17 Tips to Protect Your Pool During a Hurricane
Hurricanes are an unfortunate fact of life in Orlando. The hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through November 30th. You know how to protect yourself from a storm, but what about your swimming pool? These are 17 ways you can minimize the damage to your swimming pool that might be caused by a tropical storm or hurricane.
1. Pool Covers – If you have a cover that is held on by water tubes or some other type of weights, do not put it on. These types of covers will be easily blown off into the yard or into the pool by high winds.
2. Attached Safety Pool Cover – If you have a safety cover (this cover is attached to anchors in the deck around the pool), put it on. These covers are designed to hold even in the winds of a hurricane. Make sure that your straps are taut but not so tight that the spring (if you have this type) is completely compressed. It is also a good idea to put some padding between the cover and the edge of the pool. This will prevent the cover from being abrased by the edge of the pool as it moves with the wind. You can use old towels, water tubes, etc. for this.
3. Remove your skimmer lids (these make good frisbees) and any other loose items.
4. Super-chlorinate your pool (Shock it). This will help prevent the pool water from becoming contaminated. Add a “shock” dose of liquid or granular chlorine.
5. Turn off your filter system before the storm hits, but do not drain the system. This will prevent the motor from burning up if the system becomes clogged or the line voltage drops. By leaving the water in the filter system, the extra weight will help hold down the equipment.
6. Do NOT drain your pool. A pool shell can float like a boat. They can literally “pop out” of the ground if emptied. This is caused by hydrostatic pressure. Basically, the pressure of all the water in the pool keeps it in the ground because on the other side of the shell is water that saturates the ground around it. The pressure of the water surrounding the pool shell squeezes the pool until it pops up. Therefore, keep the water level at a higher level than normal.
7. Turn the pump and any other power supply off. If you can remove the pump do so and store it in a dry place. If you can not remove it, wrap the pump motor, time clock, light transformers and electric heaters with a waterproof plastic membrane and tie it securely in place to prevent sand and driving water from entering.
8. Do NOT store pool furniture in your pool, but DO remove and store all pool furniture. Storing the furniture in your pool can damage the pool and the pool chemicals can in turn damage the furniture. Only do this if you have no other place to store them.
9. Protect the Screen Enclosure. Some damage to the frame of the screen structure may be prevented if you provide a “vent” for wind to flow through. Consider removing screen panels on opposite sides of the enclosure by pulling out the vinyl spline that retain the panels.
After the Storm
10. It may be tempting if your pool is a disastrous mess, but, again, do NOT drain it.
11. If you covered your pool, remove the pool cover and replace the pool furniture.
12. Remove Debris From Pool First. 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 debris that is likely to plug the plumbing.
13. Let the motor dry for at least 24 hours. If you couldn’t remove your equipment before the storm and it was underwater, get it checked out. When electricity has returned, call a licensed, insured pool repair company to thoroughly inspect your pool and equipment.
14. Clean the filter and run the system 24 hours a day. When the water has attained proper clarity then reset the time clock for a normal daily cycle.
15. Balance water pH, superchlorinate or shock your pool, and run the filter until the water becomes clear.
16. Lower the water level to the middle of the skimmer and test the water and make any necessary chemical adjustments.
17. Monitor the Pool Operation: It is important to monitor the overall operation of the entire system for several days after the storm to be sure everything is operating properly.
Please call us after the storm and tell us your situation, we will do our best to get to you and help you get your pool up and running.