The warmer months of the year are quickly approaching, and with them comes preparing your pools for summer!
Closing down your pool for winter and opening it back up for summer every year, can feel like two very daunting tasks. Most pool owners will tell you that it takes A LOT of work, and they’re right, it really does! I remember having to do it myself with no prior experience, for nearly ten years after moving into a house with a 30-foot long backyard pool. I also happened to be the only one in my family who swam, so I was the natural selection for family pool-boy!
Every month of May, usually around Victoria-Day Weekend, I would learn something new about preparing MY pool for summer. I would learn tips and tricks from the neighbors, I would search videos online on how to best prepare a pool for the upcoming summer season and I even remember one year nearly outsourcing the entire ordeal to a professional pool cleaning company!
But what I learned over the years is that when you become equipped with the right information, you can prepare your pool for summer like a pro.
Today I actually want to share with you what I consider to be the pool-owner’s ultimate and best kept secret in preparing a pool for summer! The pool owner’s secret weapon: goldfish. And I don’t mean the Pepperidge Farm Crackers, no. I mean the $0.99 goldfish you can buy at Wal-Mart.
Using goldfish to prepare your pool for summer!
This method actually begins in the fall, when you’re preparing to close and winterize your pool for the year. Instead of going out and spending $50 – $100 on a pool winterizing kit full of chemicals that sit at the bottom of your pool, you can actually pick up 10-12 goldfish, depending on the size of your pool, and let them do the cleaning over the winter. When I first heard that this was an option, I thought the guy telling me this had lost his mind, but I swear it works!
The first year I used goldfish over the winter to clean my pool to get it ready for summer opening, was the year my pool was the cleanest it had ever been. It was absolutely spotless! There wasn’t one inch of residual algae or deteriorated leaves from the prior fall season. The water, the walls and the floor of the pool were crystal clear, and it honestly made the opening process that much easier. I had no need to go out and buy a summer pool opening kit. No shock. No crazy amount of chlorine. The PH test was spot on, too. Crazy to think that 12 little goldfish could do all that, huh?!
- Let your pool run for one week in the fall without any chlorine, right before you close it.
- Lower the water level approx. 15 inches (or more) below the skimmer.
- Add the 12 goldfish to your chlorine-less water.
- Pour a 3L bottle of non-toxic, bio, anti-freeze down the main drain to protect the tubes that reside underground, below your pool.
- Cover the pool with your winter tarp.
- And let the little fish do their thing! Come summer you’ll have a spotless, crystal-clear pool.
Opening the pool for summer:
- Scoop up all your (not so little anymore) goldfish – they will have likely grown almost five times their original size.
- Assemble the tubes from your generator to your pump and to your skimmer as you would normally.
- Raise the water level back up to the skimmer.
- Add in your desired amount of chlorine (or saline, if you’re running a saltwater pool).
- And Voila! Pool open and ready for summer!
Doing your research!
I can’t stress enough the importance of doing your research as your prepare your pool for summer. An online resource that I would suggest, is eieihome.com – they have a wealth of knowledge on pools, home renovations and more. From home electrical work, to backyard decks and bathroom and kitchen remodeling… even if you may not be ready for your next project, the research always counts.
And while on the topic of opening your pool and preparing for summertime, I absolutely HAVE to let you know about Betz Pools! They are seriously leading the future of pool installations. I came across this video online which features one of their concrete backyard pools, with heated patio tiles, a retractable pool cover for those windy fall days, and which can be kept open all year round. It’s seriously like the Cadillac of backyard pools.
Right now, as you know, S and I are part of the downtown Toronto condo community, but in our 5-10 year plan, a house is definitely on our radar. And having grown up with a pool for a big chunk of my childhood, and now being fully equipped with the knowledge of preparing a pool for any season, Betz Pools has risen to the top for backyard pool options for our future home. But of course, we will have plenty of other research to do then, too! As we’re both pretty hands-on guys who are always up for a good home-reno, we’ll see what kind of inspiration we end up getting from eieihome down the line. For now, wishing all of you with backyard pools good luck with your openings. And for next winter, now you’ve got your secret weapon!
Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick
Stay True. Stay Humble. Stay Inspired.