It’s swimming season in Upstate New York and that means that we can expect more than our fair share of sunshine (great!) and rain (not so great). And while this may not be your first rain season rodeo, you may never have considered how a thunderstorm, or long period of heavy rain, can affect your swimming pool.
This week we’re taking a look at what to do once the wet weather has passed to get your pool back in business.
Your Pool Chemistry
To have a correctly balanced pool is an artform, a delicate balancing of water care products that results in a clean, safe, crystal clear backyard oasis.
Rain just ruins everything.
The problem is that rain, by nature, is acidic, and that acid will throw your balance out of whack by raising your pH level, which results in its effectiveness plummeting. An elevated pH not only means that the chlorine in your pool becomes less efficacious at killing germs, it also means that being in the water will be less comfortable, resulting in burning eyes and irritated skin. So, when the rain lets up, grab a sample of your pool water and stop by to see our water care experts. Proper water balance is the key to a great pool, and we’ll make the necessary adjustments to bring your balance back!
Your Water Levels
Typically, your pool will be able to handle most rain events that nature is going to throw at it in our part of the country, and draining water from your pool would not only be unnecessary, but also a bad idea in general. Removing too much water will change the hydrostatic pressure balance between the ground and the walls and floor of an inground pool. That’s just a fancy way to say that your pool needs the weight of the water it holds to pack the ground around it, and if you remove too much you can expect your pool shell to break or actually float in the newly saturated ground that surrounds it. Obviously, this is not a position you want to find yourself in, and so we’d suggest against draining.
However, if you have found yourself on the business end of a long duration high level rain event, your water level may be something worth taking a peek at. The impact from a real overflow can include damage to the landscape and surrounding structures, a flooded yard, and contaminated water washing back into your pool. If your notice that the water level is on the cusp of overflow, it is not advisable to drain it any further than the skimmer openings.
Again, this is most always something you’ll want to avoid doing and should only be done if there is an immediate danger of flooding.
Now comes the fun part, the aftermath, when it’s time to deal with all the leaves, twigs, branches, and all the rest of the unwelcomed post-storm debris littering your pool. Start by grabbing your trusty pool skimmer (or even a leaf rake) to take all the floating detritus from the surface and then clearing out your pump and skimmer baskets. Once the large debris is clear, you can vacuum out the rest. Don’t forget to check your plumping and pump/filter for leaks from damage they may have taken during the storm. A quick look at the outlets that are around your pool/deck won’t hurt either, though be sure to call a qualified professional if you see any comprised electrical receptacles or exposed wires.
The storm clouds have parted, the birds are once again singing in the trees, and your pool looks like a million bucks. Now all that’s left to do is jump in and enjoy the water…because that next raincloud is just beyond the horizon.