5 Tips for a Cleaner Safer Pool this Summer
Having lived in Phoenix for the past 40+ years, I have come to appreciate the beginning of Summer here in the valley. As a child, the heat never bothered me. Certainly was not something I thought about much. Back then, for me, summers ment no school and lots of time in the pool playing with friends. As I grew older, I recall starting to dread summer time in Arizona. Being a young adult, summers ment long blistering hot days working outside; pouring sweat, sunburns, and working with pool fence materials and tools too hot to touch.
Today, I still find myself working outside installing pool fences a few days a week throughout the Phoenix valley. However, the onset of summer has a whole new meaning for me these days. Long hot summer days signal bountiful work, at least in the pool safety barrier trade, and the warmth and light from the sun acts as a disinfectant helping to cleanse our soul and prepare us for another year. Additionally, summer also means ample time in the pool cooling off and spending quality time with family and friends. Because our swimming pool sees a lot of action during the summer months, like most of yours do as well, I have put together a list of pool preparation tasks to get your Arizona summer started off on the right foot.
#1 – Pool Equipment Check
Task number one is verifying all your pool equipment is functional and ready to handle the stress of summer. First, clean out the debris basket on the pool pump, the pool skimmer, and check any other filters or baskets to ensure they are free of any debris. Clean filters ensure water can move freely through the system. Additionally, plant matter left in the filters will quickly breakdown and become a source for dirty water and chemical imbalance. Next, make sure your pool pump is working as it should. Start it up and check for the following:
listen for any odd noises
look for any leaks
confirm pump is able to prime and cycle water through the system
With the pump running, verify your in-floor pop-up cleaning system is working, or your vacuum, whichever you use to keep your pool clean. Do you have a water leveler? If so, you can manually check the float to verify water fills the pool when the float is pressed down indicating a low water level. Next, take a quick look at the sand filter, if applicable, to ensure there is an adequate amount of sand and that it looks clean. Finally, check that your pool light turns on and off, and test any GFCI receptacle to ensure they trip and reset as expected.
#2 – Pool Fence Barrier Inspection
You had to anticipate a task involving pool fencing since I’m in the business of selling and installing pool fences. Therefore, our next task is, yes, you guessed it, inspect your pool fence. You first want to ensure your gate is functioning. Your pool gate should self-close and self-latch.
Test these two functions by opening the gate 4 to 5 inches and then letting it close on its own. If it doesn’t latch, your gate needs an adjustment. We are happy to come out to adjust your pool gate if necessary. Secondly, you will want to inspect all the sections of pool fence to look for any loose poles, tears in the mesh, or other damage that could allow a child or pet to gain access to the pool area. If problems are found, fix these immediately. To summarize, look for the following:
Gate will self-close and self-latch
No loose poles
No tears in mesh fence
No gaps along fence border
Lastly, if you don’t currently have a safety pool fence, have one installed. I know a guy that’ll give you a great deal and ensure you’re 100% satisfied with your pool fence installation. Don’t wait, give us a call today!
#3 – Test Water Quality
Grab your water test kit, or do what I do, and take a bottle of pool water to your local pool service store and ask them to test it for you. Knowing how many gallons of water is in your pool will help determine quantities of any chemicals that need added. Check your existing chemical stash and stock up on anything you know will get used up over the next few months. I always have plenty of chlorine tablets, pool acid, and pH balancer. A few bags of shock are always nice to have after a full weekend of kids in the pool or a nasty dust storm decides to blow every leaf from your neighbor’s tree into your pool. Take this time to check your water level and perform a backwash to remove any debris caught up in your sand filter.
#4 – Review Pool Safety Plan
Another important task is to review pool safety rules with your family. Furthermore, ensure your safety equipment is readily available and functional. For example, have a life preserver outside near the pool, and easily accessible. You certainly don’t want this life saving device jammed in the bottom of a toy box tangling up in volleyball net. Make it available and easy for anyone to find and use quickly. Next, set some guidelines for your children to abide by whenever in the pool or near the pool. A few useful rules for just the pool fence alone should be:
Close and latch the pool fence gate after each use. Never assume it closed on its own.
Don’t prop open the pool gate preventing it from closing on its own.
No climbing or hanging on the pool fence.
Report any fence or gate damage immediately to an adult.
In addition to those pool fence safety rules, there are plenty more common sense safety guidelines that everyone should adhere to. For instance, no running, no head-first diving, and no swimming without proper supervision.
#5 – Pool Toys Inspection
You’re doing something wrong if you don’t have any toys to enjoy while in your pool. Take this time to air up your rafts, volleyballs, and beach balls. Ensure your water guns are in working order, and stock up on more noodles if necessary. Make sure the straps on your goggles are functioning, and the kids arm floaties are ready for action.
With these 5 tasks taken care of, you can rest assured knowing your pool experience this summer will be an enjoyable one. Remember, this is just a preparation to-do list, you will want to stay on top of your maintenance all summer long to keep the pool clean and ready for your next backyard bash. Happy swimming and be safe!