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Pre-Season Pool Prep

A little work now, can save you lots of work later.

What if the weather was really nice Memorial Day weekend? Would you be rushing to get a cold, green pool ready for a pool party? Would you be in the world’s longest line at the pool store, because you were shopping the same day as 2000 other people? Put in 30-60 minutes a week now, and you’ll save time and money, later.

This week, drain the water off your pool cover. If you need water in the pool, and if you have a well that you need to conserve, you can even pump the water through your filter, and into the pool. Just hook your vacuum hose to the front of your pump-it should be the right size. Either way, get most of the water off the cover, so it can dry out in the sun. Once the leaves dry out, they’re much easier to take off.

Next week, scoop off the leaves that are left, pour some pool cover cleaner onto the cover, and wash it while it’s still on the pool. Pump or siphon off the water, and let it dry in the sun another week.

The following week, raise the water level to normal, and hook up the filter. If you have a solar cover, take off the winter cover, and put on the solar cover. If you don’t have a solar cover, come buy one. It can give you almost two extra months of swimming!

Notice what we just did. The winter cover was clean and dry before we took it off (Hint: If you got a vacuum or a compressor and blew air under the cover before you took it off, the bottom of the cover could have been mostly dry, too!) It wasn’t possible to drop the last bit of dirty, leaf-filled water into the pool. You didn’t rip the cover, fall in, or hurt your back trying to take it off! Putting the solar cover on by May 1st allows the pool a month to warm up by Memorial Day.

So far, nothing here has cost extra. The next part costs very little, and saves you lots of money if you avoid a late-May algae attack when it gets warm outside. Run the filter (yes, with the cover still on) six hours once a week (good) or two hours a day (better). The circulation will help control growth, and speed up the water’s warming. At this point, you can even bypass the filter’s tank if you want—we’re just circulating the water, not cleaning it.

By mid-May, start to check the water once a week. Pull up a corner of the cover, and look for algae starting to grow. It wouldn’t hurt to do a quick test, and add a little sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, Baquacil, Softswim, etc.)

If the pool’s full and well circulated, you can even bring in a water sample for your opening balance. We can give you a print-out now, and you can still wait until you’re ready to open the pool to shock, algaecide, balance, etc. Ask for a copy of our Pool Tips GuidePool Opening II—The Water. There, we’ll discuss the chemical procedures.

In any case, get the pool opened and running by June tenth—waiting any longer increases the chances of a quick algae bloom that will ruin all the work that you’ve done so far.