Pool Opening Checklist

Pool Opening Checklist

May is pool opening month for Maryland pool owners. Many homeowners circle Memorial Day weekend on their calendar as their pool opening date.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, this pool opening checklist from Hohne Pools will help you open your pool after winter.

Not everybody’s a DIY type, so if you need a pool opening service in Baltimore and surrounding counties, Hohne Pools can help. We provide pool opening services as well as on-going pool maintenance package to keep your pool clean and in shape throughout the summer.

Remove leaves, debris & water from the pool cover before removing cover. Remove the pool cover.
Check your pool liner for rips and tears. Make vinyl pool liner repairs, if necessary.
Brush and vacuum the pool liner. Empty debris from skimmer baskets.
Bring a quart of pool water to Hohne Pools for a complete water analysis. Speak with a Hohne representative about balancing pool chemicals.
Remove all plugs from pool suction lines and return lines.
Check the condition of pumps and filters. Replace pool filters, if necessary.
Hook up pump, filter and other pool equipment.
Re-attach deck equipment such as pool ladders, diving boards, etc.
Fill the pool to restore the water level to normal. Start the pump.
Run the pool pump & filter system for 24 hours. If your pool water is not clear after 24 hours, contact Hohne Pools.
Use an automatic pool cleaner or pool cleaning equipment to remove dirt and debris as needed.
Schedule a monthly pool maintenance contract.

DIY Pool Renovations: Money-Saver or Disaster Waiting to Happen?

With summer swimming season just around the corner, the Weekend Warrior in you may be eyeing your aging swimming pool and contemplating a do-it-yourself pool renovation. Before the wheels start turning too fast, consider whether a DIY pool renovation is a project too big to tackle.

Pool Renovation Is More Work Than You Think

Think a pool renovation is a few simple steps? Think again. Here’s just a glimpse at what’s involved:

  • Removing old tile and coping
  • Removing old plaster
  • Removing old tile nosing around the edges
  • Acid-washing the old plaster surface to remove algae and stains
  • Researching, ordering and hauling project materials to your home
  • Constructing scaffolds to hold concrete and marble slabs installed on vertical walls
  • Cutting and setting concrete and marble slabs
  • Grouting the gaps between slabs and tiles
  • Installing scaffolds to hold new tile in place while it sets
  • Mixing, transporting, troweling, finishing, and polishing pool plaster
  • Measuring, cutting, setting and beveling tiles
  • And on, and on, and on…

That’s just the beginning. There are dozens of other tasks involved in a pool renovation – too many to list here. Kinda makes a DIY pool renovation sound like a ton of work, doesn’t it?

Do You Have Pool Renovation Tools?

Unless you’re moonlighting as a pool contractor, you probably don’t have the tools you’ll need for a pool renovation. A typical renovation might require a concrete mixer, diamond tile saw, industrial-strength air compressor, pool trowels, pneumatic chisel, pneumatic angle grinder, diamond polishing disks and more.

Sure, you could rent some of these tools at Home Depot or Lowe’s, but that’ll get costly quick. Plus, you’ll be hauling heavy equipment back and forth – that takes time, gas, and a big truck. And you may not even find all the pool renovation equipment you’ll need.

Are You Prepared for a DIY Pool Renovation Mistake?

Even a “professional” pool contractor can make mistakes when renovating a pool. Inexperienced, sloppy, or low-cost pool contractors can botch a pool renovation by cutting corners, adhering to poor quality standards, or just plain screwing up.

So imagine the perils that await a newbie DIYer. You could apply the plaster too thin, measure pool tile incorrectly, or fail to let grout set. You could buy the wrong size pool liner, incorrectly wire the electrical hook-up, or fail to create proper drainage. The risk of potential DIY pool renovation disasters is endless.

Save Time, Save Money, Save the Hassle…Hire a Professional

If you’re trying to save a few thousand dollars by doing a pool renovation yourself, you’ll probably cost yourself more money in the long run. It’s that simple.

Don’t put your pool – and your budget – at risk; hire a professional pool contractor. Hohne Pools is a Maryland pool renovation company and provides free estimates — call us before you embark on a project too big to handle!

Pool Repair First Aid: Worn Out and Broken Pool Pumps

Pool Repairs - Broken Pool PumpIf there’s one pool repair every pool owner dreads, it’s a broken pool pump. Your pool pump is the work horse of your pool filtration system, so it’s prone to wearing out. Determining whether you need to repair a pool pump or replace it can make all the difference in avoiding unnecessary pool repair costs.

Here are the common problems with a pool pump:

Pool Pump Not Priming

A pool pump that isn’t priming can’t get a steady flow of water through it. Your pump motor is running, but no water is moving. A pump that runs for an extended time without water flowing through can suffer serious damage.

When priming a pool pump, make sure the pump is full of water and the lid is secure. Replace a brittle or damaged o-ring if necessary. If your pump won’t prime on its own, you can force water into the pump using the skimmer. If your pump still will not prime, you may have a blockage or a leak.

Pool Pump Losing Power

A pool pump that appears to be losing power – in other words, it’s not pumping as hard as it used to – may have worn out. In a best case scenario, you may just need to backwash the filter or manually clean it. Reduced power from the pump could be caused by obstructed water flow.

