Your pool is an investment. With regular care and maintenance, it’s a source of backyard fun for years to come. But what if you live in an area that faces strong lines of thunderstorms or even hurricane threats? Is there anything you can do to help safeguard your investment? There certainly is. Read more in our Storm FAQs below.
They’re forecasting a hurricane/terrible storms where I live. What, if anything, should I do about my pool?
It’s very important to do what you can before the storm arrives. Start by removing the debris from the pool – anticipate that you may lose power and get anything out the pool that could ‘spoil’ after a few days without the electricity-powered filter.
After removing any debris, don’t forget to chlorinate the pool, ensuring that you circulate the chlorine properly. If you anticipate that the power may be out for a while, consider adding a floating chlorinator to the pool to deliver a low, constant chlorine dose.
If you don’t have ample enclosed outdoor space (like a pool house or shed) you can store some of your pool-related items, including aluminum furniture, in your pool. See below for more specifics on this.
Make sure you turn off any electrical connections to the pool, then cover it. After all… you just got it nice and clean – why leave it wide open for the debris, leaves, sticks and bugs that may be getting tossed around in hurricane-force winds? This is the time that most owners wish they’d purchased a slightly higher quality pool cover — in addition to a cover being sturdier and more reliable, most of the mid- to high-end covers can be properly installed and fastened within 10 minutes—great for situations like this, where time is of the essence.
Remember, doing ‘something’ to protect your pool is always better than doing nothing at all. After making sure that family and loved ones are safe, do the best you can.
Somehow, the power has managed to stay on during this storm. Should I let the filters run?
To avoid potential damage to the filtering system (and to yourself, running out in the middle of a storm!) it’s better to leave the filters turned off until the storm has passed. As long as the pool has been cleaned prior to the storm, the post-storm cleanup shouldn’t be that bad — and even a potentially dirty pool is no reason to put yourself in harm’s way.
What about sinking all the outdoor stuff in the pool? I’ve heard you can do that.
Contrary to popular belief, submerging everything in your pool isn’t always the best advice. Some things CAN be placed in the pool, but it’s best to check with your pool manufacturer to know what’s safe to sink, and what isn’t.
One good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, ‘Would the chlorine damage it?’ before sinking something to the pool floor. The plastic white stacking chairs pass the test (as does your aluminum furniture), while something like a canvas and wood umbrella wouldn’t. If you can’t sink it, make sure to remove it from the outdoor area and bring it inside somewhere – otherwise, you’re chancing a grill or a kid’s toy turning into a dangerous projectile, capable of causing all kinds of damage during heavy winds.
The storm has knocked out our water, too; can we use the pool for drinking water?
It’s definitely okay to use pool water to flush the toilet during an emergency, but most experts agree that pool water isn’t suitable for drinking, cooking, or even shaving. The type of chlorine used in pools just isn’t made for human consumption.
If you’re reading this article, you probably haven’t run out of power or water yet! So take a moment now to either bottle your own water, (which can last up to six months if bottled properly, e.g. tightly sealed, and in light filled spaces) or add bottled water to your grocery list. Having a supply of bottled water on hand in case of any emergency is always a good idea.
The storm is over – What can I do while I’m waiting for the electricity to be turned back on or the professional pool help to arrive?
We’ll give you one guess. You’re right! Get all the junk out of the pool. Use your regular pool cleaning tools to get out any debris that may have entered the pool during the storm.
Don’t forget to clean the filters — a storm produces more debris that usual in your pool… and your filters weren’t really designed for such a major mess. Clean up what you can with a net, and if you have to get in the pool to get debris out, make sure that you wear shoes.
After you’ve cleaned, super-chlorinate the pool and circulate continuously until the water’s color looks close to normal. Keep the water “shocked” until power or help arrives, but don’t let people or pets in the pool while it’s in this state.