How to Get Your Pool Ready for Summer

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What You'll Need
Leaf blower
Water source and hose
pH pool test kit
Pool filter
Pool chemicals

Opening your pool for the summer should be a low stress, highly anticipated event for the entire family. Assuming you’ve done some winter preparation by covering the pool and protecting the pump, the pool's opening day should proceed free of trouble. Here's what you need to do.

Step 1 - Remove Leaves and Winter Debris

You may encounter fall and winter residual leaves, dirt, and general weather buildup on and around the pool. Before removing the cover, blow any leaves or debris off the pool cover and the surrounding deck or patio.

If you notice water sitting on the cover, use a pump to remove that standing water and prevent it from working its way into the pool.

Step 2 - Remove the Pool Cover

Once you remove the cover, take the time to clean and dry it properly before storing. If you have the space, spread out the cover and spray it off with the highest pressure your hose allows. Let the cover dry. Then before folding and storing it, sprinkle a light layer of talcum power over it to prevent binding or sticking while it's stored. The cooler the storage, the better.

Step 3 - Check the Water Level

Check the skimmer water level. For the pump to function properly, the water needs to be in the middle of the skimmer opening for proper circulation. Add water accordingly. While waiting for the pool to fill, check and test all handrails, ladders, diving boards, and slides for loose bolts or other potentially unsafe conditions.

Step 4 - Clean and Prepare the Pump

Check to see that all equipment is in working condition. Check hoses, pumps, and filters according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Start the circulation system and allow it to run for 8 to 12 hours.

Step 5 - Check the pH Levels

After the 8 to 12-hour run time, check the pH level, total alkalinity, hardness of water due to calcium, and so forth. Fill the test tube from your pH kit with water retrieved from at least 18 inches below the surface. Collect your sample away from the pump inlet. Add the test-specific amount of agent and cap tube and shake. Do not cover the tube with your finger. Oils introduced from your hand can compromise the results. Add chemicals in proper order to balance the water.

Step 6 - Take Inventory of Supplies and Safety Measures

Check all support and safety items related to pool safety. Do you have a first aid kit fully stocked and within easy reach? Is your cleaning equipment in working order? Is the gate and latch secure to prevent accidental access or to secure the pool when you are away on vacation or business?

A few simple steps get you and your pool ready for a summer of Marco Polo and diving for pennies.