We’ve covered preparing your pool for summer numerous times already here at Mr Pool Man but we decided to create a central blog containing every single aspect of opening up your pool for summer so you don’t have to search through every single one of our posts in order to learn how to get your pool ready for summer
Pool Equipment and Summer Chemical Checklist
Even before we pull off the pool covers (if you have them) the first thing we should do is to check that we have everything we need in order to open our pool for summer.
Pool Cleaning Equipment
If you’ve totally closed off your pool during the season, which just means no swimming or active pool maintenance done, the first thing you should check is the viability of your pool equipment.
- Check the bristles of your pool brushes - If your brush has metal bristles then check if they have corroded or rusted over. This isn’t really a common occurrence if you have professional quality equipment like the Water TechniX Algae Brush, but it wouldn’t hurt to check. If you have nylon bristles then this is the best time to see if they’ve become brittle over the break or if their condition is still fit to last you for the upcoming season.
- Check the clips of your telepoles - I don’t know what’s the logical explanation of this, but for some reason, telepole locking clips somehow get lost or somehow break on their own when they’re not being used. I think there are some pool gnomes out there randomly damaging telepole clips over the off-season, and if you find that your clips are missing or damaged, replace them before opening up your pool for summer.
- Check your pool hoses - Check your pool hoses for any holes, cracks, and other damage that they might have sustained during the off-season and replace any that you find damaged before opening up your pool for the summer.
Automatic Pool Cleaning Equipment
If you have pressure or suction pool cleaners, then give them a quick once over as well, and the best way to do this is to give your cleaners a tune-up or an overhaul no matter what condition they’re in. Why? The reason for this is giving your automatic pool cleaning equipment an overhaul or a tune-up before the summer season starts is to ensure that they’re in top condition for the entire season and to avoid any breakdowns in the middle of the season.
For more information check out this in-depth post here on preparing your automatic pool cleaners for summer (don’t worry, this will open in a new window).
Summer Pool Chemicals
Aside from the normal chemicals that you use for regular pool maintenance, there are a couple of pool chemicals that are key for preparing your pool for summer.
- Zodiac Phosphate Remover - Since the pool has been sitting idle for some time, we’re willing to bet that a good amount of phosphates have accumulated in the pool. Not only do phosphates affect the efficiency of your pool sanitisers and chemicals, but they’re also algae food. The more food algae have, the faster they can bloom and cause you a headache during the summer.
- Algaecide - Phosphate remover can only go so far by starving out algae. The next step would be to actually actively kill existing algae and spores. Algaecide can go a long way in preventing green pool water so when preparing your pool for summer, don’t forget the Algaecide!
- Stabilised Pool Chlorine - Since it’s summer, we can expect the blazing sun to do a number on our pool chlorine. Stabilised pool chlorine has cyanuric acid added to it to protect it from the sun’s UV rays. Note: Check your cyanuric acid levels before using stabilised pool chlorine. If your cyanuric acid levels are up to their recommended levels then just use some regular chlorine as not to create a problem called a chlorine lock. Click here for more information on chlorine locks and how to break it.
- Alkalinity Adjusting Chemicals - Over the course of the break, your pool’s pH levels would have changed so make sure that you have a good stock of Alkalinity up and pH down tablets. Another useful thing with pH down tablets is that they can be used for spot stain removal (we can expect some staining over the break from algae so this serves a dual purpose).
- Calcium up - Another common thing that we see after a long break is low calcium levels in pool water so make sure that you have a good supply of calcium up to ensure that your pool water won’t end up eating your pool surfaces.
Don’t worry about getting all of these pool chemicals one by one, Mr Pool Man has put together a Summer Chemical bundle which contains everything that you need for preparing your pool for summer. And as an added bonus, the bundle is discounted! For more information, you can check out our getting your pool chemicals ready for summer post here (don’t worry, it’ll open in a new window and you won’t lose this page).
Pool Pre-Opening Tasks
If you have a pool cover then this step is really important. Don’t just roll it off since that would dump all of the accumulated dirt and debris back onto the pool. Carefully brush the surface with a nylon-bristle pool brush and bring the leaves and other debris to one side and remove them from the cover carefully. If your pool cover is a snug fit and you have a pool of water on the top of your pool cover then you can use a venturi pump to remove the water before rolling off the pool cover.
Once the pool cover is relatively clean of debris and stagnant water, you can start to roll it off the pool. When the pool cover is off the pool, give it a good hose down and a scrub to remove any dirt, debris, or algae that might have started to take root on the surface of the pool cover over the months.
Pro Tip: If you have a pool roller, you can hose it down and scrub it slowly while retracting the cover from the pool so that you can save time and effort when cleaning your pool cover.
