Summer is just around the corner, so there’s no time like the present to get your pool ready for sweet summer fun.
As most of us don’t dare venture into our pools during the chilly months, our pools can become a bit neglected. So, time for a pool health check-up before the splashing begins.
Here are some tips to have your pool ready for the sweltering Far North Queensland summer:
Review pool chemistry
The most important preparation to make is to check your pool’s water chemistry to ensure your pool is properly sanitised and safe for swimmers. You can buy pool kits to test the alkalinity, pH and chlorine levels yourself, and with a little bit of chemistry knowledge you can discover what chemicals your pool needs. Determining the right amount to add can be tricky, but luckily Allan’s Pool Shop offer free testing and advice.
Check the water level
It’s easy to forget to keep an eye on your pool’s water level when you’re not using the pool. Evaporation can reduce water levels by up to 25mm a week, so insure you top up the water level, keeping it at about the middle of the skimmer opening. This will prevent damage to your pump and chlorinator from running dry due to low water levels.
Many pool owners do not realise that in order to keep harmful bacteria at bay they need to change their pool sand filter media every five or six years, especially if a lot of people are using the pool. This is due to all the body fats, sunscreens and debris that pool water is subject to.
If your pool has a cartridge filter it should be acid washed annually to extend its life, this will also help it filter more efficiently. Allan’s Pool Shop can provide this service. They can also provide an annual sand filter media wash treatment which helps keep media working efficiently, which in turn reduces chemical usage and creates healthier water for your family to swim in.
Make sure you also check your pool pump and chlorinator for leaks, wear and tears on salt cells and especially your electrical leads as the rat’s love to sharpen their teeth on these, creating electrical hazards.
Also remember to inspect skimmer and pump baskets to ensure they are clean from leaves and their filter mesh is not broken, as they prevent large debris from entering your filter and pipe work.
Test salt levels
Because most pool owners don’t test their pool’s salt levels regularly during off-peak pool season, they will need to be checked and topped up if required. Low salt levels reduce chlorine production and can damage chlorinator cells. Be aware that not all pool salt is the same, and inexpensive pool salt commonly found in hardware stores and supermarkets are course and do not dissolve well. Although these salts are cheaper, they generally contain contaminants such as iron and manganese, which will cause staining to pool surfaces damaging your expensive asset. This is because they are unrefined when manufactured, hence the cheaper pricing. Allan’s Pool Shop uses only food-grade salt, which is free of impurities and minerals like iron and manganese.
Clean the pool
Algae can be an annoying problem for pool owners, made worse with Far North Queensland’s rainy season and warm water temperatures. If you have a problem with algae, try adding an algaecide to eliminate and prevent algae build-up. Algicides should be added to your pool annually before the start and at the end of the summer to help prevent algae from blooming. Algae can be difficult to remove once it has taken hold of your pool, particularly black-spot algae.
Pool safety for the kids
It’s crucial that your pool fencing is up to standard, the locks are in working order and the gate closes and locks by itself after it’s been opened. Ensure there is nothing climbable near the pool fence like trees, chairs and tables that the kids might try to use to climb over the fence.
While having an easy-to-read CPR sign on hand is an Australian regulation, it is a valuable source of information should it ever be needed. Remember that it is far too common for a child to lose their life in the back-yard pool of a residential home.