It’s summertime and the weather is hot for Your Home Pool! Every year around this time, pool owners all over the United States stand with their toes up against the edges of their decks and looking straight down into the watery abyss beneath the thin-plastic, opaque cover. They ponder to themselves if all this extra time and effort will be worth it.
The summers are getting hotter and your swimming area is probably seeing more action than ever. With more usage comes the reality of more maintenance to fight off the impending doom of algae growth, mosquitos, plant matter, incorrect pH levels, and more. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
The following isn’t comprehensive, but it is a good start to a complete checklist for your home to open and be a safe and healthy leisure activity you and the whole family will enjoy. Whether you’re a new owner or a seasoned professional, the ins-and-outs of the process can be annoyingly detail-heavy and intricate. When using chemicals it’s always best to be double sure what you’re doing.
Table of Contents
1. Chemical Treatment Kit for Your Home Pool
This is probably the most important part of the list, likely because it actually represents a group of things that are very similar, perform similar tasks, and are all equally as useful to the balance of the ecosystem.
However, they are all completely necessary for a variety of different reasons that can’t be forgotten. Pack your chemical cleaning agents together in order to keep them in one, easily accessible place that can travel to and from your pool with ease.
For starters, at the very least you will need:
- Pool shock
- Stain and scale preventative treatment
If you want, you can also purchase an oil-absorbent float that’s very useful in the summer. The most commonly used product would be the shock, so I definitely recommend getting at least triple the amount as the rest.
2. Water Testing Kit for Your Home Pool
Besides treating the water, the test kit is the second most important thing on the list and for good reason. Even the most agile owner may be treating it incorrectly, throwing levels off and potentially creating a toxic environment in which to swim. Buy test kits regularly as they expire and read all directions in the packaging.
Testing the chemicals in the water is just one way to stay safe around the swimming area. A good resource for pool safety: www.mayoclinic.org/swimming-safety, but your own personal rules can and should be posted around the area in case you have guests. Make sure it is clear and legible!
3. Chemicals for Balancing Levels in Water for Your Home Pool
There’s a really good chance, especially in above-ground pieces, that you will eventually need to help your water’s calcium hardness, alkalinity, and acidity levels. You should really test your water every day, but once a week is the absolute least amount we recommend. Conditioners are also an option, but not necessary additions to your maintenance package.
To learn more about the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly ways to both install and maintain your swimming pool click here. Otherwise, continue on with the checklist because once you’ve gotten the basic chemistry of your body of water down, you’re golden.
The accessories can be few to many. Some companies offer packages complete with all necessary items, but others have several brands of all items needed; ranging in price, style, and effectiveness. If you don’t want to replace equipment often then Watson’s pool equipment is a good source to check as there’s an abundance of items in anyone’s price range. Don’t skimp on what you need to keep everything running smoothly.
Look for any broken or moldy equipment you’ve been holding onto and replace it frequently. Don’t use flimsy or cheap equipment as they will also degrade the quality of the pool itself, rendering this whole process completely useless.
A few of the items you’re going to need, at least in the beginning:
- Vacuum hose, head, and other accessories
- Leaf rake and skimmer head
- Extension pole for accessories
- Wall and gutter brush
5. Water hose, and air pump
It may seem like an obvious thing to put on a checklist, but you wouldn’t believe the sheer amount of phone calls I received when I worked at the department store that sold the only pools in St. Louis in the summer of 1985 when that big heat wave hit. I had so many people confused when they got their pools home and there wasn’t any water in them!
Make sure a garden hose to actually fill the sucker up is the first thing you have this summer. Make sure it’s long enough, too!
If you have the type of pool that inflates then you’ll also need an air pump. Try to find something you can power by foot or hand so as to not tire yourself before its time to swim!