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10 tips to get your pool ready for summe

Jun 07, 2023Jun 07, 2023

A clean and clear pool makes swimming much more enjoyable and safer for everyone.

Summer is knocking on the door, which means swim season is here. In Arizona, swimming is a year-round activity, especially for our out-of-town visitors from colder climates. But for the rest of us who are desert rats, we are just starting to dip our toes in the pool.

Before you take that first plunge, take the time to do some pool maintenance. These 10 tips will help you get your pool ready for summertime use:

1. Check out your pool equipment

Be sure to inspect your equipment to ensure that it is running quietly and is leak free. Check the concrete pad under the pump for wet spots. If you find a leak, call a pool leak and repair service company. It's easier to make repairs while leaks are small.

2. Have your pool water tested

During the late fall and winter many homeowners have their pool water tested for total dissolved solids (TDS) such as calcium and minerals. Then homeowners drain their pools and refill them with clean water so the pool will respond better to chemicals during the next swimming season. If you haven't done that, you might need to. The test and draining can be done by a pool technician. If you want to conserve water, there are companies that use reverse osmosis to clean the water without removing it.

3. Clean up

While the pool is empty, hire a professional pool service company to acid wash and polish the pool surface and tile to remove the white, hard-water ring at the water line. Pricing will depend on the size and complexity of the pool. This is also a good time to replace and maintain pool lights. Eventually, your pool may need resurfacing. The general rule of thumb is every seven years, though sometimes the surface will last much longer.

4. Inspect the amenities

Inspect handrails, diving boards, ladders and slides. Secure anything that's damaged or needs replacing.

5. Check salt levels

Add salt if your pool is salt chlorinated. Also check salt levels and clean cells regularly.

6. "Shock" your pool

"Shock" your pool by raising the chlorine level if your pool is chlorinated. You can do this yourself with an oxidizer from your pool dealer. Choose a product compatible with your filter system. The shock will oxidize "dead" material killed by chlorine, such as bacteria, algae and skin cells. This should be done regularly during the swimming season, or you can invest in an ozone generator to do the job.

7. Call an electrician

To be safe, call an electrician licensed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC) to install ground fault circuit interrupters on all outlets that power outdoor electric equipment if you haven't already done so. Also, be sure your pool wiring, and installation are up to code.

8. Check your fences and safety features

Be sure to check your fences and safety features, including the self-closing, self-latching gate, and the rescue and first-aid equipment near the pool. Update your list of emergency numbers. If you haven't done so already, install anti-entrapment covers on your pool to meet federal requirements.

9. Weekly upkeep

Once everything is up and running, perform weekly upkeep. Devote time every week to a thorough cleaning including removing debris, vacuuming, brushing the pool down, emptying the skimmer and pump baskets and chemically treating the water. Cleaning the filter is very, very important in summer, particularly during the monsoons when dust storms and heavy winds hit the area and can quickly turn your pool into something resembling a swamp. By the way, a green murky pool invites mosquitoes and most importantly is a safety hazard. If someone falls in and sinks to the bottom, they may not be visible until it's too late.

10. Automated pool cleaners

An automated pool cleaner can help you by vacuuming your pool daily. Whether you clean your pool yourself or hire professional a pool service company, it is important to clean the pool and monitor the chemicals on a weekly basis. That way you can spend more time this summer enjoying the cool, refreshing beauty of your pool. The cost of pool service can range greatly due to the size and complexity of a pool. A tiny backyard spa would require minimal attention, whereas a negative edge pool or a pool with slides and special water features can be more costly.

Either way, whether you go the DIY route or hire a professional, start the process now so you can enjoy the pool sooner than later and more often. JN

Rosie Romero, Jr. is co-owner of Arizona's home improvement radio program "Rosie on the House."

1. Check out your pool equipment 2. Have your pool water tested 3. Clean up 4. Inspect the amenities 5. Check salt levels 6. "Shock" your pool 7. Call an electrician 8. Check your fences and safety features 9. Weekly upkeep 10. Automated pool cleaners JN