Getting Ready for Pool Fun

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Swimming Pools

The days are getting longer, and warmer. It will soon be time to get that ugly winter cover off the pool and prepare for summer fun. In fact, many pool owners are already removing that cover! It costs little to run this time of year and just looks so much more…summerish. Either way, it’s time to put in a little effort now to save much more effort later.

April showers…

…Bring May flowers, and an excess of water on top of the winter cover. That water must go. Unfortunately, many pool owners are also faced with a leaf problem. No, not new leaves. I’m talking old, rotting leaves that have been on the cover since last fall. Getting rid of them when they first dropped would have been easier, but now you’ve got to deal with them. It’s like the old saying, “Never do now what you can put off till later.” Folks, ‘later’ is ‘now.’ Those leaves make it almost impossible to pump water off the cover as the deteriorating muck clogs the pump intake. What a quandary. But you’ve got to start somewhere. How about at the beginning?

Step One: Remove the rotting leaves.

Those leaves are going to be heavy. I recommend three tools to get the job done. One, a good solid, expandable vacuum pole. Two, a heavy-duty leaf bag that attaches to the vac pole. Lastly, find something to put the leaf gunk in once removed. I recommend a wheelbarrow or sturdy lawn cart. Garbage cans are fine, too. However, your garbage service may not take yard waste, so you may need some place to dump. It helps if your haul-away device has drain holes, as the soggy load is going to get heavy, very quickly.

Okay, attach the leaf bag to the vac pole and start scooping the mess out. But... be careful. Go slowly and make sure not to snag any small sticks that may be laying on top of the cover. Ease them into the bag so they don’t poke a hole in the cover. Also, even if you have a good bag, don’t overload it. It’s going to be heavy. You don’t want to put so much stress on the vac pole that it bends or breaks. And the more you extend the telescoping pole, the more susceptible it becomes to damage. Just be patient. You’ll get the job done, eventually.

Step Two: Pump the water off.

So, the leaves are now off and it’s time to address all that water on the cover. There are lots of cover pumps out there, from hand-syphon pumps to electric pumps with automatic on/off features. I’ve always preferred the one that requires the least amount of work. For me, that means the electric pump that turns itself on and off automatically. What can I say? I’m lazy. Anyway, there are several benefits. They move water much faster than siphon pumps and that gets the job done quickly. The auto on/off feature also keeps your pump from running dry once the water is gone. Without that sweet feature, a pump can continue to run… and run… and run… until it burns out.

I’ll hedge what I’m saying, just a bit. Even with an auto-on/off pump, keep an eye on your cover. Perhaps more accurately, watch your pool’s water level. If the pump continues to run after the cover is seemingly drained, it may be pulling water through the cover. Small pinholes in the cover can allow his to happen. If the pump continues to run, it could drain your pool. Note, simply removing water on the cover minimizes displacement and makes it look like you could have a leak. 99% of the time, you don’t. To reiterate, be cognizant of an unusually low water level drop in the pool and shut the pump off.

A better way next fall.

If that rotting, stinking, leaf gunk had you uttering words best not heard by small children, there’s a better way. If you broke your vac pole dragging wet leaf remnants off your pool, there’s a better way. If you accidentally dumped a bunch of gunk into the pool while removing the winter cover, there’s a better way.

Simply, stop at Eastgate Pools and get a leaf cover for the fall winterization. It attaches over the winter cover with its own cable. As leaves fall and are trapped on top, peel the leaf cover off, dump the leaves, then replace it. When all the leaves have fallen, remove the leaf cover, dry it, and put it away for the next year.

To wrap up…

Eastgate Pools carries vacuum poles, leaf bags, and has multiple cover pump options. We also have leaf covers that you can get now so you won’t forget about them in the fall. Just store it with your winter cover. If you need a size we are currently out of, no problem. We’ll take your name and number and call you when it’s back in stock.

Stay ahead of those April showers and make the spring pool opening easier with a little work now.