Check your filters and pump
Time to wake your filters and pool pump for the season! Open up your filter covers and pump covers and check your o-rings and give them a generous coating of Aussie gold lubricant to ensure that they create a good seal. Don’t forget to empty out all of your skimmer baskets and pump baskets. A note on skimmer baskets: Don’t be surprised to find a couple of bugs (or even tiny frogs!) if your pool has been dormant for some time. These are very enticing places for them to make a home in, especially if they’re filled with leaves and other debris!
If you have a cartridge filter, give them a good hose down, or better yet, soak them in some zodiac filter cleaner overnight and rinse it off. The reason for this is that the long period of dormancy will allow algae growth and gunk inside of your cartridge making it a little bit hard to hose it off. For sand filters, it’s also a good idea to soak the sand inside of the filter with some zodiac filter cleaner well because there might also be some gunk buildup inside of your sand filter.
Once your filters have been given the once over and everything looks to be in order then it’s now time to shift our attention to our pool pumps. Once the pump baskets are clear, then turn on your pool pump then give it a good listening to. Hopefully, you still remember what your pool pump sounds like! If you notice that your pump is making abnormal sounds, then shut it off and give it a good once over. The long dormancy might have led to the pump bearing and mechanical seals to dry and lock up. If this is the case, then you can refer to our guides on how to replace your pool pump’s mechanical seal here and how to replace your pool pump’s bearings here.
Pool pump suddenly died over the break? Browse our range of standard and ECO pool pumps here.
Scrub and Clean the Pool
Before doing anything else with your pool chemicals, the first thing you have to do when preparing to open your pool for summer is to take out all of the visible dirt and debris from your pool. If you have a pool cover then there shouldn’t be much of a debris problem in your pool and you can get away with just a leaf skimmer and a pool brush for this task. But if you don’t have a pool cover then you might need a leaf rake or a leaf shovel to deal with the accumulated debris in your pool.
After scooping out all of the visible debris in your pool, take a pool brush and scrub your pool surfaces thoroughly to ensure that anything stuck to them is removed and your surfaces are squeaky clean. Once this is done, then give manually vacuum your pool to waste. Don’t worry too much about losing pool chemicals and pool water at this point as we’re still going to balance that down the line.
The break cause you to forget how to manually vacuum your pool? Here’s a quick refresher on how to vacuum your pool manually.
Refill your Pool
Once the above steps have been done, your pool water should have dropped significantly so the next step to prepare your pool for summer is to refill it up to its optimal levels. This level is usually about halfway through the level of your skimmer box. Once that’s there, you should also consider adding an automatic water leveling device to your pool. It’s fairly cheap and it takes away the time spent and the stress of worrying about your pool’s water levels, especially during hot Australian summers where the sun literally just sucks up your pool water like nothing!
Balance your pool chemicals
Finally, everyone’s favorite part in pool maintenance, balancing your pool chemical levels! Well, there’s nothing much for this section really because balancing your pool chemical levels to prepare your pool for summer is the same as balancing it for the rest of the year. For more information on pool chemicals, don’t forget to check out Mr Pool Man’s Ultimate Guide to Pool Chemicals here.
We also have an ultra-specific pool water balancing guide for summer, so be sure to check it out!
Double Shock your Pool
This is one of the most important steps in opening your pool for summer, double shocking your pool. The extended dormancy time of your pool will cause an extended build up of baddies in your pool as well. So take your normal volume of pool shock and double it! Need help in learning how to shock your pool? Don’t worry, Mr Pool Man has prepared an excellent guide on how to shock your pool here.
Run your pump for 24 hours
After double shocking your pool, now comes the hard part! Waiting for the chlorine levels to go down so that it will be safe for swimming. Run your pump for the next 24 hours to fully circulate all of your pool water and to filter out all of the particles and debris that your earlier cleaning regimen may have missed.
Other things to do to get your pool ready for summer
While waiting for the pool shock to go down, here are some things that you can do to help you pass the time.
- Check and clean ladders and other pool accessories - If you have removable pool ladders, water features, and diving boards, now is a great time to take them down (or reattach them) and get rid of any gunk and corrosion build up during the break. Brush off any rust or dirt and re-lubricate them before reinstalling them.
- Hose down your pool surroundings - Always a good idea to hose down your pool’s surroundings for the sake of cleanliness. Not will your pool’s surrounding look better, but this will minimize dirt from entering your pool with the rains that come with summer!
- Poolside Repairs - Again, while waiting, check your pool surroundings for any minor repairs that can be done. Small cracks, loose tiles, and other “minor” inconveniences that may cause accidents should be fixed before fulling opening your pool for the summer.
Final Steps to Prepare your pool for summer
Now that you’ve done everything you can to prepare your pool for the summer, it’s time to prepare for next winter! Just kidding. But in all seriousness, anything that you won’t be using during the summer should be stored properly and away from sunlight to ensure that they’re in top condition when winter rolls in (don’t put it off! It comes much faster than you may imagine!).
Do you have any questions about this topic or the featured products? No worries, we're here to help! Drop us a question down below and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Happy swimming :)