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Matt Gohlke / Pools

Time to get swimming pool ready

What will the weather be for the next few months?

Pete Delkus, chief meteorologist at ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas, showed a weather pattern map on March 28 that provides some insight on what to expect. The map indicated that the Dallas-Fort Worth area forecast for the months of April, May and June would be normal rainfall and above-average temperatures.

Obviously we are not sure if this forecast will be accurate, but we can rest assured that it will be hot very soon.

What does this mean to pool owners? It means that now is the time to begin preparing your swimming pool for the summer.

Having a clear, sparkling pool is often the result of getting an early start and then being consistent in caring for your pool for the remainder of the season.

Following are some tips to be sure that you get started off on the right foot:

Begin the season by having your pool water computer analyzed by a pool professional. Many problems that happen with your pool water later in the season can be prevented now with the proper water analysis and proper chemical treatment.

Clean your filter with a good filter cleaner/degreaser. This is very important to ensure peak pool operation. The filter should be thoroughly cleaned now as you are opening your pool, and then during regular six-month intervals or more if needed.

Remember that much like an automobile, maintenance is much less expensive than costly repairs due to lack of maintenance. If you have a leak, missing tiles or other problems, have them addressed before they cause more problems.

Commit to a regular weekly pool maintenance program that includes water testing, cleaning skimmer and pump baskets, brushing the pool and the tile, backwashing the filter as needed, adding chemicals as necessary, and rinsing off the coping and the deck.

If you need more education in the area of pool care, don’t hesitate to ask your pool professional.

Perform a safety inspection on your pool.

Do you have a ring buoy and/or life hook?

Are your fences and gates in good working order and up to code?

Have you visually inspected and tightened bolts on the pool equipment — such as ladders and diving boards?

Have you had an electrician check to be sure that your pool is safe?

Are bond wires connected?

Are the ground fault interrupters functioning properly?

Do you know CPR, or is it time to take a class?

Above all, remember that pools should be a source of fun and relaxation, and they can be if you get an early start and then follow the basics of pool care.

MATT GOHLKE owns Gohlke Pools, which has earned national awards, certifications and recognition in the pool industry. He can be reached at 940-387-7521 or .