9 Hacks for Preparing Your Pool for Heavy Pool Use
Preparing Your Pool for Heavy Pool Use (e.g., Holiday or Pool Party)
When you anticipate heavy pool use, whether it's the summer season or a pool party, it's essential to prepare your pool to handle the increased demand and maintain a clean and enjoyable swimming environment. Here are 8 quick hacks to help you get ready: For those of you with really big parties planned with over 15 kids in and out of the pool all day long. I have a bonus hack #9.
1. Shock Treatment: A few days before the anticipated heavy pool use, administer a shock treatment to boost chlorine levels and eliminate any potential contaminants. Choose a quality shock product and follow the instructions for dosage based on your pool size. Liquid chlorine is your first line of basic shock. Another popular shock is the powder shock that comes in the one pound bags. This is a good choice also because it not only has chlorine but often adds some clarifier giving your pool that extra little shine. Shocking the pool will help sanitize the water, control algae growth, and ensure optimal water quality.
2. Filter Maintenance: Clean or backwash your pool filter to ensure it's operating at its best capacity. A clean filter enhances water circulation and filtration, keeping the pool clear and ready for heavy use. If needed, consider replacing the filter media or consulting a professional to ensure maximum filtration efficiency.
3. Skimming and Vacuuming: Step up your skimming and vacuuming routine a day or two before the heavy pool use period. Yes, for those of us in CA who run our pool equipment at a minimum, because electricity is so expensive, that means turning up your run time for the pump and filter for a couple of days before and after the party (just my rant). Remove any leaves, debris, or floating particles from the pool surface using a skimmer net. Follow up with thorough vacuuming to eliminate any settled debris on the pool floor or in hard-to-reach corners. This will ensure a clean and inviting swimming environment.
4. Water Chemistry Balance: Test the water chemistry and ensure it's properly balanced. Adjust the pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and other parameters as necessary to fall within the recommended ranges. Balanced water chemistry provides a comfortable and safe swimming experience while helping to prevent algae growth and maintain clear water. Remember, run your chlorine levels a little high before and after the party so you don’t run into any problems or algae growth after the party. We all know someone with a swimming pool that doesn’t ever have pool parties, that’s because they had to clean up a green pool for two weeks after a party. Don’t be that person. Do your parties right and do them often.
5. Extra Poolside Supplies: Stock up on essential poolside supplies to accommodate heavy pool use. Ensure you have an ample supply of clean towels, sunscreen, pool toys, and floats. Having these items readily available will enhance the enjoyment of pool users and minimize the need for frequent trips inside the house. To the host or hostess, we love you and don’t want to see you spending your time running in and out of the house trying to keep everyone happy so stock up.
6. Pool Party Safety: If you're hosting a pool party, prioritize safety measures. Place non-slip mats or rugs near the pool area to prevent slips and falls. Clearly mark the pool depth with appropriate signage or decals. Keep a first aid kit nearby and designate a responsible adult as a designated "water watcher" to supervise the pool at all times. Please, don’t just designate a “water watcher” make sure they know and agree that they will be the “water watcher” for a designated period. You know your friends and family, don’t designate drunk Uncle Bob to do anything but stock the drinks.
7. Adequate Seating and Shade: Create a comfortable poolside atmosphere by providing ample seating and shade options. Arrange lounge chairs, umbrellas, or canopy structures to offer relief from the sun and ensure everyone has a place to relax and socialize when not in the water. Don’t forget to put a “Bathroom” sign on the bathroom door, this will increase trips out of the pool. You can also have a little fun and add that ever popular yard sign outside that reads, “I don’t swim in your toilet, please don’t pee in my pool.” Reminders never hurt.
8. Regular Maintenance Checks: Conduct regular maintenance checks leading up to heavy pool use. Inspect pool equipment such as pumps, filters, and heaters to ensure they're functioning properly. I’ve had several customers over the years call me up after a big party mad because their heater didn’t work. Their thought must have been that I should check every heater every time I clean a pool on the occasion that someone might have a party. Checking the heater means letting a spa for example heat up to its proper temperature to assure that the thermostat is also working. Address any minor repairs or issues beforehand to prevent interruptions during the period of heavy pool use.
9. Water Chemistry Balance during the day: By now you're all thinking, what about those big all-day parties like the 4th of July and you don’t see anyone getting out to use the bathroom, can I use anything in the pool while people are in it? I’m happy to say Yes! Yes, you can. First, you want your pool circulation pump running the whole time the people are in the pool, if you have an automatic pool vacuum don’t forget to take it out before the party. No, you will not be adding any chlorine to the pool while people are swimming, remember, you raised that before the party started. Chlorine is a great sanitizer but not great at killing organics. Organics is what you're worried about at this point. First in your arsenal is Enzymes. You can add Enzymes to the pool while the kids are peeing, I mean enjoying their time splashing and playing. Add the amount as directed by the label through the skimmer so it goes through the filter first. The second trick in your bag is Non-Chlorine shock. During lunch or dinner breaks add some Non-Chlorine shock to the pool. If no one is in the pool you can broadcast it over the pool but feel free to add it directly to the skimmer also.
You can also scare the kids by telling them at the beginning of the party that you have a “Urine Test Kit.” I love to do this at parties. If you have a liquid test kit for your pool all you have to do is add a couple of drops of the OTO (chlorine test agent) next to one of the kids that looks guilty or is picking on other kids. Tell them that if it detects pee it turns yellow. Of course, it’s going to turn yellow because you read this article and have adequate chlorine in your pool. Or, as a treat to the kids, put a couple of drops next to one of the dads in the pool. The kids will get a kick out of it and you will owe him a very big apology and an explanation.
By following these tips and preparing your pool for heavy use, you'll create an inviting and safe swimming environment for the summer season or any pool party. Proper planning and maintenance will help ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for all pool users giving you peace of mind. If you need any of the items mentioned just cruise around the website on the different links.