kids jumping into pool with inflatable pool toys

How to Get Your Swimming Pool Ready for the Summer

With warmer weather fast approaching, many homeowners may be wondering just what steps they need to complete to get their swimming pool ready for the summer. After all, a quick dip in cold, refreshing water is the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. If it’s been a while since you’ve maintained your home’s pool and you’re not sure where to start, here are some splash-worthy tips to follow to help get your pool ready for the summer.

Don’t Drain the Pool

No matter how cold your backyard gets, don’t ever, EVER, empty the water all the way when getting your pool ready for summer! Emptying your pool may seem like one of the first things you’d want to mark off your pool reopening checklist, but doing so can actually cause significant structural mishaps. Emptying your pool after a long idle period can actually cause the pool’s structure to lift out of the ground, especially during a high water period. This type of damage is irreversible and often requires a full pool replacement, so leave that water level alone! 

Do Some Housekeeping

No one likes a dirty pool. Aside from the apparent removal of any wayward leaves, plants, and the scraps of last summer’s deflated unicorn floaties, be sure to utilize the “chemical open” to make sure your pool’s water is squeaky clean. Get rid of any plugs you may have put in when you last shut down the pool.

Piece together that filtration system (if you get stuck, dig up that dusty manual), and clear out the pool baskets. Once this is complete, then pat yourself on the back — you’ve completed the second step to getting your pool ready for summer! 

Top Off the Water

Now that your pool is debris-free, top off the water! Most pools will lose a significant amount of water if not used for an extended period (i.e., the entirety of winter), so be sure to restore that H2O level to the optimal amount! If you don’t know what the right water level is for your specific pool, a good guideline is to always have the height of the water at least reach the center of the skimmer opening.

Test the Water

Before you even so much as dip a toe in that freshly cleaned pool, be sure to run a chemical test on the water. This is done to ensure the optimum level for the following three categories — total alkalinity, chlorine, and pH level: 

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is an important component of water quality. It helps to control pH and chlorine levels to keep them in balance. The ideal range recommended for your alkalinity to be in is between 80 and 120. If you’re finding your alkalinity level to be below that threshold, adding baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to the water can help lower that number. If the alkaline level is above 120, muriatic acid (available in most hardware stores) will help lower that number back down to a normal range.


Chlorine is the main chemical used to keep pool water sanitary but can be dangerous to swimmers when the levels are too high or too low. When getting your pool ready for summer, you will want to make sure your chlorine level is between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm. If the test results indicate that your pool’s chlorine level is too low, adding Cyanuric based tablets (available at any pool store) can help add additional chlorine to the water. If the levels are too high, just let your pool sit uncovered in direct sunlight for a few hours. The sun’s heat helps erode away chlorine and should help lower your chlorine levels back down to a normal reading. 

pH Level

The pH level in a pool is important because it determines how acidic or basic the water is. If the pH level is off, it can cause skin and eye irritation. Ideally, the pH level of your pool should read between 7.2 and 7.4. Utilize soda ash if the pH levels of your pool read below the threshold and dry acid to push down the pH reading if it’s above 7.4.

You’ll want to complete these tests when getting your pool ready for summer to ensure that any chemicals you dropped in the water are balanced and that your pool water is healthy. The test kits will usually indicate which chemicals need to be adjusted if it’s not. If you’re not sure how to go about this, please contact us for your pool maintenance and installation needs in Bucks County and other local areas!

Shock the Pool

Shocking your pool is important to maintaining water quality. Chlorine kills bacteria and algae, so shocks help keep your pool clean and free of contaminants.

If you want to shock your pool, there are a few things you need to do. First, you’ll need to turn off the filter and pump. Then, you’ll need to add the recommended amount of chlorine. After that, you’ll need to run the pump for 24 hours. Finally, you should test the water to make sure the chlorine levels are safe.

Wait for the Water to Clear

Now that your pool’s levels have all been properly balanced with the right chemicals, you’ll want to make sure your pool’s water is clear before you dive in. You will need to clean the filters every day until this is accomplished. This process can take about a week — we recommend keeping a pool cover over the water until this is done.

Keep it Clean

Last but not least, it’s very important to perform proper maintenance on your pool throughout the rest of the season to keep it looking its best. In addition to monthly water tests, be sure to keep your pool’s filters clean, and if you can, use a pool vacuum once a week to get rid of any floating debris.

Get Your Pool Looking Perfect for Summer

Looking to improve your home’s pool or build a new one? Our professionals at Anthony’s Landscaping can help you get the pool of your dreams this summer. Plus, our team offers top-quality lawn care services to keep your property looking pristine. Reach out for an estimate today!