We tend to think of pool maintenance as something that we focus on mainly in the summer months. However, we think a full one-year calendar for pool owners would be a helpful guide for pool owners to refer to throughout the year. Seasonal maintenance will keep your backyard water playground in great shape and extend the life of your pool and therefore your enjoyment of it. Let’s begin with opening your pool in the spring, then move through the year reviewing water testing, chemical knowledge, and conclude with closing your pool for the winter months.
When to Schedule Your Pool OpeningWhen springtime approaches, you can feel the excitement for pool season building. We are all dreaming of warmer days, getting the outdoor furniture put back in place, spending days in the sun, and enjoying balmy evenings outside in the fresh air. The first item on your one-year calendar for pool owners is opening the pool. The timing of your pool opening is something that you will want to get just right. Typically, you can open your swimming pool once the daytime temperatures are consistently around 65-70 degrees. In Berks County, PA, this is usually during the month of May. You will want to do some advance preparation so you will be good to go when the time is right.
- Tidy up the area surrounding your pool.
- Get your pool furniture out and give it a good cleaning.
- Clear any debris from the top of your pool cover.
- Order your pool chemicals and pool supplies for the upcoming season.
- Make the decision of whether you will call in the professionals to do the opening or if you will do it yourself. If you decide to call in the pros, give us a call to get on our schedule.
Spring Pool Opening: What is involved?Spring pool opening is a pretty big deal. We want our pools to come out of winter hibernation and greet the swim season in pristine condition. If you feel the pool opening process sounds somewhat daunting, call in your pool professionals to do the job for you. If your pool was built by Fronheiser Pools, give us a call to schedule your spring opening, and sit back and relax in the knowledge that it will be done right. Wondering what is involved?
- We will clean the pool cover and remove it for storage.
- We will reinstall ladders, slides, and other pool accessories that were removed in the fall.
- We will thoroughly inspect your pool equipment as well as the pool itself. We will get the system going again, and make sure everything is working as it should be. In case of any damage or needed repairs, we will make our recommendations to you so that you can make a decision to proceed with necessary action.
- We will adjust the water level and test it for necessary chemical adjustments. If needed, algaecide will be added.
- Your pool will receive a complete cleaning. Walls will be brushed, and the floor vacuumed to remove any sediment or debris. We will give special attention to the steps and other areas that may require extra TLC.
- Finally, the pool will get a shock treatment to remove any traces of bacteria or algae that may remain.
What Pool Supplies Should I Have on Hand?There is nothing more frustrating than starting a home project and realizing that you need to run out and pick up needed supplies and materials to get the job done. We’d like to save you that bother when opening your pool in the spring. One thing you will want to check off on your one-year calendar for pool owners is your arsenal of pool supplies. Here are some essential items you will want to have on hand at spring opening and the swim season to come.
- A soft broom to brush debris and soil off the pool cover
- Pool cover cleaning solution
- Skimmer with a telescoping handle
- Garden hose
- Brush to clean the sides of the pool
- Pool vacuum
- A supply of chemicals and water testing materials (See below.)
Essential Chemical SuppliesNext up on your one-year calendar for pool owners is to check your supply of pool chemicals. If any of your pool chemicals have passed their expiration date, you will want to dispose of them properly and replace them with fresh chemicals. Never combine old chemicals with new ones. Here is a basic list of what you will need to have on hand.
- A basic water testing kit or test strips
- Chlorine or other sanitizer of choice
- Increasers/decreasers for pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness
- Enzyme treatment
- Stain remover, if needed
Water Testing During the Summer Pool SeasonYou have a plan in place for your spring pool opening, and all your pool supplies and chemicals are on hand. But what about balancing that pool water in summer? Do you feel as if you know what you are doing? Summer may be the perfect time to have your pool water professionally tested and to get some advice from your local pool professionals. At Fronheiser Pools, we offer water testing services to our customers and are happy to share tips on how to adjust your chemical levels to get the perfect results for a fresh, clean, and sanitary pool. It is important to test your water at least weekly during the summer pool season, so it’s essential to know what ideal levels to look for in a balanced pool.
- pH: 7.2-7.8
- Total alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
- Calcium hardness: 180-220 ppm
- Cyanuric acid (stabilizer): 30-50 ppm
- Chlorine: 1-3 ppm
Closing Your Pool in the FallAs well as knowing when and how to open your backyard pool in the spring, it is important to know when to close it in the fall. Moving through our one-year calendar for pool owners, the arrival of fall means our remaining swimming days are numbered. Once the daytime temperatures are consistently below 65 degrees, but nighttime temperatures are still above freezing is the indicator that the time has come to close up your pool. In Berks County, Pennsylvania, that time is typically in September and October. Fronheiser Pools offers winterizing services for our customers, but if you prefer to do it yourself, these are the tasks ahead of you:
- Clean and store away patio furniture.
- Remove diving boards, slides, ladders, etc., and store them in a dry place.
- Thoroughly clean the pool.
- Balance your pool water chemistry, using a winter closing kit if desired. These kits often contain an algaecide that will prevent the growth of anything in the winter months.
- Give the water one last shock treatment.
- Backwash and clean your filter and pump.
- Blow out the plumbing lines with an air compressor.
- Cover the pool securely with your winter pool cover.
Winter Pool CareClosing your pool properly is the number one step in ensuring that your pool will be in great shape when you re-open it in the spring. That being said, it doesn’t mean you should completely forget about your pool while it is in winter hibernation. Here are some things you can do to make sure things are under control during the cold months of the year.
- Periodically remove snow that has accumulated on the pool cover. Use a soft brush to avoid damaging the cover.
- If temperatures have been on the warm side, periodically peek under the cover and test the water. During a winter warm spell, you may need to add more algaecide to avoid any green surprises in the spring.