Tips on how to prep your pool if a storm strikes


Prepping your pool before a hurricane strikes is not something that’s necessarily on your radar when a storm is approaching, but would you even know what to do to get your pool storm ready should the need arise?

With a little planning and preparation, you can protect your investment – and your property – from an impending hurricane, tropical storm or severe weather.

Sam Shaver, owner of the Ponte Vedra and Jacksonville Beach Pinch A Penny locations, said the main concern of their customers is the pool overflowing due to heavy rains.

“Ideally, (you should) lower the pool level to about 6 to 8 inches before the storm and if it does rain, the pool would be able to take the water to where it won’t overflow,” Shaver said.

It’s important not to drain the pool completely, he said, because if the water table is high, the pool could pop up out of the ground.

The other concern is the chlorine level of the pool.

“You want to make sure that the chorine levels are at the optimum between two and four parts per million and ideally (you want) to shock the pool,” Shaver said.

Shaver also recommended turning off all your equipment during the storm and said it’s best to move any furniture or objects around the pool into the garage or away from open areas to avoid their becoming projectiles in strong winds.

After the storm, Shaver recommends that pool owners bring a sample of their water to the closest Pinch A Penny store and have a free seven-point test for water balance done. The customer will receive a print out of the results and can be advised about what action they need to take to get their pool back to optimum levels.

In addition, the Pinch A Penny Pool Patio & Spa website offers additional tips on what to do before the storm and after the storm:

Before the storm

If you decide to remove any child safety fencing, do not allow children near the pool after the fence is removed.

Shut down power at the breaker panel if there is a chance the pool motor or other electrical equipment could be submerged.

Sandbag the area around the motor or other electrical equipment if possible, wrap the exposed equipment in waterproof covering and tie it securely.

Do not drain the pool completely. If you decide to lower the water level to help prevent the pool from overflowing, it is not recommenced to drain past the bottom of the skimmer, as running the pump dry can cause serious pump damage.

Add extra liquid chlorine and circulate the pool as much as possible before the storm or add a 4-pound floating chlorinator to the pool to provide some sanitization in case you lose power and cannot run your pump. You may want to add an algaecide to further prevent a possible algae bloom.

After the storm

Remove debris from the pool.

Reset your circuit breaks and pump timer if you lost power during the storm.

Remove any covering from the motor or other equipment to allow for airflow. If the pump motor has been submerged, it should be removed for professional cleaning and drying.

Return the pool water to its proper level. Empty the pump and skimmer baskets and open the appropriate valves to allow water to circulate properly when the pump is turned back on.

Repair or replace any screens, doors, fences or gates used to prevent children from entering your pool unattended.