Three Weeks Before
- Check your water temperature - If you have a heater, be sure it's working properly, otherwise it might be time to call in a professional to service the unit.
- Start cleaning - There's nothing worse than a pool filled with leaves and bugs come party time. Grab your skimming equipment and clean the pool's surface. If you do this often (once every few days) keeping your pool clean will be MUCH easier! Then empty strainer baskets of debris. Keeping the pool clean will help the water circulate more efficiently and reduce the demand for chlorine.
- Deeper cleaning - It's time to bring out the big guns, which includes mostly a scrubbing brush, a vacuum, and some good old fashioned elbow grease. When debris sits unattended, it eventually sinks. Then it's time to use a vacuum. But before you vacuum, take a few minutes to brush the sides of the pool so you can loosen algae and other build-up to vacuum up as well. Be sure to select a brush appropriate for your pool wall surfaces. You should do this (Brushing/Vacuuming) once a week.
1 Week - 3 Days Before
- Brush and Vacuum - Have you been doing this once a week? It's time for your weekly cleaning tasks (groan). Don't worry, you'll be happy later when everyone is raving about your wonderful pool and fantastic party!
- Fence Maintenance - Walk the perimeter of the pool and be sure that pool enclosures are in place and operating properly. Pool gate latches save lives. Be sure that yours in working as it should, otherwise it's time to replace or repair it immediately. This is extremely important if you will have children (especially toddlers) at your party.
- Test pH and chemical levels - Using your home test kit or strips, test your water and see what adjustments, if any, are required to get your levels correct.
1 Day Before
- Check the Water Level - Splashing around, paired with evaporation causes your water level to decrease over time. Be sure that the level hasn't fallen below the skimmer, as this could cause your pump to get damaged. So check the levels a day or two prior to your party and add water as necessary. (Adding water a few days before your party will give you time to be sure the pool water is still at your desired temperature come party time.)
- Clean the filter - Is it time to clean the filter? While a thin layer of dirt actually helps your filter trap larger particles, you don't want to let it get TOO dirty! You'll know when it's time to clean it when the differences between the flow at the pressure gauge and the flow meter reaches 10 to 15 pounds per square inch.
- Skim the Surface - Remember, this needs to be done every few days in order to keep your pool in tip top shape and so clean that guests can't wait to dive in! You should continue to do this every few days leading up to your party.
- Shock the pool - It's a good idea to shock your pool the night before a big party.
On Party Day
- Sweep the pool deck - Be sure walking surfaces around the pool area are free of debris and tripping hazards. Remember that most guests will be walking barefoot in these areas and even the smallest culprits can cause unwanted falls, bumps and cuts.
- Skim one last time - Grab the skimming net and give the pool a last once-over. Crystal clear waters will entice your guests to jump right in!
- Test pH and chemical levels - Be sure that all pool chemical levels are where you want them. The last thing you want is a germy pool, or party guests walking around with blot-shot eyes!
- Be ready for emergencies - Be sure to have a first-aid kit on hand for the day, and consider hiring or designating a lifeguard for the duration of the party. (And to be clear, this individual should be devoted to this important responsibility and should not be drinking or otherwise impaired).
- Have towels on hand - Keep guests comfortable and reduce slippery falls by providing extra towels throughout the pool space.
Bonus: Post-Party Clean-up
Now that the party is over, consider these three bonus tasks:
- Check the pool for toys, money or other party debris they may have fallen in or been left behind.
- Sweep the pool deck of debris like bottle caps/tabs or other sharp objects that could injure future swimmers.
- Next, it's a good idea to shock your pool again. You've just had a bunch of swimmers in there (along with their lotions, oils, make-up, and possibly other things.) You'll want to clean and treat your pool to keep it safe for the rest of the season.