Getting Ready for the Swim Season

Here in Central Texas, if you aren’t already swimming, you soon will be. Below is a list of what you should do to start the season right and help prevent problems later on when the water is warm and your pool has a lot of swimmers.

Rain

We often have heavy spring rain in Austin. While normal rainfall has little effect on pool water, anything over an inch can cause problems, especially in a smaller pool.

If the water level is too high above the middle of the skimmer throat, drain the water down, so the skimmer will work effectively. If you have a cartridge filter, you may need to use a sump pump to remove excess water.

Shock the pool with cal hypo (powdered chlorine shock) after a heavy rain. Use one lb. per 10,000 gallons. Add a preventative algaecide such as algae 60. Test the water the next day and adjust chemical levels as needed. Rain can be acidic and can dilute the water enough to throw off your water balance.

Brush the walls, floor, and benches to dislodge algae spores. Run the pump 24 hours a day for a few days to help filter out small debris and keep the chlorine level up. Monitor your pressure gauge and backwash (or clean cartridges) when the pressure is 5 PSI above clean filter pressure.

Check Water Balance

The beginning of the swim season is a great time to check all water balance factors, stabilizer (cyanuric acid) and phosphate levels. If TDS (total dissolved solids) or stabilizer levels are too high, your chlorine will not work as effectively as it should. Better to correct the problem now than to watch your pool turn green later. If your test kit doesn't have all of the tests you need, bring us a sample (900 McPhaul) and we’ll be happy to test it for you.

Adjust Your Time Clock

As the water warms up and you have more swimmers, you’ll need to increase the amount of the time your pumps are running. You’ll have to experiment some to determine the shortest amount of time to run your pump without adversely affecting water quality and safety. During the hottest months, with average or greater use, you may have to run the pump 24 hours a day.

Safety

While safety is important all year long, it is especially vital to perform a safety check now at the beginning of swim season. Visit our Web page http://hinespool.com/pool-safety/ for safety ideas along with links to several sites that discuss pool and spa safety. Public pools have stringent safety laws. Isn’t it a good idea for residential pools to follow these as well?

Check these items:

For all pools:

1. Are all your suction fittings (skimmers, main drains and wall grates) in good repair and current with today’s code?
2. Are there any loose wires near or at the equipment pad?
3. Are the lights working correctly and tight in their niches with no water inside the light fixtures?
4. Are there GFCI breakers on all lights?
5. Are your fence and gates in good repair? Do the gates close automatically and latch correctly?
6. Are there any trip hazards around the pool such as raised cracks or boards on your deck?

For public pools:

7. Does your pool equipment include an automatic suction shutoff device that will turn off the pump should a swimmer become entrapped?
8. Do you have a life ring and shepherd’s hook?
9. Do you have a working 911 phone within sight and easy reach of the pool area?
10. Do you have proper safety signage including depth markers and step and bench demarcation?

We can assist you in making sure you are in compliance with local and state safety codes. Call us today!

Covers

If you have covered your pool, now is the time to remove that cover even if you aren’t ready to swim. The water is warm enough to allow algae to grow. After removing the cover, vacuum, brush, and adjust your chemical levels.

Call us at 512-873-8565 if you need assistance in getting your pool ready. We have great prices on chemicals and supplies. We deliver! We have a large staff of experienced technicians and cleaners ready to solve your pool and spa problems, so you can enjoy the water.

 

 

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