Preparing Your Pool for Storms

Heavy storms are common in some regions, especially in the spring and summer months. Some areas are vulnerable to very serious storms like hurricanes and tornadoes. Storms can be unpredictable and sometimes devastating, but there are steps you can take to protect your pool from a serious storm.

You should not drain your pool if a storm is imminent. Some people think this will prevent flooding, but most well-built pools are outfitted with overflow apparatus that will drain extra water. If you are very worried about overflow, you can drain the pool slightly but no more than two feet. If the pool is under-filled, it can actually pop out of its foundation. Also, the water in your pool will protect your tile, finish and liner from any heavy, flying debris. It’s also a good idea to add extra amounts of chlorine, addition of algaecide and phosphate remover to your pool before a storm to protect the water from the effects of debris and extra rainwater.

Remove loose items from the area around the pool. These could easily become airborne and cause damage to your pool or other parts of your home. You should relocate chairs and tables. Also remove potted plants, decorations and gardening equipment. Be sure to move your pool cleaning tools so they are not damaged.

The biggest threat to your pool area is damage to your pool equipment. You should take active steps to protect these areas. First, turn off your pool pump and filter. Turn off the circuit breaker that runs all of your pool equipment. You will also need to take steps to protect your pool motor. Some people remove the motor and put it in a safe place. If that is not possible, you can protect the motor by wrapping it in plastic. Use straps, rope or very strong tape to secure the plastic to the motor.

You may find that your pool needs a lot of attention after a big storm. You’ll need to use swimming pool chemicals to treat the pool immediately. First, remove all the debris from the water. This will prevent it from staining your plaster or tile. Next, you should super-chlorinate or shock the water and add the proper amount of algaecide. Test the water frequently and take steps to balance the pH. This will help clear the water and prevent algae growth. Run your pool’s filter constantly until the water is clear. The addition of phosphate remover is an extra precaution that eliminates food for algae. Clarifier will keep the water sparkling clear. Keep a close eye on the pool chemistry and equipment for at least a week after the storm to make sure it is functioning properly.
Pool covers can protect your pool during storms and winds. There are leaf-catching covers that will prevent leaves and other light debris from getting into the pool. These covers are inexpensive and easy to operate. Heavier covers, like winter covers, will prevent more serious threats to your pool if you have time to put them on before a storm.

Lightening awareness is an important part of maintaining swimmer safety. If a thunderstorm is on the way, do not allow anyone to get in the pool. If you hear thunder or see lightening, you should evacuate the pool immediately. Do not allow anyone to reenter the pool until the storm has clearly passed.

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