Prepping a backyard swimming pool for the summer season can be a simple process for any do-it-yourselfer, regardless of whether you have an in-ground or above-ground pool. Imagine no more stressing over when the pool service company can fit you into their busy schedule – and saving yourself hundreds of dollars!
Just wait until temperatures are consistently above freezing, then follow these 5 easy steps. You’ll be ready to relax poolside in no time.
Step 1: Remove and store the pool cover
If you have a solid pool cover, the first thing you need to do is to remove any standing water (skip this step if you have a mesh pool cover). Using a submersible pool cover pump will help speed up the process. Clean off as much debris as you can using a brush, leaf net or blower to avoid having dirt, leaves or branches fall into the pool when you remove the cover.
Be sure to leave the pool cover in place until after you have raised the water level and balanced the chemistry. Once the water is clear, carefully lift off the pool cover, lay it somewhere flat and let it air dry. Sprinkle the cover with talcum powder to prevent mold and mildew, fold it loosely and store it in a dry place.
Step 2: Adjust the water level and chemicals
Pools typically lose water during the winter, so use your garden hose to bring the water level in the pool to its normal height. To ensure a clean and safe swimming environment, it is essential that you test the chemistry of your pool water for pH, alkalinity, bromine and chlorine. Do-it-yourself pool and spa test kits that use test strips make water testing easy and accurate. Look for models with digital and automated color matching readouts for best results. Adjust the chemicals as needed and be sure to run the circulation and filtration system continuously, 24 hours a day.
It typically takes about a week after adding the chemicals until you are able to see the pool floor. Once the water is clear enough, vacuum the dirt and debris. An automatic pool cleaner will eliminate the chore of manually vacuuming. These robotic cleaning machines scrub the floor of the pool and suck up dirt and debris. Look for models that don’t require a hose, booster pump or pool filter system connection. To remove floating bugs, leaves and twigs from the pool’s surface, use a long-handled skimmer net.
Step 4: Install proper pool safety equipment
Check with your local municipality for the latest information on what pool safety measures are required in your community and make sure you are in compliance. Regardless of local regulations, at DIY we urge all pool owners to install a triple layer of protection to maximize safety and peace of mind. Your pool safety equipment should include:
- A pool fence at least four feet high surrounding the pool and spa areas;
- A self-closing, self-latching gate with a pool gate alarm like the MagnaLatch ALERT Pool Safety Gate Latch with Alarm. This easy-to-install magnetic latch offers another layer of protection with an alarm that has dual electric warnings when unlatched: bright LED lights and an audible alarm;
- A pool alarm for your inground or above ground pool that sounds an alarm when a child, pet or non-swimmer falls or jumps into water. The Pool Patrol PA-30 floats on the water’s surface and comes with a remote receiver that alarms when anyone or anything heavier than 8 pounds falls into the water and creates waves. A personal immersion pool alarm like the Safety Turtle 2.0 provides continuous protection to individual wearers. The turtle-shaped water-activated switch is worn on a child’s wrist or attached to a pet’s collar.
Step 5: Perform ongoing pool maintenance
- Checking and cleaning the filter
- Vacuuming the pool bottom at least once a week
- Maintaining the water level (a pool water leveler that turns on automatically is a wise investment)
- Testing the water chemistry every 2-3 days
Don’t Skip a Step!
It’s important to follow all 5 steps in this DIY pool opening process to ensure a safe and healthy swimming experience for you, your family and your guests. Once you discover how easy it is to prep your pool for summer, you will never again have to rely on someone else to do it for you. If you have questions or need help choosing the perfect pool products for your backyard oasis, call on the experts at DIYcontrols.com. We’re here to help!