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Maybe you take a dip every now and then during the cooler weather, but chances are, your pool goes unused for much of the winter. Before things start to heat up and everyone wants to use the pool, take some time to inspect it, maintain it and upgrade it so it’s ready for summer.
Here are a few tips:

  • If you cover the pool for the winter, don’t remove the cover before you clean it off. Remove leaves, dirt, branches, dead animals and whatever else has collected on top of it so they won’t fall into the pool or onto the pool deck when you take the cover off. Before you store the pool cover for the summer, hose it off with high pressure, let it dry, and sprinkle a little talcum powder over it to keep it from sticking to itself while it’s stored. Choose a cool, dry storage area.
  • If you drained your pool, add water. If you haven’t drained it, check the skimmer water level. For the pump to function properly, the water has to be high enough to circulate well. The level should reach the middle of the skimmer. If you don’t drain the pool for the winter, call your local pool service over to test the water for “total dissolved solids” like calcium. That test will determine whether you need to drain and refill your pool this year. A pool with a high level of total dissolved solids will force the pump to work overtime to keep the water sparkling.
  • While your pool technician is at your house, ask him to make sure your pumps are working properly. He might want you to run the pool’s circulation system for several hours before he shows up. Have him check the filter and do a pre-season cleaning, which involves opening up the filter tank and disassembling the cartridge or DE grid (that’s a “diatomaceous earth” filter). Listen to the pump to hear if it’s running quietly, and notice if there’s any leaking water around it. Talk to your pool technician about replacing your single-speed pump with an energy-efficient variable-speed pump. You could save $300 or more on your electric bill if you make the switch.
  • Inspect handrails, diving boards, ladders and slides and secure anything that’s shaky or damaged.
  • Inspect the area for safety. Are gates locked? Is your first-aid kit stocked and in a place where it’s easy to find?
  • Review pool safety rules with your family and with any neighbors whose children use your pool.


  • Sanderson Ford

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