After a crazy year to say the least, we hope you’re ready to enjoy the warmth and relax - you’ve definitely earned it!
Here at Sterns Pools, we have some essential tips to get your pool ready for summer. With a little bit of effort, you can have your pool shiny, sparkling and ready to be used all day long during the warm season.
- Clear any leaves and debris
Remove your pool cover if you have been using one and scoop up the leaves from the pool floor, making sure to clear out all of the baskets. Drain off any water that may be resting on the pool cover and avoid allowing it to pour into your pool. Give the pool floor and walls a good brush, taking the time to vacuum.
- Balance water chemicals
If you leave your pool untreated during the colder months, the pool water can actually create bacteria, viruses, algae and other harmful substances to develop in the water.
“It doesn’t matter how good your filtration is, if your water balance isn’t correct as the water temperature increases, your pool is likely to go green. Now that spring is upon us, if you have any algae spores in the water, as soon as the temperature increases, that will be a trigger for those to bloom.”” - Andrew Morton, Swimart (A Sterns Pool distributor)
The 3 key factors required to balance swimming pool water:
- The pH level, which typically fluctuates between 7.2 to 7.4, dictates how much chlorine turns into hypochlorous acid in the water
- Total alkalinity from 80 to 120. Alkalinity is a pH buffer—pH levels will be consistent if the alkalinity level is correct. Use sodium bicarbonate to increase alkalinity and muriatic acid to decrease it
- Calcium hardness from 150 ppm to 250 ppm (parts per million). This is directly dependent on the hardness of the water. The softer the water, the more calcium it will absorb from its environment
Ensuring that the chemistry of the pool is correct actually reduces the costs involved in maintenance as opposed to having to use excess chemicals to balance the water when the levels are wrong.
A hot tip from Andrew Morton, Swimart (A Sterns Pool distributor)
“Some people still switch off pool equipment during winter thinking that it will save them a few dollars, but what they’re often left with is a major algae infestation that is not only in the water but also growing in the concrete itself. Aboveground and fibreglass pools are a bit different, but still it takes a lot of time and a lot of chemicals to get it back to a healthy state.
You’re only really saving $30 to $50 maximum in power when you turn the pool pump off in the winter quarter, whereas it costs between $100 to $200 in chemicals just to bring the water quality back without treating the surface of your pool,” he says. “And that’s not counting the cost of replacing bearings or your filter, or the damage it has done to the filter.”
If you’re unclear about chemical balance or sanitiser levels, take a small water sample to any of our distributors (link to distributors page) who will be happy to help you with this.
3. Check for possible faults
Now is a good time to take a look at your pool’s plumbing equipment and see if there are any pssible faults!
With your pool clean of debris or leaves, do a visual inspection of your pool and ensure there’s no leaks anywhere. Listen to your pump and note if any abnormal noises are occurring which may hint to faulty bearings or seals present.
4. Increase filtration times
The warmer weather means the pump will be running for longer so the entire volume of water in the pool water can be circulated, or “turned over” at least once per day.
The proper pool pump run time will vary according to the size of your pool, and whether or not its heated. For a general rule, it’s usually between 8-10 hours.
5. Top up water levels
Water levels tend to drop over the winter season from anything to do with a lack or rain or natural evaporation. When topping up, make sure that it sits halfway up the skimmer box.
Make sure to leave the pool for a day, allowing the new and old water to combine.
Note: Over-filling or under-filling actually reduces the efficiency of the skimmer box which can lead to contamination of the water … so don’t do this!
This blog was partially repurposed from Swimart - An official Sterns Pool distributor.