Preparing a Swimming Pool for Summer: A Do-It-Yourself Money-Saver

At last, it’s time to break out the swimming pool for another summer of fun. Obviously, getting the pool ready for the first dip can be a pain, especially if you don’t want to spend on professional pool service. But with a bit of work and some help from your fellow pool users it is possible to save lots of money and get that pool clean and ready to go.

Before tackling the actual swimming pool take a look at the surrounding area of your pool. You will need to clear up anything that could make debris in the pool. So check out your deck area, patio and planted beds.

If there are trees and hedges that have grown over recent months prune them. If you are planting close to the pool area, then plant mess-free shrubs or succulents.

Right, now to the cover

Your pool has been winterized for possible 6-7 months and we all know the horror of the accumulation of leaves and gunk that gather on the pool cover. First messy job, how do we get these off? Will, if the gunk has turned into a liquid then you will be best to use a pump. If you don’t have one you should be able to hire one.

Should you be one of the lucky ones and your debris has stayed dry, then the cover can be swept and then hosed.

The cover is clean and it is time to remove it. Try not to do this until you have at least one helper. Start at the shallow end by each taking a corner and depending on the type of cover will depend on the method you should use:

Solid covers should be folded like a fan into 3-5 foot folds.

Mesh covers should have the springs or fasteners removed with a wrench or removal tool and then be fan folded accordion style.

Once you have removed the cover it will need cleaning and then storing. Lay the cover out on a driveway, preferably a sloped driveway for drainage. Sweep the cover and hose it. If the manufacturer recommends that you put on a treatment or use a certain cleaner then follow their instructions.

Let the cover dry completely and then tightly roll or fan-fold it. Strap it tight with rope and store indoors away from moisture, rodents and insects.

Onto the pool

It is now time to check out the pump and filter. Replace any damaged or parts that are worn.

If your pool is concrete or fiberglass make an inspection for cracks.

If there is calcium scale or stains on the tile remove them with a household cleaner or baking soda. If they prove really tough tackle them with a pumice stone.

Now onto your pool equipment. This will include diving boards, ladders, slides, safety rails etc. Before installing give them all a good clean with a chrome cleaner. Be sure to attach them tightly and spray all bolts with a lubricant.

Fill the pool to the middle of the waterline tile and clean out any debris that has accumulated on the bottom of the pool. To do this you can use a floor and wall brush. Finish off by using a pool vacuum.

Almost there

Get the filter running and wait for 12-24 hours so that the old and new water has mixed before you add any chemicals or do any testing.

It is now time to get a pool testing kit and test out your pool for health and safety. You will be checking:

Chlorine content

The ph level

The alkalinity

The hardness of the calcium

Super-chlorinate the pool with chlorine of a shock treatment. This will get rid of any algae and microorganisms.

Wait a further 24- hours, test again, if all looks good it’s time to take that well-earned dip.

Source: http://poolandpatio.about.com/od/openingyourpool/ss/openingpool_9.htm

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