If this is your first year owning a pool, you’ll probably want to call us to handle the opening and closing for you so you can get more familiar with the process. And while we’re happy to handle the opening and closing every year, many customers choose to take care of it themselves once they understand how it’s done. If you’re going to do it yourself, be sure you steer clear of these mistakes to save yourself extra work and to ensure you have the best water quality.
Opening Your Pool
► Forgetting to clear the cover. Use a pump to get rid of accumulated water and then use a broom or a leaf rake to pull off the debris. There’s no bigger downer when you’re opening your pool and you have to scoop ten times as many leaves out because you forgot this step.
► Forgetting to clear the surrounding area. Even if your cover is perfectly clear, the yucky water, leaves, sticks, and other debris around your pool will find their way in easily if you don’t clear them off first. Plus, when you remove the cover, you need a nice clean spot to place it.
► Storing the cover dirty or wet. Clean your cover and let it dry completely before you fold it up and tuck it in the shed or a plastic container for the summer. This will avoid you unfolding a mildewed, stuck together cover next fall.
► Not lubricating metal parts. It’s a good idea to lubricate bolts on your handrails and diving board and other moving parts at the start of the season. Skip this step and they may rust or oxidize over the summer and be a serious pain to remove when you’re closing your pool.
► Not balancing the water correctly. At the start of the season, we seriously recommend you bring your water in for a professional test. From there, you balance your water (alkalinity first, then pH, then calcium). It’s not until your water is correctly pH balanced that you shock your water.
► Not running the filtration system enough. You need to circulate the water for 12-24 hours before you bring the water sample in and balance the water (to let the new water you added get incorporated). There’s another 12-24 hours circulation after you balance the water but before you shock it. Then you’ll want to circulate the water for another day before you dive in.
► Not brushing enough. When you’re opening your pool, you want to brush the walls, floor, and steps with a good pool brush after you’ve vacuumed. Then you want to keep brushing daily for the first week or so. This will stop algae growth in its tracks and allow your chemicals and your filter to do their best work.
Closing Your Pool
► Closing a dirty pool. A minimal amount of floating leaves or dirt on the bottom of your pool will wreak havoc on your water during the winter and you’ll be opening to a much bigger mess. Part of winterizing your pool is using a skimmer to remove all leaves, brushing your pool, and vacuuming it.
► Not balancing the water properly. Sometimes people think all you need to do is throw in the winterizing chemicals and you’re good to go. Not so. Before you add winterizing chemicals, you want your water correctly balanced.
► Not lowering the water level. When you live in a zone where there’s a chance the water could freeze, it’s important you lower the level a little bit to prevent damage from expanding, frozen water. Just drop it about 4-6 inches below the skimmer and you’ll be good.
► Failing to remove water from the lines, filter, and other equipment. This is the big one that can have very costly effects if you forget. Water can freeze in your plumbing lines and burst them. Same for your filter and other equipment. Frozen water expands and can ruin them.
Make sure you don’t make any of those mistakes, and the process will go smoothly. And not to worry, even if things go awry while you’re taking care of the opening and/or closing, we’re only one call away!