If you’re like us, the thought of summer and pool season has you bouncing with excitement. We just have to get through spring and then we’re there! Speaking of spring, that is actually the perfect time to get your pool opened and ready for the upcoming season. Follow these tips, and your pool will be ready and waiting for you to jump in as soon as that summer sun comes out.
Remove, Clean, and Store Your Pool Cover
The first step in removing your cover is to clear off all the leaves and debris that’s accumulated on top. You don’t want any of that gunk to fall in the pool and make your job any harder, so use a broom or pool scraper to pull it all off. You’ll also need to use a pool cover pump to remove any standing water.
Here’s an expert tip for you on this one: remove the water first and then wait for the cover to dry for a day or two. Then you can use a leaf blower to blow off most of the debris from your pool cover and around the pool.
When it’s relatively clear, have a friend (or more!) help you remove it. As you pull it off, you can fold it inside on itself, accordian style to keep the leftover debris from falling into your pool.
Lay out the cover and clean it with a winter cover cleaner or soap and a gentle scrub brush. Inspect the cover as you clean it for any damage. Once clean, let it dry thoroughly before you fold it for storage. Pro tip: sprinkle it with talcum powder to prevent it from sticking. Store it in a plastic container to protect it until next winter.
Reinstall Your Equipment
Remove the winter plugs and replace the eyeball or jet fittings to the return lines. Next, out come the ice compensators, and then you can replace the skimmer baskets. Clean and install the drains. Clean and inspect your filter, pump, heater, automatic cleaner, and any other equipment. Then reconnect.
Inspect, clean and reattach hand rails, diving boards, ladders, etc. Pro tip: lubricate bolts, screws, and o-rings now. You’ll kick yourself for skipping this step if they rust over the summer!
Add Water to Your Pool
Assuming you didn’t drain your pool for winterization, you’ll just need to top it off with water until it’s at the appropriate level (right above the halfway point in the skimmer opening). Or, if your pool was drained, fill it up.
Prep and Turn On the Pool
Start with replacing the drain plugs and the pressure gauge on your filter and pump. Before you hit the power, make sure the valves are in the open position. Prime the pump by filling it with water, and make sure air is purged from the plumbing. Once the circulation system is going, check your pool for cracks, damaged hoses, and leaks. If there’s any damage, shut off the power and call us for service.
Clean the Pool, Shock Your Water, and Add Algaecide
Clean leaves and other debris from the bottom of the pool with a telescoping brush. Let your filter run for at least 12 hours to circulate the new water you added into the old. Then, take a water sample and bring it by for professional testing. Pro tip: to get a good sample, you should reach about elbow deep (around 18” inches) and fill a clean bottle with water. When you bring it in for testing, we’ll give you advice and recommendations on how to get your pH and alkalinity balanced.
You’ll want to first adjust alkalinity, next pH, and lastly calcium hardness. This is a good point to run your pool vacuum and brush your pool. That will start taking care of any algae in your pool and make the shock more effective. Then let your filtration system run overnight.
Finally, it’s time to sanitize and shock your water. For opening your pool, always do a double shock. Use 2 pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. Pro tip: use safety goggles and gloves when shocking your pool. Once shocked, let the filter run for a minimum of 2 hours before adding algaecide, an important step to prevent scale and stains.
Once you’ve done the shock and added algaecide, let the filter run another 24 hours and then test your water. Your pool should be ready to dive in at this point!
Our final tip is to call in the pros! If you have any questions throughout the opening process, or run into any issues, contact us, or if you prefer, let us open your pool for you so you won’t have to worry about a thing.