How to Clean a Swimming Pool That Has Been Sitting Unused For a Long Time
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How to Clean a Swimming Pool That Has Been Sitting Unused For a Long Time

How to Clean a Swimming Pool That Has Been Sitting Unused For a Long Time

Part of the good practices for maintaining a healthy and safe to use swimming pool is regular cleaning. However at times this is not always the case especially if it’s not in use. There’s no motivation to maintain it. At other times it could have been abandoned when owners/residents moved out. If you happen to find yourself with a pool that hasn’t been used for long don’t worry how you are going to restore it to a usable condition. Below are some tips on how to clean a swimming pool that has been sitting for a long time.

First let us look at some of the dangers of not cleaning a swimming pool

There are several dangers of swimming in a dirty swimming pool:

  1. Risk of contracting recreational water illnesses(RWIs)-
  2. Risk of contracting swimmer’s ear infection– this is an infection that attacks outer ear canal.
  3. Risk of getting infected with skin rashes.
  4. If swallowed the water in such a pool poses the risk of contracting other diseases like Hepatitis A, diarrhea, cryptosporidium, giardia, Coli, salmonella etc.
  5. Pool water filter failure- the filter can get clogged and unable to function.
  6. Air pollution due to odour emanating from the water.

How to clean a swimming pool that has been sitting unused for a long time

Draining option

How to Drain Swimming Pool Water Without a PumpCompletely draining the pool should be the first and best option if the type of pool allows. The best and quickest way to do this is to use a water pump to drain away the water. Just make sure you are disposing it well. Check out our blow aerator solution for cleansing water and releasing used in your household to the environment safely.

If you don’t have a pump kindly check our earlier post on how to drain swimming pool water without a pump. If draining is not an option use the other options below.

After draining the pool you can then clean it with scrubbing brushes, soap/detergent/bleach and water like you would normally clean a bathroom. After you have cleaned it to your satisfaction you can then refill it with fresh water. Ensure the filtration system and other functions like heating if available are working.

If draining is not convenient

Follow these steps to clean a swimming pool that has been sitting unused for a long time if draining is not an option

  1. Use a pool skimmer to skim out floating debris- The first step should be taking care of big solids that float on like twigs, plastics, papers, insects etc. and the most appropriate equipment for this process is a pool skimmer.
  2. Brush the sides, ladder/stairs- the next step is cleaning the side walls and steps/ladder. Use the side walls brush instead of the floor brush. However it might not be very good for washing the stairs due to its design and you might need a different brush.
  3. Clean the floor- the most convenient option would be using a vacuum cleaner. However you have to be very careful here because if the vacuum cleaner sucks in some large particles beyond what it’s designed to handle it can be damaged. Before vacuuming you can use a pool brush or rake to gather the large particles in one corner where you can scoop them out and then use the vacuum cleaner.
  4. Shock the pool using the recommended pool shock chemical(pool chlorine shock)- this helps to remove algae, bacteria, bathers waste, chloramines, contaminants and cloudy water. You will first have to dissolve the granular shock using the right ratios of water and the shock chlorine. Also follow the manufacturers guidelines on how to pour the mixture in the pool.
  5. Check and unclog the pool filter- it’s very likely the filter might be clogged so you need to check it and unclog it if it is clogged. After ensuring the filter is unclogged and running well you will need to run it for up to 24hrs until the pool water is clear.
  6. Check PH levels of your pool water- After going through the above steps, you need to ensure the water has the right PH levels. Use a PH meter to determine the current levels. The ideal levels should be between 7.2-7.8 but always go for a middle ground of 7.4. Depending with the results, you can increase or decrease using PH increaser or PH decreaser respectively.

We hope the above steps on how to clean a swimming pool that has been sitting unused for a long time will help you recover and reuse your pool.

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