Pool Troubleshooting

Steps to Cleaning Your Swimming Pool After a Rainstorm

How to clean your green or cloudy swimming pool after a rainstorm.

By Allen Hayward

Rain can have a negative effect on your pool water. Since rain is acidic, the pH balance of your pool will be compromised. If the rain comes down hard and heavy, it’ll cause additional water to fill your pool. This ends up diluting the pool water of its precious chemicals.

Light rain and showers won’t really cause any problems for your pool. But you should still take some precautions anyway to prepare your pool for the next rainstorm.

Preparing Your Swimming Pool for a Heavy Rainstorm

Below are some tips for preparing your swimming pool for a big rainstorm before it approaches.

Bring Inside Your Pool Accessories and Outdoor Furniture

Any outside accessories and furnishings that are loose or not tied down need to be brought indoors. Things like toys, floats, and chairs around your swimming pool area should be stored inside somewhere like a garage or shed. Otherwise, there is a risk of these objects getting blown around and knocked over by the heavy winds of the storm.

Here is a list of the common items around your pool area which need to be stored indoors:

Floats, toys, and games on your pool water

Potted plants



All outdoor lounging chairs, furniture, and cushions

Landscaping gnomes and other items on the lawn

Pool cleaners, covers and/or other pool maintenance accessories and equipment

Whatever you do, don’t try to protect your patio furniture by placing it inside of the swimming pool. This can be hazardous to both the pool water and the entire structure of the pool. Your furniture will likely get ruined too.

Unhook Electrical Lines

The pool pump must be deactivated prior to the storm. If there is a timer attached to the pump, make sure that is turned off too. You certainly wouldn’t want the timer to activate the pump during the storm. That will cause a lot of problems.

Turn off and disconnect any gas lines and/or electric lines that run to the pool. Put a heater cover over your filter and pump if you have one. If you have gas lines, take extra caution and ensure they’re shut off properly. Otherwise, a gas leak may occur if the storm is bad enough.

Pool Water Preparations

You must prepare the pool water for the storm. This means putting some algaecide in the water to reduce the risk of algae or any other organic impurities from getting in there. Rainwater tends to drive impurities like these to your pool water. That is why preparations for the pool water are necessary.

Note: A swimming pool should have overflows installed because they can drain out the extra water that comes from rainwater. The pool can be lowered by 12 inches. If you lower it any more, the storm produces hydrostatic pressure which could potentially pop out the swimming pool from the ground.

The Top 5 Steps for Cleaning a Swimming Pool Following a Rainstorm

The storm is over, and now it’s time to deal with the aftermath. This means your pool needs to be cleaned up and restored to its previous condition. If you took the precautionary advice that was just mentioned, then you shouldn’t have a tough time with this.

Turn ON the Pool Filter and Pool Pump

Inspect your pump baskets and skimmer. Remove any contaminants and debris from them. After you do that, turn your pool filter and pump back on. If there is small debris left behind, the filter can take care of it.

Use Skimmer to Clean Water Surface

Clean the area around your pool with a broom and/or garden hose. This can help clear debris which could potentially fall into the pool as you’re skimming. With a garden hose, spray away from the water, or else the debris will get pushed into the water.

Grab a pole and attach a flat skimmer or leaf net to it. Use this on the surface of the pool water to remove any visible debris from there. Do this prior to vacuuming, or else your vacuuming job will be difficult.

Brushing and Vacuuming

Use a pool brush on your pool ladder and steps. This debris can go into your water because the filter or vacuum will take care of it. If the floor of your pool has a drain, push the debris near it with the brush. If there is very little debris on the pool’s floor, then an automatic pool cleaner can be used rather than a manual vacuum cleaner. But if there is a lot of debris, then a manual vacuum is better.

Remember that heavy rain causes extra water to get added to the pool. This is beneficial when vacuuming large amounts of debris away from the pool’s floor. On the other hand, if there is hardly any debris there, then the excess water needs to get pumped out. Set the filter to mode “waste” and connect a backwash hose to it. Now turn on the pool pump and the water should be getting pumped out. Stop when the waterline of the pool water is roughly 7” from the top area of the pool.

Water Testing

When debris and rainwater fall into your pool, it alters the chemistry of the pool water. The pH levels of the water are greatly reduced as a result. That is why you need to test these levels after a storm and readjust them accordingly. Sometimes a professional water test is better to get done if the storm was huge. If you fail to check the water, you could end up with a cloudy or green swimming pool.

Aside from your pH levels, you need to check the levels of alkalinity, sanitizer and/or chlorine in the pool too. Sanitizer is good for eliminating contaminants brought into the pool by rain.

The cyanuric acid and/or calcium levels of the pool are generally not affected by rain. The only issue here would be the dilution of the water.

Shock the Pool?

You don’t need to shock your pool following a rainstorm. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to shock it either. Whenever there is a lot of heavy rain, it is a good idea to shock your pool afterward. This ensures that nasty contaminants are eliminated from the pool water.

Before shocking the pool, you need to adjust the balance of the water by draining it to the correct level. Then you test the levels of pH, sanitizer, and alkalinity in the water. Once that is done, you can go ahead and shock the pool water.

Remember to never swim in the pool during any kind of rainstorm or thunderstorm because you run the risk of getting struck by lightning or hit with flying debris.

After the storm, clean the pool like described in this article. Wait about 24 hours, and then you can go back to swimming in your pool again. If any major storms are forecasted, take the same precautionary and cleaning advice and do it again.


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