Pool ownership makes you popular all spring and summer. So when you join the ranks of the 8.5 million pool owners, as reported by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, you’ll be ready to open up your pool as soon as possible after the long winter months. If you’ve never dealt with after-winter pool maintenance, you’re in for a green and terrifying mess that takes some time to clean. Get ready to put your pool back in order once the weather heats up and the swimsuits come out.
Don’t Drain It Away
The first rule of thumb for keeping your pool safe and sound over the winter is resisting the urge to drain it completely, according to Popular Mechanics. The primary problem when you drain an inground pool is the risk of groundwater table changes. If the groundwater level is high, it’s possible that your pool gets pushed entirely out of the ground due to the weight differential between an empty pool and a filled pool. You won’t run into this problem with above ground pools, however, so make sure to drain those out before winter hits.
Clear Out Big Debris
Even when you’re careful about putting the cover on, you still end up with leaves and other large debris that the filter doesn’t catch. Red Beacon recommends using a leaf rake to clean the cover or a pool brush to get the cover cleared off before working on the pool itself. Clean out the water filters before you top off the pool with water once the majority of the debris and algae is removed. You don’t have to get the pool perfectly clean at this point, but you want the biggest mess gone.
Choose Your Chemicals Carefully
Consult industry experts such as In The Swim when choosing chlorine, bromine and other pool chemicals. Chlorine comes in several forms, such as tablets and sticks, with special formulas for frequent-use pools and indoor pools. In addition to slow-dispensing chlorine, you also need chlorine shock at the beginning of the season. This kills off the algae that accumulated over the winter, along with any other nasty bugs in the pool. Chlorine shock sanitizes the pool, although you want to give it some time to dissipate as it’s much stronger chlorine than the slow-release tablets.
Use a Pool App to Stay on Top of Maintenance
Use a high-technology solution to keep your pool happy throughout the summer. Pool Care, a free Android app, helps you run pH tests, keeps track of when you added chemicals to the pool, suggests chemicals to balance your pool and reminds you to do other routine tasks such as cleaning out the filters. If you have a hard time remembering to add chlorine and bromine to your pool, this app is for you.