Dive Into Preparing Your Pool
The approach of summer means it’s time to get your swimming pool ready for fun times with friends and family. But getting the pool ready means more than just taking the cover off, adding some water and dumping in some chemicals.
Smart pool owners make sure they’re safe pool owners. Taking more precautions can prevent devastating injuries or worse that lead to costly lawsuits.
So don’t break out the sunscreen and beach towels until you’re satisfied that you can open the pool safely. Consider the following tips.
The pool itself
- Don’t pull the cover off until you’ve cleaned leaves and other debris from around the pool. Otherwise you could be just adding to the problem.
- Add water if the level has fallen over the winter.
- Scoop and/or vacuum any leaves or debris from the water.
- Examine your pump and filtration system to make sure they’re working properly – then start the circulation system and let it run for at least eight hours.
- Test the pH level of your water. Add chemicals necessary to adjust the level.
- Wait for the water to clear – it could take several days. During this time, you’ll need to clean your filter every day.
- Once the water is clear, remove the cover. Clean it thoroughly – and let it dry – before you store it for the summer.
Your safety checklist
- Check ladders and handrails to make sure they’re not loose. If you have a diving board – which is not advisable – make sure it’s working correctly. Why no love for diving boards? They increase the chance of an injury – both to the diver and to people in the pool.
- Be sure you have life rings, floats and/or a reaching pole available in case a swimmer gets in trouble.
- Make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit near the pool.
- Test the fence surrounding the pool – and the gate latch – to keep uninvited guests out. The fence should be at least 6 feet high. Remember, you can be held liable if a trespasser, especially a child, is injured or worse at the pool.
- Don’t allow solo swimming. Kids, particularly, should be supervised when in the pool.
Review your home insurance
- Don’t take chances. Make sure your home insurance provider knows you have a swimming pool – otherwise you likely won’t be protected if there’s an injury or worse at your pool.
- Make sure you have enough liability coverage. You may need – and your provider might require – an umbrella policy to increase this protection. If your pool has a diving board, you’ll almost certainly need even more coverage.
Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re ready to dive in. Better yet, skip the diving and use the ladder or steps to submerse yourself.