a better job of picking up all the miniscule particles. You should use roughly 4oz of clarifier per 10,000 gallons of water.
Tip: Shock at night or late afternoon for better results, and always follow the manufacturers directions.
Follow the steps above and your pool will be sitting pretty come spring time. Don’t forget to clean off your deck as well. For tips on how to do that check out our post on deck spring cleaning.
Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/brad_knowles/724763796/sizes/o