Aaahh! Spring Break, it brings great memories to mind especially if your parents or friends owned a pool when you were a kid. Many years ago, Spring Break might have meant getting out of high school or college and heading to the beach for a day of fun in the sun. This also usually involved sneaking into some hotel pool for a dip and a chance to scope out the Chicks for guys and Hunks for girls. If the beach was not on the agenda, it might have meant spending time with your buddies for a day of music, fun and sun by your parents or friends pool. Today, if you own a pool, Spring Break creates new memories, some very similar to what you or your parents may have enjoyed and new ones involving family, friends and maybe even grand babies.

The Spring portion of the the word also signals the change from winter to basically summer. In the Rio Grande Valley the concept of mild spring temperatures are short lived, most of the time we just jump from mild or cool to hot and windy. Our pools react quickly to both these seasonal shifts and the sudden load that can come from a giant spring break bask.

Here are some TIPS or reminders to help you better manage and maintain the beauty of your backyard Paradise especially as Spring Break and our windy season begins:

1. Preventive maintenance –
(a) filters should be cleaned every year or even 2x per year and operating at correct PSI
(b) cleaners should be checked to confirm proper operation
(c) heaters should be fired and confirm they reach desired temps and LP tanks are full
(d) all baskets need to be in good condition
(e) chlorinators need to be operating correctly
(d) if using a chlorine generator, check that it is clean and operating correctly & salt level is correct
2. Spring winds and temperature increases cause rapid changes in a pool:
(a) check your water daily or weekly, frequency required is determined by a balanced water result
(b) add automation in the form of CL and pH controllers. They dramatically improve H2O quality
(c) hire a certified Service Co. to help maintain the pool correctly
4. Maintain your water chemistry correctly, based on the saturation index (SI)
(a) Chlorine at 2.0 ppm
(b) pH at 7.2 – 7.4
(c) TA at 70 to 100 ppm (depending on SI)
(d) CH at 250 – 400 ppm
(e) CYA at 20 – 50 ppm
(f) Salt at 3000 – 3400 ppm (if using a chlorine generator)
5. In order to help battle the wind and extra load conditions consider the following:
(a) Use a good back-up system to help your chlorine – Algaecides, Borates, Ozone, UV, – pick one
(b) Keep all baskets clean – multiple times a day if needed or cut down what ever is plugging them
(c) watch the skimmer weirs, they can stick easily with all the extra debris caused by the wind
6. Safety, although last on this list, Items of Safety should be considered FIRST.
(a) make sure all main drain covers are dualed, VGB certified and securely in place
(b) make sure all deck lids are in good condition and securely in place
(c) make sure all equipment is properly bonded
(d) make sure all lights are GFCI protected and are tested and working
(e) if in doubt call a professional and have your pool reviewed
(f) if  terms above or your pool and its care is foreign to you, call a professional and get training

People all over the world are looking for ways to maintain their way of life and especially their family unit. Home and property ownership have always been a primary focus in America. With all the challenges we face in our nation every day, there has clearly be a shift to the safety and enjoyment our own backyards can provide.

God Bless America and all the benefits she provides,

Enjoy a great and safe Spring Break