As warm days get nearer, the urge to plunge into your backyard swimming pool becomes stronger and stronger. But before you go ahead and take a dip, you need to take the time to get your pool up to scratch. Here's a snapshot of the things you need to get your pool ready for an endless summer spent poolside with your family and friends.
Before you remove the pool cover, take a moment to clear it of fallen leaves and twigs. You can use a brush fitted to your telescopic pole to do this. Also drain off any water that may be resting on the pool cover — avoid allowing it to pour into your pool.
If the water level in your pool has dropped over the last few months, fill it up until the water level reaches the halfway point of the skimmer opening. Council permission may be required for pools that require 2000 litres or more of water. Leave the pool for a day, allowing the new and old water to combine.
Before you dive in, take the time to check the water is free of bacteria and algae. You can purchase test kits to check your pool water chemical balance. Here's what you may need to check and correct: alkalinity, pH, calcium hardness, stabiliser level, algaecide, chlorine level and/or salt level. If you’re not familiar with this process Take a water sample, input some basic information into the water testing kiosk at Bunnings, and you will receive an instant print out of your results.
For long term pool owners, you're likely familiar with the practice of ‘shock’ treatment. This simply means bringing the chlorine level of the pool to beyond 5 pm. This oxidises the algae, bacteria and skin cells that the chlorine has killed. To achieve this raised level, you can buy specialised oxidisers, products that continually ‘shock’ your pool for you, or granulated chlorine (not stabilised). Carefully read the instructions and ask staff at your local Bunnings for additional advice.
Keep your family safe this summer and make sure that your pool fence is in tip top shape. First, check that the fence is still secure and that there is no significant weather damage. Replace locks and latches that have become unsecure and have rusted or disintegrated in the sun through winter. Alternatively, you’d be surprised how easy it is to simply refresh your backyard with new fencing.
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Clean and tidy
Roll up your sleeves and take the time to clean up your pool and surrounds. Here's your checklist:
- Clean the pool baskets
- Wash out the filter
- Scrub tile grout with baking sofa and a soft-bristle brush
- Sweep the surrounding deck, tiles or pavers
- Wash the surrounding deck tiles or pavers
- Rub decking back and re-coat. Replace any damaged planks
- Trim back overhanging tree branches
While you're there, spare a moment to ensure your pool is safe and running smoothly. Here's your checklist:
- Prime the pump before starting up the motor
- Check the filter system
- Check strainer basket is in good working order
- Ensure lights in and out of the pool are working
- Check gate latch closes and is working as it should
- Inspect fences are solid and working as they should
- Ensure an updated CPR sign is displayed clearly
Since you've put in the hard yards to ensure your pool is pristine for the summer, it's a great idea to keep up a simple maintenance schedule. Once a week or so, remove debris from the pool, vacuum pool surfaces and clean the filter. At peak pool usage, check the water balance frequently.