- Freezing weather—Although we didn’t have snow/ice, we had two extreme weather events this winter: the approximately 75 straight hours of below freezing temperatures from December 31st-January 3rd; and the low of 3 degrees on January 17th. Both of these extremes are fairly rare in the DFW area.
- Record rainfall—Although winter had been very dry thru January, that all changed in February. We had the wettest February on record, with 31 inches of rain (measured at DFW airport).
With the last average freeze being March 13th, more than likely we have seen our last freeze and the weather seems to get a bit warmer every day.
What does this mean to pool owners? It means that now is the time to begin preparing your swimming pool for the summer. Algae grows best between pH levels of 7 and 9 and algae growth really begins to increase at water temperatures of 60 degrees. With pool water pH levels being in that pH range, and with pool water temperatures in the Denton area approximately 70 degrees, it is important to get started now.
Following are some tips to be sure that you get started off on the right foot:
- Begin the season by testing your water. You can do this yourself or have a pool professional perform the water analysis. Many problems that happen when your pool water warms up can be prevented now with the proper water analysis and proper chemical treatment.
- Start the season with a clean filter. It is recommended that you use a filter cleaner/degreaser in order to ensure peak filtration. The filter should be thoroughly cleaned now as you are opening your pool, and then during regular 6-month intervals or more if needed.
- Remember that much like an automobile, maintenance is much less expensive than costly repairs due to lack of maintenance. Due to the extreme cold weather that we had, some pools experienced freeze damage. If you notice a leak, missing tiles, or other problems, have them addressed before they cause more problems.
- Commit to a regular weekly pool maintenance program that includes water testing, cleaning skimmer & pump baskets, brushing the pool and the tile, backwashing the filter as needed, adding chemicals as necessary, and rinsing off the coping and the deck. If you need more education in the area of pool care, don’t hesitate to ask your pool professional.
- Perform a safety inspection on your pool.
Safety equipment—Do you have a safety buoy and/or life hook?
Fencing—Are your fences and gates in good working order and up to code?
Deck equipment—Have you visually inspected and tightened bolts on the pool equipment—such as ladders & diving boards?
- Have you had an electrician check to be sure that your pool is safe?
- Are bond wires connected?
- Are the ground fault interrupters functioning properly?
- CPR—Do you know CPR, or is it time to take a class?
Above all, remember that pools should be a source of fun and relaxation, and they can be if get an early start and then follow the basics of pool care.
Enjoy this great spring weather!