Take the Plunge to Disaster-free Swimming Pool Prep

Take the Plunge to Disaster-free Swimming Pool Prep

Step away from that plug! While your first inclination this spring might be to empty all that disgusting, slimy green water from your pool and start fresh – don’t! Unless there’s structural work that must be done with the pool empty, experts say draining your pool can cause huge problems. Draining vinyl lined pools can damage the liner, or even cause walls to collapse. Empty fiberglass or concrete pools can also have walls collapse, or, if the groundwater is high, the pool can actually be pushed up and out of the ground. You don’t want that kind of above ground pool!

While it’s always best to have your pool prep done by a pro, staff at a good swimming pool supply store are always happy to help guide DIYers. So, what are the steps to achieving the pure, sparkling clean water you and your family crave?

Before you remove the cover: 

  • Attempting to remove the cover before you clean it can cause all kinds of nasty things to drop into the pool water, making your job much harder. First remove water from the top of the pool cover. If there isn’t a lot of water, your wet/dry Shop-Vac® with blower feature is the perfect tool for this task. Suction up the water, then use the blower feature to remove debris from the cover and surrounding area. If your pool cover tends to hold a large amount of water, a 12 or 16 gallon vac from our Shop-Vac® pump series might be a better bet. These powerful vacs easily move large amounts of water (and they’re indispensable for a flooded basement!) Use a mesh net to remove any debris you can’t reach.
  • Clean out filtration baskets and remove any plugs used to prevent water freezing.

  • Remove cover.

  • Use net and pool vacuum to remove debris from pool water. 

Inspection time:

  • If pool equipment was stored outside, check for rust or cracks.
  • Repair any cracks in the pool deck, expansion joints, or caulking.

Make sure the filtration system is good to go:

  • Add water to pool if level is low.
  • Whether your filter is cartridge, D.E. (diatomaceous earth), or sand it needs to be cleaned regularly. Check with the pros as to how often your specific filter needs cleaning. After the filter has been cleaned, reassemble it and reattach hoses.
  • Start pool filter and check pressure. If the pressure isn’t where specs say it should be, there may be air in the tank. If your filter has a bleeder valve, open it while the pump is running to remove air from the tank.
  • Backwash D.E. and sand filters.

Pool water so clear you’ll want to drink it – but don’t!

  • Run the filter and let water circulate for at least 8 hours, then take a water sample to your trusty pool supply store. They’ll test the alkalinity, pH, and chlorine level, and tell you how to achieve the perfect balance.
  • Very dirty pool water may need to be shocked over a period of days. You may also need to run the filter around the clock and backwash several times a day. Eventually, even the grungiest looking water will clear up!
  • Use DIY testing strips to monitor chemical levels regularly.