Solar swimming pool covers are an inexpensive addition to your in or above ground pool that can make a large impact. Using a solar cover will warm your pool up to 15 degrees when used during the day and retain that heat (and stop chemical evaporation) when used at night. They float freely on the water’s surface with no tie downs, etc so they are easy to put on and take off. If you do need extra assistance to get the blanket on or off, solar cover reels are available. Swim earlier, swim longer, and swim more comfortably with a solar cover.
Now that 2011 is coming to a close, have you started thinking about what your New Year’s resolutions will be? If you own a backyard swimming pool, will any of those resolutions include a plan to open up your pool sooner in 2012 rather than waiting until the swimming season has long begun?
Part of what makes this kind of resolution successful is to start planning early for opening the pool. Take the time now to check your existing stock of pool chemicals, and keep an eye out for off-season sales so you can nab these necessities at the best prices.
Take a look, too, at your pool equipment to evaluate whether it may be time to replace or upgrade items like the pool pump, pool heater, or pool covers. Test your pool alarm while you’re at it to be sure that it is still in good working order.
New Year’s resolutions like these can be accomplished easily and with little stress involved, especially if you enlist the help of family members. Make a short list of tasks you’d like to accomplish in order to get your pool opened in a timely fashion, and stick to it. Before you know it, the warm weather will return, and you’ll be ready to relax by the poolside instead of scrambling to complete pool-opening tasks.
Looking for an easy way to fill your swimming pool this season and support your local firefighters at the same time? Creative thinkers in Jackson, New Jersey, developed a unique fundraising idea that would allow homeowners to fill their backyard pools quickly with clean water by paying the local fire department a small fee to do the job.
For only $200, fire fighters from the Cassville Volunteer Fire Company drive their tanker truck filled with clean water to local residents’ homes. The $200 buys 7,000 gallons of water, so filling a newly installed pool would cost more, but it’s a win/win situation. Backyard swimming pools can be filled much more quickly this way, and the fire department raises funds which can be used for necessities like training and equipment.
Community fire departments across the country could certainly benefit from a similar partnership with pool-owning citizens. The Cassville Volunteer Fire Company and the residents of Jackson, New Jersey, have proven that creative fundraising can work in everyone’s favor.
* Photo source: http://www.cassvillefire.org/pool.html
Now is the time to spruce up your pool before summer fun begins. If your concrete, plaster, gunite, or fiberglass pool has chipping or peeling paint, you might want to consider repainting it. Pool paint is more affordable and easier to use than ever before. Most pool paints last up to 8 years and can be applied without the help of a pool professional, saving you lots of money. If you have a liner pool, check your liner for fading and discoloration. Due to long exposure to chemicals and sunlight, vinyl liners can eventually become weakened and worn. Spring is a perfect time to consider replacement. Even if your pool surfaces are intact, they will certainly need to be cleaned to prepare for summer swimming. Check your pool maintenance equipment, including leaf skimmers, wall brushes, and vacuums, for any deterioration that could have occurred during the fall and winter months. These items are usually on sale at the beginning of pool seasons so now is the perfect time to replace any worn or outdated equipment. With some needed spring maintenance on your pool, you will ensure beautiful pool surfaces for years to come.
It’s that time again, pool owners! Time to open your pool for the season and get ready for swimming. I always look forward to this time of year. To make opening your pool easier, I have compiled this list of steps that you will need to follow to ensure that you are swimming in no time!
- Remove your winter cover, dry, and store away for next season.
- Remove all expansion pillows, plugs from the skimmer and wall returns, etc.
- Next, you will want to check your filter and pump to make sure that they have not sustained any damage during the winter months. Replace any damaged or worn out parts, including replacing pool filter cartridges. If your filter needs to be cleaned, but not replaced, consider using a filter flosser, which sends high pressure streams of water into your filter in order to blast out dirt.
- Check lighting fixtures inside the pool for cracks and loose wiring. Replace any damaged parts.
- Check the surface of your pool. If you have a fiberglass or concrete pool finish, you will want to check for cracks, scratches, and coping issues. Contact a pool repair professional for any problems. If you have a vinyl liner pool, you will want to check for tears, leaks, or discoloration. If you notice any tears or excessive bubbling and fading, you will want to consider purchasing a replacement vinyl liner.
- Next, reinstall any rails, ladders, slides, etc. that were removed during the winter months.
- Add water to fill the pool until the desired level is reached.
- Clean all leaves, twigs, and debris from the pool. You can use a manual brush and leaf rake or an automatic pool cleaner. Make sure that your floor, walls, and surface are clear or dirt and debris.
- Now, turn your pool on and run the filter for 12-24 hours to mix any old water with new water added to the pool.
- Test the water, “shock” the pool with high levels of chlorine, and adjust the alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels as needed using specialized pool chemicals. Add stain and rust remover, super shimmer, and algaecide as needed. You can even purchase a start-up chemical kit that has everything you need to get started in premeasured doses! Remember to wait 24 hours (and test again) before swimming!