The hurricane season can be a stressful time for homeowners. One area that is often overlooked during hurricane preparation is the swimming pool and hot tub. However, taking steps to get them ready for a storm is crucial for avoiding potential damage to your home and pool. Here are seven tips from the National Hurricane Center that can help you in preparing your pool and hot tub for a hurricane.
When Preparing Your Pool and Hot Tub For a Hurricane, Remove the Cover
Although your instinct may be to cover your water ahead of a storm, this can often be the wrong approach. Instead, when preparing your pool and hot tub for a hurricane, it is actually best to remove the cover. You see, the wind that passes over the area can catch the cover and turn an above-ground pool or hot tub into a flying object in a hurricane, causing damage to your home or a neighbor’s property.
Do Not Drain the Water, Fill It Up!
Draining the water from your pool or hot tub before a storm may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. This is another approach that is ill advised. In fact, the best thing you can do is fill the water up as high as possible. As it turns out, lowering the water level can damage the structure of the pool or hot tub’s foundation.
An above-ground pool or hot tub with low water levels runs the risk of being pushed upwards or floating away. The same goes for an in-ground pool, where filling the pool with water gives weight to keep it in the ground. It’s recommended that you set up a siphon hose in the pool to get excess water out if it overflows.
Turn Off Filters, Sanitize Ahead of the Storm
Leaves and other debris have a bad habit of clogging up a pool filter. Powering off the filter and pumps ahead of a hurricane can help you to avoid malfunction or motor over-exertion. Experts also recommend “shocking” your pool with chlorine or bromine to sanitize the water ahead of time.
Secure Loose Objects
Advice for making your pool safe doesn’t only apply to the pool itself. It’s important to be mindful of the entire pool area. Chairs, tables, decorations and pool cleaning tools all need to be secured before a storm hits. Pool experts also recommend removing or screwing down skimmer lids tightly before a hurricane. Loose objects become dangerous in high winds, and they can damage your home or pool.
Turn Off Power to Pool Equipment
Circuit breakers at the main panel need to be shut off completely to stop anything from operating during a hurricane. It’s recommended that you run the pumps and filters while the weather is calm. That said, once the high winds, lightning, and rain arrive, turn the circuit breaker off until the storm passes.
Wrap and Protect Equipment
While preparing your pool and hot tub for a hurricane, protecting your pool equipment is crucial. The pump motor, time clock, light transformers, and heater all have to be wrapped in waterproof plastic and sealed before a hurricane.
If you live in a flood-prone zone, it’s best to disconnect the devices and take them to a dry area. It’s also essential to keep the area around the equipment pad clear so water can drain away freely from the equipment during the storm.
Check and Protect Your Pool Screen Enclosure
Making a vent in the screen to let the wind flow through, or removing panels on opposite sides, can prevent damage to the screen enclosure. Taking these steps can help prevent damage to your pool, hot tub, and even your home when a hurricane hits.
In the end, these tips are essential for preparing your pool and hot tub ahead of a hurricane. Remember, taking steps to prepare can save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run.