Texas Living

Summer Pool-Prep Basics

By Brian Kendall 4.24.17

The temperature’s rising, and so is every Texan’s urge to kick their feet up on a pool raft while basking under the sun of the Lone Star State. Sound about right? Well, before you put on your bathing suit and grab your towel, be sure to follow our guide to pool-prep basics for a safe and enjoyable first dip of the summer. 

Clean It

First thing’s first; make sure your pool is empty of any debris and sediments that decided to call your swimming hole home over the winter. These contaminants, such as parasites and bacteria, can be harmful to your health. If your pool water is murky or green, or if any bubbles or foam have settled along the pool’s edges, consult a pool professional for the best practices to return your pool to normal. 

Balance Your Pool’s Chemicals

Improperly balanced chemicals can cause skin and eye irritation, inflammation, and even damage to your teeth. To properly balance your swimming pool’s chemicals for the summer, the first thing you’ll want to do is test the chemical balance of your pool water. Use a test kit to see if pH, total alkalinity, and chlorine levels are safe for swimming. Ideal chemical levels should be as follows:

  • pH levels between 7.2 to 7.4
  • Total alkalinity from 80 to 120
  • Chlorine from 1 ppm to 3 ppm

You can also take a sample of your water to your local pool store for a more complete and accurate check of all your pool’s chemicals.

Depending on whether your pool’s pH levels, total alkalinity, chlorine, and calcium hardness are too high or low, there are chemicals you will want to add to your pool’s water. This website will help you find the right product you need depending on your pool’s current chemistry. 

Make Sure Drain Covers Are Installed and Not Cracked

Next to water balance, the second most important part of your summer pool-prep inspection should be the drain covers. Cracked, missing, or improperly secured drain covers can cause children to potentially get entrapped in the drain’s vacuum effect — a pretty major drowning concern.

If your pool or spa drain cover is missing, broken, or old, make sure to immediately replace it with one that is compliant with the ASME/ANSI test standard. It is also recommended that pool owners never run the pump at higher speeds than the recommended maximum, and ensure the emergency shut-off switch is clearly marked by a visible sign.

Check for Cracked or Loose Bricks and Tile 

Finally, do a quick visual inspection around the pool, including steps and pool decks, to check for cracked or loose bricks and tile that may damage swimmers’ feet or cause a trip and fall. 

Enjoy

With crystal-clear water balanced and ready for safe swimming and all safety concerns addressed — it’s now time to kick up your heels and enjoy a Saturday afternoon in the pool. 

Looking for a weekend escape this summer? Head to one of these spring-fed pools across the Lone Star State. 

© 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance