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Leslie's Pool Care Checklist

It might be hard to believe, but pool season is already just around the corner in many regions across the country. At Leslie’s, we understand that a positive pool experience begins with working equipment and healthy water. Leslie's wants to do everything we can to get your pool swim-ready and keep it there!

We've put together a handy Pool Care Checklist (downloadable version available below) for you to ensure proper pool preparation and maintenance. Follow these simple steps to ensure your pool stays swim ready year-round.

✔ Check Your Timer

Make sure your timer is set for the right season. Ask a Leslie’s Associate or Technician for timer setting recommendations.
Having the right timer settings will ensure your pool pump and filter isn’t wasting energy by running for too long, or for not long enough. As the weather changes, so should your pool timer settings.

✔ Empty Pump & Skimmer Basket(s)

Empty debris and leaves from pump and skimmer baskets.
This simple emptying of the basket becomes even more important during the fall season, when leaves are more likely to be an issue. Not emptying the basket can cause a blockage of your plumbing and filtration system, potentially causing significant harm to your pool pump.

Replace basket if cracked or damaged.
Even a slight crack in your pump basket could result in debris flowing through, leading to hidden blockages in your pool's plumbing. With the strong water flow and pressure that is centered on your pump basket, it’s important to replace it at the first sign of damage.

✔ Check Pressure Gauge

Pressure gauge should be at ZERO while the pump is off. If not at ZERO, replace your pressure gauge.
While seemingly a tiny piece of your equipment pad, the pressure gauge is critical to understanding if your equipment is running properly and efficiently. With an improper reading, you may not immediately notice a small issue that will grow into something more damaging. Don't overlook this part of the Pool Care Checklist!

✔ Check For Leaks

Check for leaks around your pump, filter, valves, and other equipment in the surrounding area.
Even small leaks in your plumbing or equipment can escalate dramatically, leaving you rushing to find a technician to come out and replace piping or equipment. At the first sign of unexpected water loss, try to isolate and patch or replace the problem part entirely. You don’t want to come home from a weekend trip with a soggy surprise in the backyard.

Consult a Leslie’s Store Associate or Technician if leaks are present.
While a DIY patch may work in the short term, it unfortunately may not address the root cause of the issue. Improper pump sizing, PVC piping or other installation mistakes can lead to recurring and annoying issues. Leslie’s Technicians are specially trained for proper equipment sizing and installation.

✔ Lubricate O-Rings

Lubricate o-rings on pump lid, filter, and backwash valves (if applicable).
After a long summer of pool fun your o-rings may be due for some care. Lubricating the o-ring will ensure a proper and secure fit, and helps prevent issues with water leakage or other damage.

Replace if o-rings are stretched or ill-fitting.
You won't have to do this every time you go through the Pool Care Checklist, but it's important to check your o-rings at least once a year. Has it been a few years since you last removed your o-rings? Once removed, there’s a good chance it has stretched or warped in the sun, and it won’t provide the solid seal that it has for so many years. Replacing o-rings yearly ensures that you always have a fresh, secure seal. Just make sure you locate the correct replacement, as too often we see homeowner’s settle for “close enough.” Unfortunately, “close enough” doesn’t quite work with o-rings. You need a 100% match in dimensions to ensure proper installation. We offer o-ring kits for almost every type and model of pool equipment.

✔ Clean Filter & Backwash (if applicable)

Cartridge Filters
Clean cartridge elements and replace if cracked, torn, or damaged. One of our favorite tips to homeowners is to always keep backup cartridges on hand. You might find yourself needing to clean the cartridges less often.

D.E. Filters
Clean D.E. grids and replace or recharge with Low-Dust D.E. powder. If the grids are torn or damaged, replace the grids. Remember that regular backwashing will keep your pool sparkling and fresh.

Sand Filters
Backwash filter regularly, and replace sand if older than 3 years.

✔ Check Salt Cell (if applicable)

Check salt cell for calcium buildup. If buildup is present, clean the cell.
Calcium buildup over many years is a common reason for needing to replace your cell. You can stave off that replacement date with consistent cleansing and care of your pool salt cell. Be careful with the acid mixture and cleaning tools you choose to use to maintain your cell. Leslie’s Associates can provide you with safe and simple to follow care instructions that will help you get the most out of that salt cell.

✔ Check Auto Chlorinator (if applicable)

Refill auto chlorinator and adjust settings as needed.
Replace cracked, leaking, or broken parts.

✔ Check Pool Cleaner

Check pool cleaner for any cracks or broken parts and sufficient suction.
Many pool cleaners that are available today will have a few commonly replaced parts that tend to wear out over extended use. Our Leslie’s Associates can help you identify which parts may be close to the end of the line.

Bring in cleaner to Leslie’s for a FREE inspection and FREE labor if parts are needed.
Don’t struggle trying to dissect a broken wing flap or diaphragm. Our trained in-store professionals are standing by to quickly diagnose and swap out parts that are in need of replacement.

✔ Skim & Brush Pool

Skim leaves and debris from pool. Brush pool for an extra clean.
While this may seem like a routine and simple piece of maintenance on the Pool Care Checklist, it can often be one of the most critical. Regular brushing and skimming will ensure a stubborn algae strain doesn’t find a comfortable home on your pool walls or floor. By dislodging debris from the walls and floor, you allow your filtration system to be many times more effective. Most algae and wall discoloration issues arise from infrequent brushing.

✔ Fill the Floater

Fill chlorine float. Replace floater if cracked or damaged.
Whether you’re using a floating chlorine feeder or a more automated method of sanitization, it’s important to ensure that your pool is receiving a steady supply of Free Available Chlorine (FAC). This steady supply of FAC will help your water chemistry better handle the peaks and valleys that come with rain, heavy usage, leaves, animals, and much more.

✔ Test Pool Water

Bring in a water sample to Leslie’s for a FREE 10-Point Water Test.
Within minutes, receive a comprehensive water treatment plan that is tailored for the specific issues that our AccuBlue® water testing system unveils. Our certified in-store pool experts will guide you through proper dosages and treatment steps, ensuring you have a clear path to a sparkling blue pool.

Complete an At-Home Water Test Kit or Strips.
If a store visit isn’t an option today, then keep an at-home testing kit handy to identify issues with your core chemical levels. Whether you’re using handy strips or a complete water test kit, it’s important to consistently check the condition your pool water is in.

✔ Balance Pool Water

Balance your pool water according to water test results.
Now that you’ve diagnosed your pool and understand the treatment plan, ensure you have the right Leslie’s Pool Chemicals on hand to spring into action. Whether you need chlorine, shock, Perfect Weekly, or any of our other quality pool chemicals, your local Leslie’s store will have stock on-hand for same day treatment.

Leslie's Pool Care Checklist

Download this printable version of the Leslie's Pool Care Checklist and keep it available for whenever you need it.

If you have additional questions, call or stop by your local Leslie's store to speak with a pool expert.

At Leslie’s, we’re here to help you create a safe, sanitary, simple, and fun pool experience.