Pool Pump Leaking Water

If your pool pump is leaking water, repair them immediately, especially if the leak is around the seal of the pump. Our pool repair technicians can help. Also, if you’ve had a new pool pump motor installed recently, a seal kit should have been installed, too. This would include a pump seal, o-rings, and gaskets.

Pool Pump Sucking Air

If you notice air bubbles count out of the pool returns, your pump may be sucking in air. Pool skimmers are a common site of air leakage into the pump system. If your water level is too low, air can get into the skimmer lines and be pulled into the pump. You may also have leaks at the intake plumbing. Look for spurts of water near the valves and fittings when the pump is turned off.

Pool Motor Just Hums

Do you hear a humming noise, followed by a “click” when you start the pump? Your motor is failing to start turning. A sensor in your motor shuts it down due to overheating. If power to the motor is left on, your motor will eventually cool down and the cycle will continue over and over again.

In most cases, pool pump problems like this stem from faulty capacitors, stuck impellers, or improper voltage. Replacing a bad capacitor is a low-cost repair. Replacing a pool motor can cost $200 or more. Proper pool maintenance can prevent a pump from wearing out prematurely and save you from costly pool repairs.

Winter Pool Leaks: Find ‘Em and Fix ‘Em

Even the best pool winterization company can’t completely safeguard your pool against the perils of winter weather. One of the worst pool repair problems to discover in winter is a leaky pool. Locating the source of winter pool leaks as soon as possible and doing proper triage will save you from major pool repair headaches in the spring.

Winter Pool Leaks - Hohne Pools - Serving all of Maryland

Why a Leaky Pool in Winter is a Problem

There’s never a good time to discover pool leaks, but a leaky pool during the winter is especially troublesome. A properly winterized pool can withstand the weight of snow on the pool cover, but a leaky pool will cause a drop in water level, which could send your winter cover slipping into the pool.

Vinyl-lined pools are vulnerable to other problems. If too much water leaks out of your pool, the vinyl pool liner may loosen and pull away from the pool floor. The vinyl liner may also shrivel and wrinkle during cold weather.

Pool leaks aren’t the only winter pool damage you might discover. During Maryland’s winters, frequent freezing and thawing of ground water can cause “deck heave,” which can wreak havoc on concrete decking, tile and caulking. Poor erosion control around an inground pool can also cause soil to wash into the pool as snow melts off.

Finding and Repairing Pool Leaks During Winter Months

Carefully inspect vinyl liners around your pool’s waterline, looking for small holes and tears. Look for debris that may be obscuring a hole or that could cause a ripped pool liner. You may also wish to squirt a small amount of leak testing dye to check for pool leaks. Patch any small holes in the liner and refill the pool.

Check the area around pool lights for leaks. A strong indication the leak is near your pool light is if the water level stabilizes near the pool light after you’ve filled the pool. Pool putty can help reduce leaks around underwater pool lights.

Inspect areas around the faceplates, returns, skipper and stairs for vinyl liner damage. These are areas where your pool installer may have intentionally cut the liner during the installation. Pool leaks can sometimes develop in these areas as the pool walls contract during cold weather.

What to Do If You Discover Major Pool Leaks

Winter pool leaks are no fun. If your pool loses too much water during winter, it can cost thousands of dollars to repair later. Save yourself money by checking your pool for leaks during winter and taking precautions to minimize the damage.

If you find the leak or need to wait until spring, keep an adequate pool water level by replacing lost pool water with a garden hose. Check your pool covers, keep them clear of standing water, and get ready for pool opening in the spring.

Pool Cover Repairs

Maryland pool cover repair

A Maryland winter can be brutal on swimming pool covers: Ice, heavy snow, strong winds, and falling branches can leave your pool cover in need of repair. We’ve seen our share of winter pool cover repairs and have a few tips for you.

Pool Cover Patches

A pool cover patch kit is an essential pool repair item to have on-hand for emergencies. Even the most durable pool covers are susceptible to damage, and a patch kit is a handy fix for minor holes and tears.

Patch kits for winter pool covers are usually pretty easy to use, and the repair can be finished in a few easy steps: Simply clean and dry the area around the damage and apply the patch according to the instructions.

Mesh Pool Safety Cover Repairs

Mesh pool safety covers are more durable than you might imagine. Mesh pool covers are typically made with an interlocking weave that keeps a mesh cover from unraveling in the event of a puncture or tear. Still, a hole in a mesh pool cover can grow if left untreated. During winter, damaged mesh pool covers are especially vulnerable: Heavy snow weighing on a torn mesh cover can cause the tear to grow.

Solid Pool Safety Cover Repairs

A solid pool safety cover is made of PVC-reinforced vinyl and is very strong. Because they’re designed to maximize safety, a solid pool safety cover will usually withstand minor damage, even if you don’t patch the hole right away. It’s still a good idea to patch a pool safety cover anyway.

When repairing a safety pool cover, a sewn patch is a good idea for large holes more than 3″ long. Replacing pool cover panels is an even better option.

Call a Pool Repair Company for Large Repairs

For large damage to a pool cover, your best bet is to call a pool repair company. If you live in Maryland, Hohne Pools can provide an estimate for pool repair and pool cover repair costs. Contact us today for a repair estimate.