What to Do for Your Pool After a Power Loss

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Pool pumps, heaters, and filter systems work together to turn a pool into a well-maintained slice of paradise. Electricity powers most these devices and is essential for your water quality and your safety. When you experience a power outage, take the proper poolside precautions so that it isn’t “lights out” for your sun-soaked hangout.

Potential risks of a pool power outage

You lost power, which means your pool equipment is out of juice. What happens next? When there’s no power to the pool pump, it can’t recirculate the water to maintain proper water chemistry and filtration. According to Contra Costa Health Services, shortly after a power outage, your pool could contain:

  • Cloudy water
  • High levels of bacteria
  • pH imbalance
  • Inadequate sanitation

If only you had a crystal ball – the unknowns present the greatest threat to your pool’s water quality. How long will the pool pump have no power? When can you reset equipment like your filter and heater?

Tips for keeping your pool safe during a power outage

You’re splashing around in the pool with your friends and family on a tranquil evening, and then, in a flash, you see – nothing. The power is out! A pool power loss also means your pool lighting will be out. Here’s a step-by-step guide, so your pool and all the people inside remain protected in a power outage.

  1. Stay calm, and direct swimmers to slowly make their way out of the pool. If you can, store a few glow sticks near the pool to activate and toss to the bottom to help swimmers find their way to the stairs or ladder.
  2. Once everyone is inside, turn off the breaker that powers your pool equipment. This precaution will safeguard your pump, heater or control system from any surges that may shock the system.
  3. A loss of power may coincide with storms, high winds, heavy rains, floods, or earthquakes. If you can safely go outside, take a few minutes to roll out the pool cover.
  4. Maybe you weren’t swimming because it’s really cold outside. If you lose power during the winter, those freezing temperatures could spell trouble for your pool. Turn off the pool breakers to prevent the equipment from running once power is restored. Then open drain plugs, pump pot lids and filter air bleed valve.

How to “restart” your pool once power is restored

The power is finally back on. Hallelujah! After your family has showered, had a warm meal, and caught up on text messages, here’s how to restart your pool for a refreshing afternoon dip.

  1. Remove the pool cover and check for debris. Use a pole and a skimmer to remove anything that a suction cleaner can’t handle.
  2. Close any drain plugs or valves you may have opened during the power outage.
  3. Turn the breakers back on and prime the pool pump by adding water to the pot, replace the lid and turn the pool pump on.
  4. Ensure your pool pump and filter are working, and then let them run for one hour to begin decontamination.
  5. After the hour is up, conduct a water test and rebalance your chemistry if necessary. If your power has been out for quite some time, you may need to super-chlorinate your pool to at least 10 ppm-free chlorine to reduce bacteria and microorganisms.
  6. Inspect all of your pool equipment. Reset timers for your pump and any other device that is on a timer.
  7. Give the walls and floor of your pool one round of circulation with a pool cleaner.

If you’ve recently experienced a power outage and have more questions about what to do, contact a pool professional near you.

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