Spring Break and our pools


Aaahaa – Spring Break, to Webster, it’s defined in two areas, the first part is Spring which is listed as “a season after winter” and Break is listed as an “interruption”. To some spring break may be a seasonal interruption, but too many others, spring break is more of a “save-a-date” on the calendar for fun or relaxing times ahead… At Hamlin Pools, it’s defined as “wholly cow” hang on to your leaf nets and here come the service calls.


Yep, Spring Break in the Rio Grande Valley generally marks not only a time of the year when our children have a week off from school or our college kids come home with their buddies with all their laundry but it also signals Summer has arrived. Spring in the Valley is not the traditional spring much of the country enjoys. We simply go from Winter to Summer, or mild and cool to hot and windy. The excitement of Spring Break has a whole different impact on Swimming Pools owners. A swimming pool is a magnet for all ages and walks of life. For the little ones, a pool is pure fun and excitement that they could live in it all day. It is always amazing how once they start swimming they never have to take a break (if you get my meaning). For the college breakers, it’s a place to party, BBQ and chill with friends. For another group it’s a place to lay on a recliner, catch a few rays and read a good book. For the home owner it’s a part of their way of life and fulfills that American dream. When a pool is designed and installed properly, it becomes a tremendous asset to the home and greatly enhances the whole backyard environment creating that “Paradise” all pool owners love and enjoy. A major part of gratification from pool ownership comes when those kids come over for a visit or arrive home with their buddies and look out the back window of the home. The “oohs” and “aays” start and usually for the breaker crowd, someone shouts “let the party begin”.


In order to have a safe and fun spring break several challenges must be addressed to make sure the pool is prepared for the loads and usage ahead. Here are a few notes and tips to use as a check list to assure of a safe and reliable swimming experience.


1.        Rapid pool water temperature change – this dramatically effects pool water chemistry and algae growth


2.        Swimming Load –  Parties in the pool, challenge the water balance and the equipment filtering the pool


3.        Spring Wind – places large loads of leaves and other debris on the skimmer, pump baskets, leaf canisters and pool cleaners.


So can a pool owner do???


a)       Test your water following the principles of the Saturation Index which involves water temperatures.


b)       Daily or frequently testing is required. Enough to assure the water is balanced.


c)        Hire a service company to maintain the water balance for you.


d)       Take a water sample to a pool store and have it professionally analyzed.


e)       Add automation to your pool equipment. There systems that will add chlorine and acid and keep your water balanced to the required levels of 2.0 for chlorine and 7.4 for pH.


f)        Use a backup to your chlorine. Several products offer great benefits, such as; liquid algaecides, borates, ozone, and UV systems.


1.        Understand how your pool operates under heavy or light swimming loads


a)       Heavy usage of your pool challenges all the equipment and water chemistry. Know its load capacities. Understand its design and follow a strong preventative maintenance program.


b)       Get professional operating instructions, both verbal and written. Use the internet but be careful, not all advice is accurate.



  1. Seasonal Winds


a)       The winds that keep us cool in the spring or summer can also cause significant damage to a pools equipment if baskets are not kept clean. Clean them multiple times per day if necessary or cut down or trim back the landscaping causing the problem.


b)       Trash in a skimmer can not only stop water flow by plugging a basket, it can jam a skimmer weir closed. The weir is hidden in the mouth and is not easily detected or noticed if stuck. Pay close attention to filter psi, gurgling noises coming from the skimmer lid or bubbles coming out of your floor system or returns.


c)       Baskets catch big trash but little trash or long skinny stems from leaves can go through the holes in the baskets, plugging pump impellers or the filter. Pay attention to how your pool looks and responds after servicing.


As already mentioned, Spring Break is that signal of fun times ahead. The best way to enjoy that fun is having the proper knowledge and education on how properly operate and maintain your pool. Seek knowledge and advise from a professional to assure the safe and proper operation of your swimming pool. Since you are reading this blog, you are already taking those steps to success.


Happy Swimming!