Summer is just around the corner and with that comes fun, entertaining, and relaxation in the backyard. Even more so if you’re fortunate enough to have a pool. But, since this has been sitting idle all winter, there are some things to do to get it in shape. Here is how to make sure your pool is safe and prepared for the summer activities.

Keep Your Pool Filled

If your pool wasn’t covered all winter, and you have debris to contend with, many people think draining the pool, cleaning it out, and filling it back up is the way to go. However, experts warn against completely emptying the pool. If it sits on a high water table, it might rise out of the ground. And if this happens, it could cause enough damage to warrant putting in a new pool, which is an expense you don’t need.


Pull the Plugs and Top the Water Level Off

Before the winter set in, you should have cleared out your pipes and installed plugs to stop water from getting back in and freezing. Make sure you remove these plugs and allow water to flow back in. Chances are the water level in your pool dropped through evaporation during the winter. If your water level is low, top it off before doing anything else.


Clean the Pool

Even if you did have a cover on during the winter, and don’t have much in the way of debris, you still need to clean the pool and treat the water to get it ready for swimming. Start by ensuring the filter is clean and in good shape. Inspect the pump and start it up to make sure it’s in good working order. If you have any debris floating around or at the bottom, now is the time to get it out. Also, if you treated your pool with the right chemicals, the water should be clear. However, if you didn’t, you may be faced with algae buildup which you must tackle.


Prime & Run the Filter

Before you start your filter started, make sure you lubricate any O-rings to protect them and check these rings for cracks and replace if needed. Turn on your pump and ensure it’s working as intended and watch for any sudden spikes in water pressure that indicate a blockage in the system.


Shock the Pool

Remember the algae infestation we mentioned earlier? Well, if that’s your problem, you need to shock the pool to get the water back to swim-ready condition. Shocking the pool means using a potent dose of sanitizer. Before you do this, get your handy pH kit and test the water for PH levels, total chlorine, alkalinity and hardness. Knowing these levels tells you what chemicals you need to add to get the water balanced and ready for swimming. While your water levels may vary depending on where you live, here are some general numbers to consider when testing your water quality:

● PH levels should range from 7.2 to 7.4
● Alkaline levels should range from 80 to 120
● Hardness levels should range from 150 ppm to 250 ppm.
● Chlorine levels from 1 ppm to 3 ppm.

If you’re unsure about what your levels should be in your area, or are having difficulty getting your pool’s water balanced, call in a professional for help.


Work to Clear the Water

Chances are your water is murky after a long, cold winter. So, once you get the chemical composition where you want it, it’s time to run the filter for a few days to get the water crystal clear. Most experts say this can take up to a week. And you’ll have to likely add chlorine to keep the levels where they need to be.


Add Accessories

If you have ladders, diving boards, or any other accessories that you removed for winter storage, put them back up and secure them in place. Also, don’t forget to check things like fountains and sprayers for clogs if you use those in your pool as well.


Wash your Cover

Before storing away your winter pool cover, wash it and inspect it for damage.
After about a week of running your filter and checking the water chemistry to ensure it’s balanced, your pool should be clear and ready for swimming.

Taking the proper steps to get your pool ready for winter goes a long way to how much work you’ll have to put into it getting it prepared once summer arrives.