Summer is on its way! And there’s nothing better than celebrating the start of a hot summer in New Zealand than getting your friends and family together and jumping into your nice, clean pool. But first, you have to get it ready. Winter is over, and it’s time to start prepping your modern pool for the warmer weather. Here’s what you need to know.
If you’re wondering why you need to prepare your pool for summer after winter is over, it’s simple. Over the colder months, unless you have crazy kids that simply don’t feel the cold, your family pool has likely experienced a little neglect. Whether it’s now full of leaves and dust, or it’s suffering from a little algae or mould from being covered up for months at a time – don’t stress. Here are some simple things you can do to make sure your pool is bomb-dive ready!
First things first. It’s time to get back into your cleaning routine.Get your net out and scoop up any foliage or dirt before switching on your automatic pool cleaner.
If you’ve had your pool covered for the cooler months, make sure you clean the pool cover as well – before removing it. Use a cover pump or a wet-dry vac to remove as much water and debris as you can from the top of the cover. You should also clean the filter, brush down the walls in the pool, and descale your chlorinator, so any calcium build-up is removed.
If anything in the pool isn’t working properly, particularly the chlorinator cell or filters, it’s time to replace these. If these aren’t efficient in the warmer months, you risk your water becoming a health hazard. Check the O-ring and make sure there is no cracking – if there is, get it replaced. At the same time, make sure your pump and heater are working.
Start by raising the water level – it should be even with the middle of the skimmer opening, so if it’s any lower than that, you need to top it up. Once the water is at a good level, turn on your pumps and filtration system. Run your pump for 24 hours before testing the pH levels (we’ll go into more detail with this soon). During this part of the process, you might also want to shock your pool – in other words, add a large dose of chlorine to the water to help kill off any algae that may have made a home during winter.
Once you’ve had the pumps and systems working for a good 24-48 hours, it’s time to test the chemical levels to get them to a safe level. Here’s what you need to know:
· pH Level – should be between 7.2 and 7.4. Any lower and you’ll need to use soda ash to raise it. Any higher and you can lower it with sodium bisulfate.
· Calcium levels should be between 150 ppm and 250 ppm. Not enough calcium and your pool water will be too soft. Add calcium chloride to increase the levels.
· Chlorine levels should be between 1 ppm and 3 ppm – if you don’t have enough, pour more in. If you have too much, give it a day or two to settle.
· Alkalinity should be between 80 and 120. Too high and you can use muriatic acid to lower it; too low add some sodium bicarbonate.
Once you have your levels set, wait for the water to clear before you dive in. Clean the filter daily during this time and add more chlorine if you need to. Once you can clearly see the bottom of the floor, it’s time to get the swimmers out! If you need help getting your pool ready for summer fun, get in touch with the team of experienced swimming pools builders and installation experts at Narellan Pools today. We’ve been working with local customers for many years and provide a range of services, from new installations to ongoing maintenance – all year round.