Swimming season is soon upon us!  If you winterize your swimming pool, you may be busting out your cover pump to get all that excess water off before you uncover your pool. Need a good cover pump?  Check out this collection here. 

If you live in a region where you do not winterize your pool, you may be pulling off that solar cover, making sure the heater fires up and grabbing the newest groovy floats available at your local swimming pool store.

The most important thing you can do, however, to open your swimming pool is to make sure it is safe.  Not just for children and the elferly, but anyone who will be diving into that refreshing water.  Here are some safety tips to keep you, your friends and family safe this season.

Safety Equipment

Even if you have a residential swimming pool it is a good practice to have the proper signage.  Dive markers showing how shallow or how deep are a good idea. Having a sign with emergency response instructions as well as phone numbers for local emergency personnel could prove imperative in case of an emergency.  Check all your ladders and handrails to make sure they are not loose or in need of repair.  Make sure you have a Coast Guard approved buoy as well as a life hook (shepherd's hook) and a non-telescopic pole to accompany it.  Make sure everyone, usually the little ones, have life vests or other floatation devices on in case of an accidental fall in.

Make sure your swimming pool fence is in good repair.  Check the locks and door hinges.  A “Keep Gate Closed” sign makes sense as well.  If you have a tension-held safety cover, make sure the tethers are solid and that there are no rips or tears in the cover.  Even an especially worn spot could mean it won’t support someone walking on it.

Having an alarm on the doors that lead to the pool are a great way to notify you if any of these entry points are open.  They even make alarms that float in the pool that let you know when the surface of the water is “broken” and could indicate a potential drowning.

VGB Compliant Drain Covers

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa safety Act is a federal law that establishes certain anti-entrapment requirements for drain covers.  These are not only legally required, but prevent entrapment which could lead to drowning or other bodily harm.  Did you know that these drains need to be replaced every 5 years?  Replace any broken drain or wall covers for the same reasons.

Proper Circulation

You must, at all times, be able to clearly see the main drain of any swimming pool or it is considered a drowning risk.  Murky or cloudy water is not only unsightly, but a health hazard.  This can be avoided by proper water chemistry and proper circulation.  Make sure you are running your pump the appropriate amount of hours to accomplish a turnover in a 24-hour period.  A turnover is the amount of the gallonage of your pool passing through your pool filter.  This not only mixes the chemicals, making them more effective, but catches dirt and debris which may otherwise cloud up your water.

If you are not running your swimming pool pump long enough to “save money”, you probably have an old fashioned single speed pump.  These pumps are not energy efficient and therefore cost a fortune to operate.  In fact, they are the most expensive piece of equipment to run behind your home’s air conditioner.  What you are “saving” on electricity typically goes towards expensive algae treatments, entire pool draining or just extra man hours.  How valuable is your time?  Now we also know that yucky water is also a safety hazard as well.

Variable Speed Pool Pumps

If you are not running your swimming pool pump long enough as mentioned above, we suggest upgrading to a variable speed pool pump.  The energy savings you get from the permanent magnet motor and being able to run your pump on a lower speed (RPM) will help ensure your water is getting properly cleaned and staying safely clear.  

Think you can’t afford a variable speed pool pump?  Think again.  You can get a name brand, Black & Decker Variable Speed Pool Pump for about half of what the other guys are selling them for.  With an American made product with a crazy five year warranty, we are out of excuses to upgrade our pump.  Check some out here. 

Proper Water Chemistry

Testing your swimming pool water regularly will help you to know what chemicals you need to add to keep it sanitary.  And not just for the protection of your swimmers.  Poor water chemistry is the number one cause of ruining swimming pool equipment and a swimming pool’s surface.  

You’ll want to take into consideration the water’s temperature as well, especially in a spa.  Too hot of a tub of water can cause serious damage to children and the elderly.  www.poolpartstogo.com has the perfect bundle which will help you test your pool as well as offer the newest technology in swimming pool brushes.  Weekly brushing of your swimming pool can help prevent algae.  Algae can cloud the water.  Swimming the debris off of the pool’s surface is also important for visibility. Who knew that a decent pool brush and pool net could actually be considered safety equipment?  Check out this awesome bundle here. 

So, lets dust off our swimsuits and follow these simple, yet crucial, guidelines and have a great swim season.  See you poolside!