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The Home Depot

How to Get Your Pool Ready After a Long Winter

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Pool and Hot Tub > How to Get Your Pool Ready After a Long Winter
How to Get Your Pool Ready After a Long Winter

Now that summer is here, it is time you got your pool in the yard ready for splashing about. But getting it ready is not just about uncovering it. You will need to clean the water, wash the various pool surfaces (yes, these collect dirt even when they are covered), re-assemble the pumps and filters, and make sure that they are sturdy enough to last the summer season. This may sound like an awful amount of work but the health of your family depends on the degree and quality of hygiene and safety you maintain in and around your pool.


The sun is shining gloriously once more and the snow that had buried your driveway has now melted. The trees in your backyard no longer look stark barren as little shoots of leaves peep through their boughs. The long wintry days are over and you are as ready to welcome spring as Mother Nature. You think how nice it would be to be able to head outdoors without shivering and so, look longingly at your pool. But it isn’t ready yet for you to jump in!


Thankfully, there is no reason for you to dismay yet. Although it has been a long winter and you shudder to think about the state of the pool under the deceptive cover, you can still get it ready in almost no time at all. Just follow the steps listed below and head back in to grab your swimsuit and sun tan lotion.

  1. 1.Remove the Leaves and Debris

    This is the obvious first step of readying your pool to welcome summer. Use a leaf rake to scrape the surface of the cover clean of dried and dead leaves, algae, and other debris. You can also tie your pool brush at the end of a long pole and use a bag-type leaf net to clean the top of the cover and collect the debris. Just remember to use these pieces of equipment carefully so that you do not upset the pool cover.

  2. 2.Remove the Top Cover

    Now that the cover of the pool is clean, it is time to remove it. It may not be realized by many homeowners but removing the top cover of the pool is a delicate task. There may be molten ice or snow on the cover which you will need to first pump out so that it does not run into the pool and dirty it. Use a small cover pump for the job; you call pull the edges of the cover to flatten and tighten it and make the snow and ice melt accumulate in one spot. You can also use a leaf blower under the cover to inflate it and make the melt gather in one easy-to-pump area. Now that the cover is clean, remove it by fan-folding it in into folds not more than five feet wide. Make sure that you thoroughly clean and dry it before stowing it away.

  3. 3.Check the Condition of the Water

    After lying unused for months on end, your pool might have gathered quite some amount of debris, leaves, and algae. Check the water and the water level. If the water appears cloudy, it means that there are still dirt and debris in the pool. Use a leaf rake- or bag-type skim net to skim the surface of the water and also scoop up the dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool. Look carefully to ascertain if there are silt deposits in the pool. Also look closely at the walls to see if algae and moss are clinging to these surfaces. You will need to vacuum the floors and walls to ensure that these dirt particles do not end up in the filtration system because they can clog it up. An effective way to vacuum your pool after days of not using it is to shove the dirt out through the backwash line.

  4. 4.Check the Filtration System

    Now that you have cleaned the water in the pool and the various pool surfaces, check the filtration system. You might need to change the sand or the cartridge (depending on the type of unit installed). Next put the filter valve in the filtering mode, adjust all the pipes, and start filtering. But before, make sure that the valves and the rings are adequately lubricated and are working without hitches.

  5. 5.Tighten the Pipes

    You had most likely de-assembled the pool pump and filtration unit at the start of winter. So, after you re-assemble the unit for the summer, make sure that all the pipes are tight and no screw is loose or sticking out. You can use a commercial thread sealant for the threaded plugs but make sure that you do not tighten too much.


    An effective way to checks for pump leaks is to fill the pump basket with water, close the lid tightly, and then check for seepages. And while you are tightening the pipes, also make it a point to check if the valves and pressure relief outlets are open.

  6. 6.Check the Chemical Balance of the Water

    You cannot yet jump into your pool. The water might look clean and inviting but you need to be sure about its chemical balance. You can either take a sample to be tested by a professional or invest in a test kit to do this easy task yourself.


    First check the alkalinity of the water. The ideal value should be anything between 80 and 120 parts per million (PPM). If it is less than this range, add calcium chloride to the water. A pound of this substance added to 10,000 gallons of water will raise the alkaline value by 5 PPM. Let the water sit for about eight hours before testing again. The pH level too will have increased when you added the calcium mixture. The pH level should be ideally between 7.4 and 7.6; anything more or less and you will have to add a pH decreaser (sodium bisulfate or muriatic acid) or a pH increaser (sodium carbonate or soda ash). Remember to add in installments so that you don’t overshoot the requirements.


    After you have corrected the alkaline and pH levels, add chlorine to the water. Make sure that you also check that the Cyanuric acid levels do not drop below the recommended amount.

The above-mentioned ways of readying your pool after long winter spell will ensure that you can enjoy months of frolicking in the warm waters safely and without needing to worry about the stability and integrity of the internal works that keep the pool water clean.

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