After a long period of hibernation through winter, your swimming pool and spa will be looking like they need some essential maintenance and servicing to get it ready for the summer swimming season. While it may be tempting to simply peel off the cover and dive right in, there are a few important steps you can take to prepare and clean your pool and spa for summer, making sure they are safe and hygienic for your family to enjoy.
10 Important steps to get your pool and spa clean and ready for summer
1. Remove and clean cover
The first thing you will need to do is create clear access to your pool or spa. Looking after your spa is very similar to looking after your pool so the basic principles remain the same. Make sure you remove any leaves and twigs that have accumulated on your pool or spa cover as well as the surrounds of your pool. Use a pool brush to wipe down the top of the pool cover or spa cover before you remove it. Brush off any water that may have pooled on top of the cover over winter. Be careful not to allow that water to enter your swimming pool or spa as it is most likely contaminated. Remove the cover and lay it out in an area where you can give it a good scrub, making sure it is sparkling clean and ready for the next time you want to use it.
2. Check water level
The next step is to check your water level. Over the winter your water level will have dropped. You need to make sure your pool is filled to about the middle of the skimmer opening. You will need to let the water circulate for a few hours to combine the new water with the old.
3. Check and empty skimmer basket
Visually check the skimmer basket, skimmer plate, deck lid, and weir door for any signs of cracks. Replace any faulty parts. Clear out the skimmer basket of any leaves or debris that may have the potential to block the water flow.
4. Check the pool/spa pump and pool/spa filter
There are some basic things you can do yourself to check your pump and filter. Before turning the pump on, visually check all the connections and ensure the power is connected to the pump. Turn the pump on. Listen for any unusual noises or sounds and look for any obvious leaks. If everything sounds ok, looks good and the water is filtering then that’s a very good sign. If anything seems amiss we do recommend having your pool pump and filter serviced professionally by your local Think Water technicians. Of course, prevention is always preferable when it comes to pool and spa maintenance, so talk to your local pump expert at Think Water to set up a servicing schedule.
Also, consider at this time to set up the automatic timer on your pump and filter. Spas need to run for about four hours a day to keep them sparkling and healthy while pool pumps and filters typically need to run for about eight hours a day. You can set up your timer so that the pump and filter run in off-peak times to reduce running costs.
5. Get a sample of water tested
The first step to make your pool or spa sparkle is balancing the pH of the water. To do this get your water tested. There are many different types of pool testing kits available so it is possible to do this yourself or you can take a sample of water to your local Think Water store and have it tested professionally. There are a few different types of tests you can do but typically will want to test the alkalinity, pH, calcium hardness, stabiliser level, algae levels, chlorine, salt, or magnesium levels.
6. Add necessary chemicals to the pool or spa
Once you have tested your pool or spa, it is time to add chemicals to restore the balance. A little bit of professional advice goes a long way at this point. Some people refer to this stage as shocking your pool or spa. This means raising the chlorine levels enough to oxidise all the dead algae, bacteria, and skin cells. Shocking your pool regularly through the summer season is recommended. You will need to run the pump and filter the water for a few hours to allow the chemicals to do their work.
7. Give the pool/spa a thorough clean
Pool and spa maintenance isn’t just about the chemicals, you will also need to give the sides of the pool or spa a good brush, making sure all the surfaces are scrubbed thoroughly. Next, it is time for a good vacuum to remove any debris that may have surfaced after brushing. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times to get the water truly sparkling.
8. Clean surrounding area, deck, pavers and garden
Keeping your pool and spa clean is easier if you keep the surrounding area clean. This includes cleaning down the deck or pavers around the pool or spa area, cleaning down any outdoor furniture, and keeping the lawn and garden tidy, with particular attention to unwanted leaves.
9. Check pool and spa accessories are in good condition
Double-check all your pool accessories are in good working order and replace anything that you need to. There may be some mould build-up on plastic furniture that can be cleaned off with some light scrubbing and household mould remover.
10. Check pool and spa safety
This is perhaps the most important step. Make sure your pool or spa area is properly fenced and meets local regulations. Make sure the gate on the pool fence closes properly. Remove any items that would make the pool fence climbable or would allow young children to climb up and open the gate. Make sure you have a CPR sign clearly displayed in your pool area. Also, make sure you have some type of flotation device handy to throw into the pool. A lifesaving ring is ideal but pool toys such as noodles and inflatable rings also work well.
At this point, your pool or spa is almost ready to go. It is important to realise that when you are setting your pool and spa up for the summer, the chlorine levels might be high for the first few days so give some time for the chemicals to settle down. Retest everything to make sure all the levels are where you want them to be and add additional chemicals to your pool as necessary.
Now all you have to do is enjoy your pool and spa over the summer. Test periodically and top up any chemicals as needed. The more frequently you use your pool or spa, the more often you will need to top up.
Find your local Think Water store. We stock a wide range of pool chemicals, accessories, pumps, filters, and testing kits and will be able to help you with pool and spa maintenance advice, test your pool water, and provide the necessary chemicals.