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Pool Recovery After a Fire

Wildfires are devastating events, especially when they they impact homes and surrounding areas. Thousands of homes are damaged every year from wildfires, including many that have swimming pools.

Much like other natural disasters, fires can cause significant problems for you and your pool. Even if your home and pool is out of real danger from a fire, there is a good chance that debris and ash will make its way into the pool. Here are some tips on getting your pool back in good shape after a wildfire.

Highlights include:

Leslie's Pool Cleaning

Clean debris from water surface and pool floor.

Leslie's Cartridge Filters

Make sure filtration system is functioning properly.

Add water to pool

Check your water level and adjust accordingly.

Leslie's Pool Water Chemistry

Check and adjust your pH and chlorine levels.


If you don't have electrical power, remove as much as possible by hand.

Clean Up Debris

It is important to remove larger debris from the water surface before turning on your filtration system. This will make the next few steps a lot easier. Begin cleaning your pool by removing as much of the soot, ash, and debris found on the water surface using a telepole or skimmer net.

DIY Tip: Cover the net with an old t-shirt or another type of cloth to trap fine particles, as the mesh on the on the net is generally too large to capture this type of debris.

Removing debris from the bottom of a pool is vital too. Brush the walls and pool bottom to loosen debris and contaminants. Then use an automatic pool cleaner or a manual vacuum to remove the debris. Start by cleaning the shallow end and work your way through the deep end of the pool.

Ash and soot may cause staining on above ground pool liners, in-ground plaster pool surfaces and the surrounding deck area. The quicker you can remove the ash and soot, the less of chance for permanent staining.

Check Your Pool Pump

In many cases, the pool pump is turned off when a pool owner knows that effects from a natural disaster are imminent, so early in the recovery process would be a good time to turn on your pool pump and ensure that is it up and running. You should also check the pressure gauge on the filter to see whether you need to backwash or clean the filter. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendation on when it's needed to clean or backwash a filter.

Check Your Water Levels

After a fire, your water levels might be a bit off, so it's vital to see whether you need to add more water to your pool. Remember that your water should be leveled out in the middle of the skimmer opening. If your waer level is higher than that, it’s important to lower it so that your skimmer can work properly.

Check pH Level

After checking the water level, make sure that the pH level is in a healthy range. Ash and soot may alter the pH, so it is extremely important to avoid swimming until pH is between 7.2 ppm-8.0 ppm. Adding Soda Ash can bring the pH level back to a balanced range.

If you need to increase your pool’s Alkalinity level, without raising the pH level, try adding Leslie’s Alkalinity Up. This pH neutral chemical is a quick and effective way to increase the Alkalinity level and avoid potential pool damage.

Check Chlorine Level

Ash and soot from a wildfire can also alter the chlorine level in the your pool water. We recommend adding pool shock and make sure you have at least one 3 inch chlorine tablet in the chlorine dispenser.

Remove stains on pool surface

If you have any remaining residue or stains on the pool surface, try adding a stain and scale remover. Removers can eliminate stains within 2-4 weeks.

For extremely stained pool surfaces, you may need to hire a pool maintenance professional to acid wash the plaster. Leslie’s offers a Pool Acid Wash Service (in qualified areas) to take all worry and hassle out cleaning the pool surface.

No Electricity? Try This.

If you are without power because of effects of the fire, we suggest removing debris manually. If you have access to tap water, use a leaf bagger with a fine mesh bag to remove small dirt particles. Additionally, be sure to superchlorinate your water to keep your Flow-Accelerated Corrosion (FAC) level between 5.0 to 10.0 ppm.

Natural disasters such as wildfires can be a scary time for any homeowner. Although we strive to keep your pool safe and healthy, we understand that you and your family’s safety always comes first. We encourage staying safe during dangerous conditions and to not worry about the clean-up until it’s safe.

For more information, check out our Fire Recovery Informational Section. And if you'd like to connect with one of our experts, visit or contact your local Leslie's store.

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