Here in Atlanta, rain and thunderstorms are both common occurrences. While rain is typically not something to fret over, for pool owners, any heavy rain can affect swimming pool maintenance. It is important to plan for rain and to treat your pool after a heavy rain or storm.
While your pool always needs regular pool maintenance—which is something we offer here at The Pool Butler—heavy rain requires special handling. The humid, precipitation-heavy summers and cold, blustery winter storms can both affect your pool maintenance task list.
Rain And Your Swimming Pool
Environmentalists talk about acid rain. You may imagine a noxious downpour of concentrated acid, burning everything it touches. But acid rain is actually only slightly acidic, and is common almost everywhere. Rainwater, affected by pollution, has a slightly lower pH than plain, neutral water. When acidic rainwater falls from the sky and into your swimming pool, it changes the water’s chemistry. Enough rain can lower entire your pool’s pH.
Lowered pH can diminish the effectiveness of your pool’s chlorine. When your chlorine isn’t at full effectiveness, germs and algae can thrive. Low pH water can also lead to severe skin and eye irritation for you and your family members. Luckily, there are a few simple precautions you can take to prevent this from happening.
Why You Shouldn’t Drain Your Pool Before A Storm
You may have received advice in the past to drain your pool at the first signs of an oncoming storm. At first, it seems to make sense. In a heavy downpour, all that added water could cause your pool to overly. However, this is bad advice. Draining your pool too much can be dangerous and damage your swimming pool.
If it was designed and installed properly, your pool should have overflows that can accommodate any excess water, including rain. If the forecast calls for heavy precipitation in a short period and you’re concerned about overflowing or flooding, proceed slowly. You could reduce your water level an inch or two, as you would when you winterize, but not any more without consulting a pool specialist.
You should never decrease water more than 2-3 inches. Instead of saving your pool, draining your pool too much could cause your swimming pool to pop right out of the ground during a severe thunderstorm. As rain falls and the ground saturates, groundwater levels rise, putting upward pressure on the bottom of your pool. If your pool isn’t weighed down with enough water, the upward pressure can exceed the downward pressure. The water pressure can push your pool up out of the ground, causing cracks and other damage.
Why You Should Switch Off All Gas And Electrical Lines Connected To Your Pool
It’s always a smart idea to turn off the circuit breaker that is connected to your swimming pool before a storm. Rain water and electricity do NOT mix. The electrical units attached to your pool, such as the pump or an electric heater, should be protected against water when they are intact. But heavy rain and wind can force water into tiny cracks in your equipment, risking severe damage.
Before a particularly violent storm, make sure to turn off any gas lines to your pool’s equipment. In a storm, violent winds or falling debris can damage gas lines. If you fail to switch off a gas line before a storm hits, you could cause a gas leak. Leaking gas is dangerous and usually requires professional intervention.
Why You Shouldn’t Use A Pool Cover
Rain can affect swimming pool maintenance for your pool cover, too. In theory, using a pool cover to protect your swimming pool from oncoming debris and foliage during a storm may seem like a good idea. However, in a strong storm, the winds from the storm can actually rip your cover off the pool, causing tears and damage. This is particularly true for thin solar covers.
More sturdy covers, such as winterizing covers or safety covers, can stand up to a storm better. Permeable safety covers allow rainwater to enter your pool and flow out through the built-in overflow mechanisms. But a solid cover can collect rainwater, weighing it down and causing damage. Any pool that uses a solid safety or winterizing cover must also have a pump to remove water from the cover after it rains.
Rain Can Affect Swimming Pool Maintenance After the Storm
It may be tantalizing to immediately turn your pool equipment back on after a storm ends and crank of the filter. But you should avoid doing so, as it can actually damage your pool equipment.
Instead, turn to your skimmer first. Manually remove any debris that may have entered your pool during the storm. Skim out as much as possible, as this will protect your pump and filter. Your pool filter is built for small particles, not large leaves, rocks, and other damage-causing debris.
You can always contact The Pool Butler for extra professional swimming pool care before or following a nasty storm. Our expert technicians will ensure your pool is looking and functioning its best throughout the season!