pool cleaning tipsThe nicer months are quickly approaching and it couldn’t be a better time to prep your pool. There’s a ton to do to get your pool ready so that you can lounge around and get your tan on. If you try to take shortcuts and don’t open your pool the right way, you can’t guarantee that the pool is safe. Here is your go-to guide chock full of pool cleaning tips and more to get the season started right.

1. Don’t drain your pool
Draining your pool isn’t a good idea unless you have no other choice. Draining your pool means that an empty pool with a high water table can rise up out of the ground without the water keeping it down. It may just pop out of the ground, which means you would have to replace your pool. So start cleaning instead.

2. Cleaning the pool
A chemical open allows you to get your pool to where it needs to be. So get everything together and start prepping. Have your filtration system ready and make sure all of your baskets are clean. Take out any plugs that were in and leave the cover on while doing all of this for best results.

3. Restore the pool’s water level.
If your pool’s water has gone down some since the winter, simply fill it up with some more water. The cartridge filter may need to be cleaned out, so check it and if so use a hose to rinse it off. Some filters may require some disassembly and reassembly. A sand filter will require setting it to backwash and then to normal to clean it out.

4. Get your water tested.
Having your water professionally tested means that you’re going to know exactly what the pH, alkalinity, chlorine and mineral content of your pool’s water is. Obviously, you should do this after you’ve topped it up. Most swimming pool stores will do this for you for a small fee or even no cost to you. They may try to sell you something, but why wouldn’t they? Getting it tested will let you know what you have to do to balance your pool.

5. Balance the pool
Your pool will need to have its chemical levels balanced, as you likely already know. You’ll want your pH levels between 7.2 to 7.4. You can use soda ash to make pH go up and sodium bisulfate/muriatic acid to make it go down. Take your alkalinity and make it from 80 to 120. Take calcium hardness and make it 150-250 parts per million using calcium chloride. Adjust chlorine so that it’s 1 to 3 ppm using cyanuric tablets in the skimmer baskets.

6. Get that picture perfect clear water
Once you’re done with all that, wait for the water to turn crystal clear. Make sure it’s picture perfect. You want to see the pool floor– it should take a week. Clean your filters while you’re waiting and remove the cover in a week and you should be good.

7. Cleaning and maintenance
The last thing to do is get your pool ready by cleaning it up! Use a pool vacuum to suck up all the sand, leaves, and worms that have accumulated. Skim the top of the pool to remove surface debris. Continue to add chlorine, keep filters clean, vacuum, and test levels. That’s it– you’re ready for a spring and summer by and in the pool. It’s that easy.