Hurricane Pool Safety
BEFORE THE STORM
People may ask, “Won’t the pool overflow if we don’t, at least lower the water?” Yes it may, but no more so than if a patio or a plot of grass were there instead. Adequate drainage has most always been provided for in the design of the pool. Keeping the water in the pool provides the important weight to hold the pool in the ground. An empty pool is subject to “floating” or “popping” out of the ground due to “lift” pressure from excessive ground water caused by the heavy rains that may accompany the storm.
Circuit breakers at the main electrical panel should NOT be turned off to prevent pump motors, lighting, chlorinators and heaters from operating. Your pool equipment is rated to withstand power outages and more than likely this storm will be followed by a period with no power. When the power is restored, you will want the system to run as much as possible to help filter the water. Adding chemicals does help treat the pool but circulation and filtration are the best thing for your pool.
Loose objects such as chairs, tables, toys and pool tools which can become dangerous projectiles in high winds should be stored inside of buildings. It’s NOT advisable to throw patio furniture into the pool unless it is a last resort. If it is necessary to do so, gently place these items into the pool to prevent possible damage to the interior finish and remove as soon as possible to avoid staining.
To prevent contamination from the anticipated debris and excessive storm water, add a “shock” dose of liquid or granular chlorine.
AFTER THE STORM
An empty pool is subject to “floating” or “popping” out of the ground due to “lift” pressure from excessive ground water caused by heavy rains that may have accompanied the storm. If it appears necessary to drain the pool due to excessive debris and/or damage, you should seek professional advice.
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 clog the plumbing.
Be sure electrical devices are dry before turning circuit breakers on again. If these devices have been exposed to water, they should be checked by a licensed professional. Then turn on electricity, prime the filter system and check for normal operation.
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.
To prevent contamination from the storm debris and excessive storm water add a “shock” dose of liquid or granular chlorine to the pool water.
Readjust the pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and conditioner levels and continue to check them carefully over several days.
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.