Preparing Your Pool for Spring

above ground pool deck

above ground pool deckWith the days finally getting longer and sunnier, it is now time to start preparing your pool for spring. There are several critical steps to take, but all are fairly easy and straightforward as a DIY project.

However, if you’d rather leave it to the pros, don’t hesitate to reach out to Sun Valley Pool Service for a free service estimate! 

1. Clean and Remove Your Pool Cover

Your pool cover likely has an accumulation of debris on top of it, that you certainly don’t want sliding into the water as you take it off. Be sure you use a rake, broom, or leaf blower to completely clear off the surface of the cover. If you’ve had recent rainfall, there may even be puddles of water you’ll need to either brush off, or use a cover pump to vacuum it away, depending on the amount.

Before shoving your pool cover into the shed or garage, it’s important to allow it to completely dry off. The last thing you want to deal with next fall is a cover that’s fallen victim to cracks and mold as a result of lingering moisture that got trapped in during storage. For humid climates or those experiencing an especially rainy spring, talcum powder can help speed up this process.

2. Inspect Skimmer Basket, Pump, Plugs, and Connections

That’s right, all those components that assist with water flow and filtration have been sitting dormant all winter and need a quick once-over. Be on the lookout for cracks, debris, or any other issues that may cause functional problems.

Replacing any damaged parts, such as cracked hose, is critical prior to restarting the filtration system. Water pressure is quite powerful, and discovering a leak or a faulty connection after you’ve turned your pumps back on can make for a laborious and wasteful mess to contend with.

3. Restart Filtration System

Most pool systems employ winter plugs and other components to prevent freezing within the filtration system during wintertime. Once you’ve identified and addressed any potential damage, go ahead and reattach the hoses, plugs, and other materials used during regular pool functioning.

Be sure you prime the pumps (fill them completely with water) before turning anything on, in order to remove excess air. Failure to do so can cause unwanted pressure, leading to damage in the hoses. Pools of all sizes and designs have a set of guidelines that clarify appropriate pressure levels in the interest of optimal functioning, and most filtration systems have a gauge you can monitor.

4. Add Water, Clean Existing Water

Of course a major component of achieving the right water pressure is adding water! Any pool owner who’s been through this process before knows that it’s important to decrease your water level in preparation for winter. Now that spring is here, it’s time to break out the hose and bring your water level back up.

For larger pools, it may be tempting to segment this process, in an attempt to spread the cost out between a couple of utility bills, rather than increasing your water usage significantly within a single month. However, keep in mind that appropriate pressure is what we’re aiming for in order to ensure that your equipment runs smoothly.

However, if you find an excess of mold or algae along the walls of your pool, you will need to vacuum it out before adding water. Clearing out harmful microbes prior to replenishing the water level will make it easier to balance your pool’s chemical levels.

pool-skimming5. Clean Out Debris and Balance Chemicals

In addition to potential build-up along the walls, and the debris you’ve already scooped out of the skimmer baskets, there may still be some errant leaves and other organic material floating around or even settled along the pool’s floor. Use your net and your vacuum to thoroughly clear out anything that managed to sneak past your pool cover over the winter.

When testing and balancing your chemicals, keep in mind that chlorine itself does not kill algae. You will need to use an algaecide prior to shocking the pool, unless you use a two-in-one formula that accomplishes both.

6. Replace Filter if Needed

With the different types of filters in use these days, there is no single set of instructions that’s appropriate for all of them, beyond “clean and replace when needed!” Here are a few tips, based on the 3 most common filter types:

  • Cloth filters can be rinsed and reused a few times before replacing. In early spring, check for wear and tear before assuming it’s still in good shape. A cloth filter that needs replacing will appear tattered with flattening pleats, and may cause your water pressure to rise.
  • Filters that use DE (diatomaceous earth) are incredibly efficient, but the cloth grids can develop small tears over time. Just like a traditional cloth filter, they need to be inspected for damage, especially when repoening your pool. A damaged grid can allow DE to escape into the main body of pool water, which can potentially irritate swimmers’ skin.
  • Sand filters typically last 5-7 years, and need to be rinsed on occasion just like a cloth filter. If the sand becomes sludgy, this is a sign that it has soaked up an excessive amount of grease (typically from human skin and sunscreen products). In that event, the sand itself can be replaced.

 

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