Swimming pool hurricane/storm preparedness
Wendy Purser Pool Consulting
Storm Preparation Guidelines©
Before the Storm…..
Get ready for wind:
1.) Store all patio furniture, pool equipment, toys and grills safely. Turn tables upside down and against the house if there is nowhere to store them. DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE POOL.
2.) Skimmer and Auto Leveler lids can get caught in wind and be a dangerous projectile. Also water that will “rock” in the pool can dislodge the skimmer lid. Either remove them from the pool or screw them down. Stabilize any solar panels that are not already prepared for high winds.
Get ready for water…lots of water..
3.) Before oncoming storm up to 24 hours, treat pool with a triple shock of chlorine or oxidizer and an initial dose of algaecide. Do not be concerned with water balance as this will change with the rain water added to pool. Many times power will be off for days and this will help to prevent the water from turning green as quickly especially if a lot of debris enters the pool.
4.) Turn off the power and the power breaker. Turn off any gas lines to heaters. Be sure the main breaker is off. This helps when power is restored and normal electrical appliances come back on by not creating such a large demand on the power grid.
5.) DO NOT DRAIN ANY WATER OUT OF THE POOL BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER THE STORM. Before storm have water at the normal or low level on skimmer, no lower. Water in the pool helps to keep the pool from lifting due to underground water. The extreme pressure caused from additional ground water will most likely enable a partially empty or completely empty swimming pool structure to lift out of the ground or a liner to “float”.
The rain that occurs will take time to travel in the ground below the deepest level of the pool, therefore do not drain water in pool down to normal level for at least 24 hours. NEVER DRAIN POOL WITHOUT EXPRESS APPROVAL FROM YOUR BUILDER, CERTIFIED POOL PROFESSIONAL or pool manufacturer NOT EVEN FOR CLEAN UP AFTER STORM. Watch the level of water in the drainage ditches around your neighborhood to have a better idea of the water in the ground. It may take weeks for the water level to subside.
DO NOT GO OUTSIDE FOR ANY REASON DURING STORM TO WORK ON POOL. STAY SAFE.
After the Storm
1.) Remove any large debris from pool carefully. The use of a leaf rake or a water assisted leaf catcher makes removing leaves easier. Clean out skimmer baskets and pump baskets. Watch out for critters that may be taking refuge.
2.) Turn power back on. After 12 hours test the pool water with test strip. If there is no chlorine in pool, add enough for a double shock. Depending on amount of rain during storm another initial dose of algaecide may be required. Get pool professionally tested for water balance correction.
3.) If the pool pump has been flooded from the bottom side it is recommended to get the motor serviced as they are not protected from splash up or water immersion (exception are variable speed motors as they are a sealed system).
4.) VINYL LINER pools may have a floating bottom. This should recede once the underground water has receded. Call the builder or our office for further information. If any FIBERGLASS or CONCRETE pools show the bottom of pool lifting such as a bubble or hairline crack, the well point needs to be hooked up immediately and the builder or our office contacted at first sign of such.
5.) For pools with Gas heaters do not use until they are serviced by a qualified heater technician. This is extremely important as fire or injury could occur.
If your pool is on a maintenance service, call ahead to arrange clean up and find out their procedures for storm events.
Thanks to Pete Gittrich at Cannonball Pool & Spa Wilmington NC for the Hurricane images below.