Tips on Proper Upkeep for Your Pool
Opening your pool signals the start of warm weather and can add relaxation and tranquility to your home or business. Whether you're emerging from a long snowy winter or a quick brush with cooler temps, opening your pool is a simple process that can include many physical and emotional benefits.
Imperial Paddock Pools in Vancouver suggests residential and commercial pool owners take the following steps to open their pool as quickly and safely as possible.
- First, remove all leaves and debris from your pool’s cover.
- Remove the cover, clean it, inspect it for damage and then store it safely until the fall.
- Connect pool pumps and filtration systems and reconnect all hoses and electrical connections to ensure your pool’s support systems are working properly.
- Be sure that all skimmers, filters, pumps and drains are free of leaves, twigs or anything else that could possibly block them.
- Remove all debris and pollutants from your pool.
- Add water to ensure your pool is filled to the correct level.
- Switch on the filter pump and be sure that all your skimmers, bottom drains and filters are working as they should.
- Vacuum any remaining debris from the pool.
- After the pool’s filtration system has been working for three to four hours, test the water. Retest the water to see if any adjustments have to be made.
- Once you’ve made all the final adjustments to your pool or spa, shock the pool following the instructions on your product’s labels.
- Enjoy your clean, sparking and inviting pool!
After 60 years of serving pool and spa owners in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Ladner and the surrounding area, Imperial Paddock Pools knows that regular maintenance can help extend the life of your residential or commercial pool. Regular maintenance will help protect your investment and keep you, your family and your swimming guests safe.
Weekly Maintenance Tips
Thoroughly cleaning your pool on a weekly basis while your pool is open will help guarantee that your pool or spa’s water is clean and safe. Take the following steps to ensure your pool is receiving regular maintenance.
- Skim off leaves and debris
- Use a long-reaching leaf skimmer to collect leaves, twigs, bugs and any other debris that may be floating in your pool. If uncollected, debris can sink to your pool’s bottom where it becomes difficult to remove and may eventually stain your pool’s lining. When using a leaf net to clean your pool’s surface, focus on the sides of the pool first, then clean from the middle to the sides. Keep trees and shrubs around your pool neatly trimmed to reduce the amount of leaves and tree debris that could end up in your pool.
- Remove dirt that has collected on the sides and at the bottom of your pool by using a specialized brush for the job. Brush dirt and particulates toward the main drain so they can be reached by the vacuum easily.
- Before hooking your vacuum to your pool or spa’s filter, submerge its head and nose for optimal performance.
- Clean skimmers
- Pool and spa owners in the Lower Mainland should clean their skimmers weekly at least. Removing debris will allow your skimmer to work the best.
- Check water circulation
- Your pool’s circulation system includes the skimmer, pump, pump strainer, drains and filter. The system promotes pool chemicals’ efficacy and help properly filter your water. Run your pump for enough time every day to ensure water is filtered properly. Keep each item clean and in good condition for maximum efficiency.
- Check your filter
- All filters, no matter their specific type, remove debris and unwanted material from your pool water. Pool and spa owners in British Columbia should clean and maintain their filters according to their manufacturer’s specific directions.
- Shock the system
- Depending on how often you use your pool, you should test the water either daily or weekly, adding chemicals as necessary. A regular shock treatment cleanses the water and removes algae, bacteria, dirt and other organic particulates.
When you’re on vacation, debris and bacteria still collect in your pool and disrupt the water balance. Consider creating a pool care plan for when you’re away from your house for long periods of time to ensure that you return to a clean, sparkling pool and not an expensive surprise. Follow the steps below to ensure your pool is well cared for, even if you’re miles away.
- Clean your pool thoroughly and regularly, brushing and vacuuming walls and floors.
- Test your pool or spa’s water and make sure it’s balanced properly. If left untreated, any imbalance, including alkalinity, pH level and calcium hardness will likely get worse when left untreated.
- Run your pool or spa’s pump for at least eight hours each day to hinder the growth of bacteria and algae. Do this by installing a timer or asking a neighbour to turn your pump on and off.
- Upon returning home from vacation, perform a water analysis to guarantee that your pool or spa is balanced correctly and ready for swimmers.
Closing Your Pool
Closing your pool correctly is essential to increasing the life of your pool. Doing so will ensure many years of pool enjoyment. Follow the steps below for more information on how to properly close your pool.
- Adjust your pool or spa’s pH level to 7.2-7.8 to prevent stains, scaling and algae growth.
- Run your pool or spa’s filter for at least a day or two.
- Remove floating debris and vacuum deeply.
- Introduce an algaecide to your pool to prevent algae growth before the water freezes.
- Follow your pool manufacturer’s instructions regarding lowering the water level. Very few pools need to be drained completely during the off-season. Many pools can face low temperatures best when they’re only partially drained. A drained pool can also crack or pop out of the ground due to ground water pressure.
- Shut off the filter and drain pumps, filter heater and all other equipment. Store it in a safe, dry location to prevent it from freezing.
- Turn off all power to support equipment and remove fuses or turn the circuit breakers off entirely.
- If your pool features a slide or a diving board, take it off and store it safely for the off-season to help reduce injuries.
- Cover your pool securely and fill water bags halfway (the edge of your pool’s cover should be sealed so that wind does not enter beneath it). A good pool cover is able to withstand water, weather and pool chemicals all while keeping out debris.
Heaters generally aren't used during the off-season. Service gas or oil units as needed to ensure that the full water flow will circulate during any freezing weather. Make sure to drain solar heaters to keep them from freezing during the colder months. For oil-burning units with heat exchangers, remove the electronic starting generators and store them in a dry place, away from chemical storage. You can also protect them by installing freeze-protection override timers.
Set the filter system for two-hour circulation a day under normal circumstances. If a freeze is predicted, set it on 24-hour circulation.
Drain and isolate, if possible, or set booster pumps to operate only when the filter pump is running.
Automatic Chemical Feeders
Disconnect, drain and clean feeders according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Remove these from the system and then clean, repair and store them where they will be dry and ready for re-installation. If the system has an inline feeder, set it at the lowest setting to maintain some residual.
Clean, service and store automatic cleaners and pumps. They're of little value in the winter and can be damaged by freezing