If you’re peeling back the cover from your pool after winter hibernation, you may be unnerved to find all the water is now green. That isn’t unusual. Cleaning up your water and getting the pool ready for isn’t too hard, but requires some careful measurement and standard protocol to keep everything in good shape.
To start, make sure all of your machinery is turned off and remove your pool cover. If you don’t have a pool cover, well you’re going to have a few extra cleaning steps.
Not comfortable getting your hands (or work gloves) covered in chemicals? You can always hire specialists at pool cleaning who have the equipment necessary to clean the pool as well as adjust the chemical levels for you.
Remove Cover and Debris
Didn’t have a cover on your pool for the winter? You should probably go out and get a cover for next winter. Before or after you do, you’re going to skim off a lot of leaves twigs and branches that have likely gotten into the water over the past few months.
If you do have a cover, be sure to hose it off and let it dry before storing it. Have anchors in the ground to hold down the cover? You may need to screw down the bolts so your family and guests don’t trip over them
Depending on the pool, you have may have winterization plugs that keep water from getting into the pipes. You may need to fish out some of the winterization products dropped in the pool before covering it up to help keep the pH in line during storage.
Replace the winterization plugs with the baskets that go into the drains during regular usage. Open up any valves that may have been closed. You may need a wrench to help open those valves. If you have jet valves, you may want to wear eye protection in case the contents are under pressure and can splash up on opening.
Several stored parts may now need to be installed. If you’ve never done this before, refer to a manual or system specific videos for instructions. After putting all of the filters back in place, move on to the pump and fill it with some water. You may not be able to fill it to the top. Once you see the reservoir is a little full, you can turn the power back on.
Depending on the type of pump you have, the motor may get started slowly or in stages. If you drained the pool before the winter, you may need to add water before re-starting the pump. If the water is too high, you may need to use a utility pump to lower it.
Hear any disconcerting noises that sound like a piece of machinery is damaged? Turn off the pump and reach out to a repairperson to give a listen. Once the pump is up to full speed, check if the water is flowing through the pool, inside the skimmer basket and over the surface of the pool.
Scrub the Sides
You’ll need a wide nylon bristle pool brush for the next step. Scrub the floor and walls of the pool. Much of the green will just brush away with a good sweep, so be sure to get the walls, floor, edges and corners.
When that algae is floating in the pool water, it’s easier for the chemicals to kill it off.
Shock the Water
While a lot of chemicals are sold for killing off algae, you can use liquid chlorinator to “shock” the pool and get rid that flora. Shock treatments use chlorine in higher doses than average, killing off any bacteria or algae in the water. Shocking any pool with powdered or liquid chlorine requires careful measurement so you don’t add too much or not enough chemicals. Be sure to carefully read the instructions of the any chlorine you get.
Leave your pump and filter on continuously for the first few days after shocking the pool. The amount of time it will take to clean up the algae will likely change depending on the size of your dip.
About a day later, you may want to give the pool another scrub to ensure there’s no algae stuck to the sides. The water should be clearing up.
Test the Water
After a few days, you want to check the pH levels of the pool. To maintain your pool's pH in the ideal range of 7.2 to 7.8, you should test the levels regularly with a reliable kit and adjust the chemicals accordingly. You can grab an easy-to-use pool test kit at your local hardware store or pharmacy, which includes everything you need to test and record accurate measurements. Test strips are also very convenient since you just have to dip the strip in the water and hold it horizontally for 15 seconds to get your results.
Keep the Pool Working
Maintaining a pool can be a time-consuming yet ultimately rewarding summer activity.
Before jumping into the pool, check that all the equipment is functioning properly. The filter should be thoroughly inspected to ensure no dirt or debris has clogged up its lines. Filters that are clogged up block water flow and can cause problems with circulation and hygiene. If a piece of equipment needs replacing, do not hesitate, as investing in an update may save you time and money and less stress in the long run. Regularly checking your pool's equipment will ensure maximum enjoyment all summer long.