The official start of springs may still be a few weeks away, but here in Atlanta the weather is already starting to warm up. Before you know it, it will be swimming pool season. Make sure that your pool is ready to go by doing a seasonal check up of your pool. Inspecting your pool now and performing seasonal pool maintenance will save you from trouble down the line. It will also mean that you are ready to dive in as soon as warm weather strikes!
Performing a Seasonal Check Up
It may only be March, but those occasional warm days that are coming more and more often. If you haven’t been in your pool in a while, you may be thinking about it very soon. But before you dive in, it’s good to do an all around check to make sure that your pool is ready to go for swimming season.
By following a checklist of pool maintenance items, you can be sure not to miss a thing. The professionals at The Pool Butler want to make sure you get it right, so here are some of our suggestions for a full seasonal check up.
The last thing you need is a sticky o-ring that refuses to budge. Make sure that the o-ring on your pump lid is well lubricated. If you have a DE filter, make sure that the o-ring is cleaned and lubed at least once annually. Backwash and combination valves should also be lubricated. Teflon lubrication is best, with silicone lubrication a close second. Avoid petroleum based lubricants like Vaseline, as those can damage rubber o-rings.
Check to make sure that your pump basket is not cracked or damaged. A damaged pump basket can let debris through, clogging your impeller. This can result in reduced flow that would make the filter less effective and cause water clarity issues.
Filter Pressure Gauge
Pressure gauges are cheap and tend to last only 3-5 years. Eventually most gauges get stuck at one spot on the dial, won’t go above zero, or simply don’t provide an accurate reading. It’s a good idea to keep an extra new pump gauge around to test and make sure that the reading on the old one is correct. If you aren’t getting an accurate pressure reading, you could wind up damaging your pump, which is much more expensive to replace than a $10 pressure gauge.
If you have a DE filter, it is a good idea to open up the filter and completely hose off the DE from the filter about mid-season. This is in addition to backwashing, since backwashing only remove about 70% of the DE. Make sure to add DE back to the filter through the pool skimmer right away, to avoid serious damage to the filter.
Ladders, Rails, and Diving Boards
Inspect these items to be sure that they are free of cracks or damage and are well anchored into the pool deck. Loose bolts or anchoring could cause serious injury. Check the diving board for any cracks or signs of wear. If you can’t tighten any of these items, you may need to get new anchors. Don’t skimp on this. A damaged ladder, rail, or diving board could lead to serious injury if it breaks while in use.
Make sure that your equipment area is clean and not overgrown. If there is mulch, dead leaves, or bushes covering your equipment, it could lead to overheating. If the area is trapping moisture, you could get rust damage. Keep vegetation away from your equipment area to prolong the life of your equipment.
Check to make sure that there are no cracks or splits in your electrical lines. These could cause serious injury or even fires. If there is a problem, a DIY application of electrical tape is not the appropriate fix. Bring in a licensed electrician to make sure the repairs are done right.
If a pool skimmer is cracked or damage, it could let in debris and clog your filter. Check for cracks and repair any small cracks with silicone putty. If there is larger damage, you may need to replace the skimmer basket or housing. Don’t skimp on this, because fixing a damaged pool skimmer is still better than repairing or replacing a clogged pool filter.
As the name suggests, a safety cover is important to ensure the safety of adults and children who will be around your pool when it is not in use. Make sure that the cover is anchored securely and all loops or connection are in good repair. If a safety cover is broken it’s not doing its job of keeping people safe.
Old drains covers were flat and they were capable of producing a lot of suction. If the drain was covered by a swimmer’s hair or other body part, the resulting vacuum could be so strong that it traps a swimmer underwater, leading to drowning. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBA) was enacted after Virginia Graeme Baker died in just such an accident in 2002. It mandates that all public pools use newer drains that do not create a vacuum when blocked. It is best practice to ensure that your private pool has the same sort of drain covers. You should also inspect all drains to make sure that they are securely attached and will not loosen during the season.
Fences and Gates
The most important safety feature of any swimming pool is a safety fend to separate of the pool area. This prevents young children from accidentally entering the pool area unsupervised. Make sure that fences are secure and gates function properly, preventing accidental entry. Many states require fences for private pools.
Pool timers can be inspected visually. Shine a flashlight into the Visual Motor Check area to check for damage or pest infestation. You can use spray insecticide if there is a pest infestation, or if the infestation seems bad enough you can call an exterminator. Make sure that wires are covered and the timer box is securely shut to avoid injury and damage.
If your pool has a heater, it is important to make sure that it is functioning properly. If you haven’t used the heater in a while, various pests or rodents can settle in the heater housing, so be sure to check for that. Also make sure that there are no leaves or debris in the burner area that could cause a fire.
If you pool has an auto fill, check the float to make sure it works properly. If a float is damaged or not shutting off at the right level, you run the risk of overflowing your pool.
Weekly, Bi-Weekly, and Seasonal Maintenance
If you want to make sure that your pool is well maintained all year round and all season long, contact The Pool Butler. With our famous white glove service we will make sure that your pool is properly maintained and always in great condition. You can see our full list of services here. While your here, be sure to check out our testimonials page to see what satisfied customers are saying about The Pool Butler. We are TrustDALE certified and we have been rated The Best of Kudzu for three years straight. So you know that when you work with The Pool Butler you are getting the very best service.