The unofficial start of Summer is coming and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the incoming season by prepping your pool for all of that summer splashing. Even if you’re not necessarily ready to peel your cover back just yet, there are a few things that you can do in preparation that will get you excited and ready for the holiday weekend, the warm weather, and all of the fun that comes with it!
Unpack, Inspect, and Clean Your Diving Board and Ladder
It’s time to wake your pool hardware from its long winters slumber, get it cleaned up and ready to be put to use. If you own a diving board cover and leave your board in place all winter, this process will be easy. These polyester covers are mildew and stain resistant, as well as water repellant, so just remove it, give the board a once over with a non-abrasive cleaner such as spray 9, and you’re done.
On the other hand, if you’ve dismounted your diving board and stored it away using a tarp, you may have to use a little more elbow grease to remove any mildew or dirt that it’s collected over the cold months. Be sure to give your board a good once over, keeping an eye out for any cracks or signs of wear or stress. If you’re looking for a homemade cleaning solution, we find that Hunker’s recipe of 2 parts hot water and 1 part vinegar mixed in a bucket is a great way to rid your hardware of winter gunk. Use a soft scrub brush (made for use on plastic) to work on the stains, liberally adding baking soda to the surface to power off the stubborn bits.
Check out Your Safety Equipment
Prepping your pool isn’t just about the pool itself, or the hardware that goes with it. Now is a great time to take stock of all of your safety equipment and check on their integrity. Odds are, your life jackets are made of nylon or fabric covered foam, and they can become less effective with wear and tear. Inspect your foam PFDs for torn fabric and areas of exposed/crushed/torn foam. That kind of damage will greatly reduce the buoyancy of your flotation devices and you’ll want to replace them before you open your pool. Also, be sure to check out all the straps and clips, making sure that the nylon and plastic are intact and in good working order. For great tips on life jacket safety and best practices, the Red Cross has put together an easy, quick read checklist for your reference. Safety first!
Look at Your Pump Seals
Though you may not be quite ready to fire it up for the summer, it’s not a bad idea to give your pump a once-over. Check the seals on the housing, keeping an eye out for any cracks or distress in the O-rings. If you do notice some wear and tear on the rubber rings, you can stop by our Amsterdam or Clifton Park pool store and pick up a replacement, along with some seal lubricant and you’ll be good as new.
Pro tip: Store your drain plugs, pressure gage, etc. in your pump housing over the winter to make it easier for them not to get misplaced.
Inspect Exterior Outlets
Start with a quick visual inspection of the outlets. Did they incur and damage over the off-season? Are they cracked or brittle? Do you see any exposed wires or anything that looks loose? If the answer is yes to any of these, we suggest making sure that the breaker for the area is turned off and calling an electrician in to repair/replace immediately. Upstate winters can be rough on outdoor wiring and receptacles, and it’s never a good idea plug anything in if you see even the slightest sign of damage. Consult Leviton’s step-by-step guide to ensuring that your exterior outlets are good to go for the summer.
You’ve cleaned, you’ve inspected, and now the only thing left to do is to open that pool!
Remember, if you need a hand prepping your pool for the season, our team of experts offer pump and filter repair, maintenance, and cleaning, as well as free computerized water analysis. We stock the best in water care products, parts, and pool accessories. Schedule your maintenance appointment on our website or call (518) 954-2229 for our Amsterdam store, or (518) 954-2211 for Clifton Park.