Hurricanes and tropical storms can wreak devastation on your home and property. Preparation is critical to minimizing property damage and keeping your family safe. Once the storm has passed, victims face the daunting task of recovery. If you were able to take steps to protect your swimming pool before the storm arrived, your task will likely be easier. These tips will help you get your pool back in shape.
Do Not Empty the Pool
It may be tempting to drain your pool if it’s a disastrous mess, but do not drain it. Only drain the excess water from your swimming pool down to mid tile line (or mid skimmer) so that your skimmer can help clean the surface of the pool. If it appears necessary to drain the pool due to excessive debris or damage, start by draining less than half the water, cleaning the pool and refilling. If a complete draining is required, wait until the ground is less saturated and any high water has receded.
Remove Debris First
Clean out debris from the pool thoroughly as soon as possible to prevent it from staining the finish. Remove large objects by hand and use a pool rake or skimmer net to remove smaller debris from the pool. Do not attempt to use the pool's vacuum system for large debris that is likely to plug the plumbing.
Wait to Power Up
Don’t reconnect the power until all debris is removed and you are sure there is no damage to the electrical system. Make sure all electrical components of your swimming pool equipment are completely dry (at least a good 24 hours) before they are powered up again. If you suspect electrical damage, or were not able to remove your pool equipment before the storm, call an electrician or pool service provider to inspect your pool and equipment before turning the system back on.
If electrical power has not been restored, manually clean the pool of debris using a skimmer net or a pool vacuum powered by a garden hose. Test the water and add chemicals as needed; use a pool brush to circulate the water and help distribute the chemicals until power can be restored to the pump. Daily skimming and brushing, and a good chlorine and pH level will preserve the condition of your pool and prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Sanitize Your Pool
To properly sanitize your pool and prevent staining, only drain the excess water to mid tile line (or mid skimmer) so that the skimmer can help clean the surface of the pool. Once the debris has been removed, super-chlorinate (shock) the pool as you did before the storm, and then make sure your water chemistry is balanced by completing a water test. Don't allow anyone to use your pool right before super-chlorination, or for at least 48 hours afterward. Run the filtration system for 24 hours each day until the water becomes clear. When the water has attained proper clarity, reset the time clock for a normal daily cycle.
If your pool was flooded, heavy soil, sewage or debris turns the water to the color of soil and raises the phosphate level. Use phosphate-fighting chemicals to prevent algae blooms and a flocculant to sink the heavy solids to the pool floor for vacuuming. Consider calling a professional pool service to assist with pool clean up and sanitation if the task is too difficult and time consuming to ensure that your pool is safe to use again.
Continue to monitor the operation of the entire pool system for several days to be sure everything is operating properly, and there are no electrical hazards, pool leaks or flooding dangers. For pool pump repair or replacement, call your local Benjamin Franklin. Installing, maintaining and servicing pumps can mean the difference between a smooth running system and a mess. At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® we perform a variety of preventative and restorative measures for all your household plumbing needs, and all come with our Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® guarantee.