A lot of people constantly ask the question “How to clean the swimming pool after a cold winter”. The pool is left dormant all through winter, mainly due to the cold.
To have the pools ready for the hot summer isn’t exactly easy, but with proper planning and work, it can be achieved. The level of cleanliness of a pool cannot be overemphasized as the health of the swimmers and safety of the pool, in general, is of utmost importance
In summary, cleaning a pool for summer after winter entails the following steps:
- draining the cover of the pool,
- addition of water if necessary,
- running a test of the equipment
- and a host of other steps explained in the subsequent paragraphs.
It is during summertime that children worry their parents with questions about the readiness of the pool. Below are a few guidelines on how to get the pool ready after the winter. Summer here we come!
STEPS TO CLEAN THE POOL AFTER WINTER
1. NEVER MAKE THE MISTAKE OF DRAINING YOUR POOL
This should be borne into mind, irrespective of how cold the weather is. Draining a pool can only be recommended when structural work must be done or in situations where there are a lot of leaves at the bottom of the pool.
This is very important as emptying the pool in a high-water table can lead to losing the pool altogether as the pool will pop out of the ground.
2. GET RID OF THE POOL COVER
At about a week or two before your pool opening, it is advised that you remove the cover. When that is done, immediately begin work on cleaning all the debris, including those on the surface of the water.
Dry the cover of the pool somewhere safe, cool, and dry. Leave it there till all the swimming is over.
3. CHECK THE WATER LEVEL
The water level is vital for the functioning of the pump. The ideal water level is the middle of the skimmer opening for efficient circulation of water. Water is to be added according to the present level while waiting to full the pool. It is also essential to check and test the diving boards, handrails, and ladders for either loose bolts or faults.
4. RUN A TEST ON THE WATER
It is necessary to have your pool water tested. This test should be carried out at a swimming pool store. The swimming pool store will carry out a complete analysis of your water sample. The test includes the pH, chlorine levels, mineral content as well as the total alkalinity.
With the test result, you will have an idea of the possible adjustments needed to be put in place. You can also do this test by yourself by making use of the DIY pool chemistry testing strips or water test kits. (Check out our guide on water test kits)
Using the strip to run a test on the water is easy; it simply entails dipping them in the sample pool water and then holding them upright against the color chart on the bottle.
The pH and chlorine levels are easily measured using the testing strips. The sample for the pH check should be collected at a relative distance from the pump inlet.
5. RUN A SERIOUS CHECK ON THE FILTER AND PUMP
It is essential to clean and prepare the pump before summer. A check on the capacity of all the equipment is also in place. According to guidelines from the manufacturer, run a check on the pumps, hoses, and filters. Before the summer starts, run a check on the filter and pump for any dirt that accumulated over the winter or damage.
Check the O-rings and cartridge elements around the area of the cap, in situations where you have a cartridge filter. Run a replacement if there is a need for one. Run a backwash for the sand filter. It’s preferable to make use of new filter sand. In case of small filters, run a replacement, or you can even clean the mesh.
Run a proper inspection of the pump, remove the plugs, and open all the valves. Check for any leaks after the inspection, but this is to be done when you start the pump. Then allow the circulation system to run for a period of 8 to 12 hours.
6. RUN A BALANCE OF THE POOL CHEMICALS
Below are guidelines ideal for this balancing;
(i) Total alkalinity – The total alkalinity levels should be between 80 and 120. If the value got is too low, to get an increment, make use of baking soda. In situations where the value is too high, make use of muriatic acid to get a decrease.
(ii) Chlorine – The ideal chlorine level is 1ppm to 3ppm. If the value is too low, the addition of solid chlorine granules or liquid is necessary to get the recommended or normal level. To maintain an optimal level of chlorine, there is a need to add more quantity of chlorine for a few more days.
(iii) pH level – The normal pH level is 7.2 to 7.4. If the value is low, it can be increased by the addition of soda ash. For a decrease, make use of sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid.
7. DEEP CLEANING
The pool should then be vacuumed, but this should be done with the pump running. Use the brush to scrub places such as the ladders, sides, steps, and the other places that can’t be reached by the vacuum.
Pump water into the pool and ensure it circulates for no lower than 24 hours in order to filter loose dirt.
You aren’t expected to immediately begin swimming just yet. You are to clean the filter for a period of 7 days until the water clarity clearly improves when this is all guaranteed run a periodic vacuuming.
Following these steps to clean your swimming pool after winter, you can finally cool off during the summer when the water is safe and clear. This could take a period of a week or more. With a good level of chemical balance and a high level of cleanliness, you can enjoy your swimming time.
Recommend reading our guide on how to maintain optimal chemical balance in your pool.