We have had some extreme weather lately and being properly prepared can greatly increase the odds of avoiding costly repairs and cleanups. Sometimes little things can make a huge difference in these situations. Because of this, I have broken down some of the best preventative measures, most common misconceptions, and adjustments in operating protocols to give us the best chance of success!
- Clear the deck drains- Most pools have deck drains installed but over time; roots and debris cause the lines to clog thus leaving no drainage when water fills up in the pool and around the deck. Making sure the lines are cleared can prevent both runoff issues into the pool and backyard flooding.
- Block hillside runoffs- It is common when it rains frequently in a short amount of time that dirt from landscaping and vegetation around the pool runs off into the pool causing severe issues to your pool water. Blocking potential hillside or even grass runoff into the pool by placing sandbags, bricks, or other sturdy items to divert water from entering the pool will help save a lot of money from treating or even having to drain the pool.
- Buy a small sump pump- This simple preparation will allow you to avoid standing water from the rain both in your pool and in areas of low drainage. Inexpensive and sold at most hardware stores, this can really help drain water quickly if needed
What to do if water level is high due to rain in between visits
- Clear out overflow - most pools have an overflow pipe that runs into the deck drains. Sometimes this pipe gets clogged with debris. Once cleared, the pool water will start draining out. It is usually a white pipe near the top of your tile line or a hole in the back of your pool skimmer. If you are unsure if you have one or not, let us know and we can check for you
- Backwash system- in a pinch, most systems have a backwash valve used to partially clean the filter. Basically, you can divert the water to exit out the filter instead of returning to the pool. You will need good drainage in the equipment area but if that is the case it is a quick way to lower the pool level a couple inches quickly.
- Pump out some water- if you have a small sump pump, you can put on the top step of the pool and manually pump some water out. Most small sump pumps easily hook to any garden hose and can lower the water level as needed.
It is very stressful when it looks like your yard is flooding but in most cases, knowing how to react can save you a lot of time and headache. Below I have included the 3 most common questions I get asked in the rainy season.
- My pool is overflowing and flooding the backyard- This is the biggest mistake most people assume when their pool is full and it is raining outside. Pool is full, now it’s going to drain into my house. In reality, however, once the pool is at the top of the coping and even with the deck, the water drops from the rain are falling equally in your pool and your deck. If the deck drains aren’t working, the clogged drains will overflow not only the backyard but send water back the other way into the pool and/or your house. In other words, the pool will not be the culprit if there is flooding, rather it is more likely a drainage issue around the pool.
- I need to turn off my pool pump- When the weather is extreme outside, the first thought is to shut down your pump so it doesn’t get damaged. By turning your system for several days, it actually risks doing more damage to your pool. The pool needs to circulate water through in order for it to maintain balance in the water. Leaving rain water, leaves, grass etc to sit in the pool without circulation can cause stains, water to turn green or brown, equipment to seize in cold weather etc. If the pool sounds like something is wrong with it, by all means turn it off and let us know but there is little benefit to shutting down the system due to the rain or wind.
- My pool water needs to be drained- During a storm, the rain water throws off the pool chemistry and makes the water look green and dingy. Also, the filter clogs making circulation even less ideal. In most cases, a simple chlorine shock and a filter clean after the rain has subsided will do the trick. In more extreme cases, it may be necessary to drain the water. A good way to gauge if your water needs to be drained rather than treated is if you can see the bottom of the pool. Although each case is unique, typically if you cannot see the bottom of the pool, the damage caused to the water will have long lasting effects even if it is chemically treated. It is better to drain the water and start fresh for the new season rather than risk potential water issues during swim season
Below are the service protocols given to our technicians if they encounter weather issues. Our main concern is the avoidance of long term issues over a standard cleaning visit. This adjustment in protocol helps us keep your equipment functioning correctly and avoiding unnecessary costs.
Sprinkle/overcast: technicians will perform quality assurance visits only. If it is raining, even a little bit, it’s almost impossible to see. Pool will be skimmed, baskets emptied, chemicals and equipment checked for proper operation. No vacuuming, filter cleaning, or repairs will be performed for the health and safety of our technicians.
- Heavy Rain: no services will be performed. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do if it’s actually raining and in the long run, it’s better to keep our technicians out of the elements so as to not risk sickness or injury driving around in dangerous weather
Unfortunately, whatever enters a pool stays there until someone removes it. Wind can send grass, leaves, debris, lawn furniture into your pool causing quite a mess. Getting these items out becomes top priority. Here is the weekly breakdown.
Week 1: this is the most crucial time for your pool. Large debris needs to be removed, baskets cleaned out, and lines cleared to make sure your pool survives. There is a 30 minute max time limit on each stop. Realize that your technician still has the same number of pools and we must make sure to take care of everyone on the route.
Week 2: Normal cleaning visit will resume unless large debris still needs to be removed in which case we will repeat week 1.