By, Wendy Purser
Easy spring swimming pool start up can be achieved by using a yearly maintenance and inspection checklist. This checklist should systematically include areas in and around the pool and items used for the pool during the season. Having an early “to do” list will allow you to be enjoying your pool instead of working on it.
Most pool environments not only include the pool itself but the surrounding areas – also referred to as the poolscape. The deck and patio areas need to be inspected carefully for any repairs and focused cleaning. An early warm spring day is perfect for pressure washing and cleaning the walkway/patio areas and patio furniture. If there is an outdoor kitchen, now is the time to be sure it is in good working order. An early spring dinner prepared outside by the pool, even if it is too cold to swim, can be a memorable experience. This is a good time to add on that fire pit or the outside shower you have been wanting. Be sure to check your fence gates to ensure they are self-closing and latch securely.
De-winterize your pool equipment once the threat of freezing has passed to confirm that all your circulation equipment is working properly. The cover can remain on the pool until you are ready to swim. However, if you need your equipment serviced you can schedule a repair before the spring rush, which could delay a successful and prompt opening. Consider upgrading your pool equipment, especially if it is aging to an energy-efficient system. Many states offer rebates on newer equipment in addition to the money you save over time which can actually pay for the upgrade. Your pool professional can help consult on what your needs are and proper sizing of equipment.
At this time, take an inventory of your cleaning equipment and chemical supply. Brushes, hoses and nets left outside in the sunlight become brittle and may need to be replaced. Safety pool alarms need to have their batteries changed. If your winter pool cover was damaged, have a plan to either replace or repair it when you remove it. Safety covers that need repair will need the hardware removed before sending in for repair, and it’s much easier to remove the hardware now. Make a list of your chemical supplies and note your current inventory. This will be handy when you visit your local pool supply store. You can also mark each container with the level of product and take pictures to show your pool professional.
Give the filter a thorough cleaning per manufacturer recommendations. If you have a chlorine generator, be sure to clean and inspect the cell. The colder water may give error codes but these should subside as the water warms. Consult your owner’s manual to see what temperature your unit works properly at.
Clean the bathtub ring at the water edge, inside the skimmer throats and in the basket area. Brush under ladder steps and behind ladders. A thorough brushing of the pool will help lift any bio-film that may have developed during the winter. The last item to check off is the pool water quality. Have your pool water professionally checked so that you have the peace of mind that the water is safely sanitized for swimmers and properly balanced to protect your investment and give you many hours of enjoyment.
Once you’ve checked off all the cleaning, repairs and supply restocking, the only step you have left is to jump in and have fun!