Follow these simple steps to bring your pool out of winter hibernation and get it sparkling for spring.

Remove the cover with care

Using a net, skim any debris that might have landed on top of the cover before you attempt to take it off. If there is any water on top of the cover, drain it, without letting it mix with the rest. This stagnant water could alter the pH levels of your pool.

Check your equipment

Check your pump, skimmer basket and filter. Empty and clean them, then inspect for any damage. Start the circulation system, and vacuum the pool. Once the system is running, listen for any strange noises, and check for leaks by looking for puddles on the ground around the filter.

Top it up

If the water level is low, fill it up until the water reaches the middle of the skimmer opening. Skim any leaves or debris that may be floating near the top.

Test water levels

Using your home kit, test the water’s levels of alkalinity, stabiliser, hardness, pH balance and chlorine. You can also make use of the in-store water-testing service at select Builders stores. Simply take a sample of your water in a glass jar.

The numbers that you’re looking for are:

• pH level 7,2 to 7,8
• Chlorine level 1 to 3ppm
• Alkalinity 80 to 125ppm
• Stabiliser 30ppm
• Calcium hardness 150 to 280ppm

Balance the water

The first and most important level to balance is the pH. No matter the colour or condition of the water, address this first. Once the pH levels are right, consider giving your water a shock treatment, which raises the levels of chlorine to eradicate bacteria and other unwanted elements in the water. If there is algae, now is the time to use algaecide.

If the water is so dark and murky that you can’t see the bottom, add alum, which will make everything sink to the floor. After you’ve vacuumed it up, you can then continue to get the balance correct. Wait at least eight hours after adding anything to the water before re-testing it.

If needed, drain the pool

If all else fails, consider draining your pool. It’s recommended that this is done every three to five years. Use the opportunity to scrub the walls, and thoroughly clean any mechanisms or drains that are usually submerged. This is also a good time to maintain pool lights.

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