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How To Get Prepared For The Pool Season

It’s no secret that the swimming season in Canada is relatively short. A little preparation can go a long way towards ensuring that you get the most out of this short season. With that in mind, here are a few things that you can do this spring to get your pool prepared for the swimming season!

Open Your Pool

The first thing that you need to do in the spring is open your pool. To avoid green water that can derail the first few weeks of your swimming season, we recommend that you open the pool as soon as you can. This is because water (without chlorine in it) will start to grow algae once it reaches a temperature of around 60°F. By the time spring hits, the chlorine that you put in your pool before closing it is long gone. To prevent your pool from turning green you should open it as soon as the weather stays consistently warm.

While running your pool for a few extra weeks might seem like a waste of money, the reality is that the added cost of running your pool for those few weeks is usually less than treating a green pool caused by a late opening would be.

For more pool opening tips, see our guide to properly opening your pool.

Make Sure The Pool Is Clean

Once your pool is up and running you will want to give it a good clean. Simply put, a clean pool is much easier to maintain than a dirty pool. This is because organic materials like leaves and dirt use up the chlorine residual in the pool water and promote algae growth.

To properly clean your pool, you will first want to brush the entire surface of the pool. This loosens up anything that is stuck to the surface and make your vacuuming job easier and more effective. Once the entire surface of the pool has been brushed, you should then skim the surface to remove any floating debris and then vacuum the bottom of the pool.

If there is an oily buildup around the water line you should remove it using a specialized vinyl liner cleaner. Avoid regular household cleaners as they can cause foaming and water balance issues.

Check The Water Level

Maintaining the proper water level allows the filtration system to work at peak efficiency. Too low and the pump will begin sucking in air which will damage it over time. Too high and the pumps won’t be able to provide enough suction for the skimmer to trap leaves and other floating debris.

Check The Liner

Having to unexpectedly replace your pool liner can cost you weeks of your swimming season. For this reason, we recommend double checking your liner in the spring and fall to ensure that everything is alright. If you notice a minor rip or hole, be sure to patch it as soon as you can to prevent it from becoming worse.

Over time, vinyl liners will also become more brittle and susceptible to cracking and tearing. This usually starts at or above the water line. If you notice a bunch to tiny cracks starting to appear at or above the waterline it is likely time to consider getting a new liner.

Check Your Pool Equipment

Spring is also a great time to look over your pool equipment and make sure that everything is in good working order. Some things to look out for are:

  • Wet spots. Even a tiny drip can turn into a big issue over time. If you notice any leaks in your pump, heater or plumbing you should get them fixed as soon as you can.
  • Noise. If your pump is noticeably louder than it used to be, it may be time to replace it. This added noise is often due to corrosion caused from water leaking into the pump’s motor and usually indicates that the pump has reached the end of its lifespan.
  • Brushes. It’s also a good idea to look over your vacuum head brushes to make sure that there’s still some bristle left to them. Over time, the bristles used in manual pool vacuum heads will wear down. If the bristles become too short you run the risk of damaging your pool’s liner when you vacuum. Fortunately, replacement bristles are easy to find for most vacuum heads and are inexpensive to purchase.

Get Your Water Professionally Tested

Good water balance will not only help you maintain clear water, it also helps to extend the life of your pool liner and equipment as well as improving your bathing comfort. Professional water tests are not only more accurate than home test kits, they also test for more things. This allows you to maintain a much better water balanced than you otherwise could.

Restock Your Chemicals

The start of the swimming season is also a good time to take stock of what chemicals you have on hand, and what you will need for the coming season. There’s nothing worse than having to deal with a green pool caused by simply having run out of chlorine pucks or shock, or having to deal with red, itchy eyes because you didn’t have enough balancers to keep the pH and alkalinity in balance.

Get The Temperature Up

Once your pool is open, you’ll likely want to get it up to swimming temperature as soon as you can. This is easily done with a gas pool heater or electric heat pump. If you don’t have either of those, however, you’ll need to use your solar cover.

By leaving their solar covers on during the day, most pool owners are actually reducing their pool’s water temperature. This is because solar covers are designed to trap heat in and not to generate heat. By leaving the cover on during the day, you’re actually stopping the Sun’s energy from directly reaching the water. This reduces the amount of heat that the pool water can absorb.

To get the most out of your solar cover you should instead take it off on warm, sunny days to allow the heat from the sun to absorb into the water, then put the cover on overnight or on colder, cloudy days to keep as much of that trapped heat in the water as possible.

Wrapping Up

Given how short the pool season is in Canada, you’ll need to be prepared to get the most out of it. Following this checklist will give you the tools you need to enjoy a long, stress free swimming season!


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