A Few Tips to Prepare Your Pool for the Big Opening this Spring
With the first day of spring only a couple of weeks away, pool opening time is just around the corner. And since algae blooms love warm water, it’s best to open your pool as early as possible. Consider opening once the warm days of spring are here to stay.
Before you open for the season, there are a few things you can do to help make your pool opening go smoothly. By taking care of a few tasks leading up to the big day, you can save yourself from unexpected delays.
Here are a few tips to prepare above-ground and inground pools for the big opening this spring.
Clean Around the Pool and Deck
As the snow starts to melt, you will likely notice debris around your pool, on your deck, and in your landscaping. There may even be some debris littered on your pool cover. This includes branches, leaves, and garbage that have blown into your yard.
Take this time before your pool opening to clean up your yard and all the debris that has made its way around your pool. When you’re ready to store your pool cover, give it a thorough cleaning and let it air dry before storing it. You can also use this spring cleaning time to trim trees, shrubs, and other landscaping.
Do a Basic Inspection
Inspect your pool for any damage so you can make repairs and start enjoying your pool come time to swim. Look for signs of damage, such as:
- Excessive wear and tear;
- Small cracks;
- Chipped tiles; and,
- Mold and mildew growth.
If you notice any damage, repair the damage before it gets worse.
Get Your Equipment Ready
When the temperature stays above zero, replace all winterizing plugs with drain plugs. This includes the plugs in the:
- Pool cleaners, and
- Other winterized equipment.
Start installing deck equipment, such as railings, slides, deck chairs, and a pool fence. Check the equipment for signs of damage before installation. If you’re concerned about the condition it’s in, consider replacing it before you open your pool.
Before the big day, reinstall the pool equipment following the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes the pool heater, pump, and filtration system. Do an inspection of this equipment and check:
- The filters for wear and tear;
- The basket strainers for cracks;
- For leaks near the electrical connections; and,
- That all lines are clear of debris and open.
Lastly, clean the pool surfaces and equipment with a pool brush. And then finish with an automatic pool cleaner. This will clean any traces of dirt, debris, and mildew, so your pool will be in top condition for opening time.
WHEN SHOULD I OPEN MY POOL?
The best time for opening inground pools is after winter and before the hot weather arrives. Too many consecutive warm days can make unopened swimming pools hospitable for algae and bacteria growth, so you’re better off opening sooner than later in spring.
Many Canadians choose to open their pools during the long weekend in May. But if you want to open sooner, go for it.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Here are some of the must-have pool supplies for opening a pool:
- Pool cover pump;
- Winter cover cleaner or car wash soap;
- Soft broom or skimmer net;
- Skimmer on a telescoping pole;
- Pool brush;
- Garden hose;
- Start-up chemical kit;
- Pool shock;
- Test strips;
- Silicone pool gasket lubricant;
- Thread seal tape;
- Safety goggles;
- Chemical-resistant gloves; and
- An extra set of hands.
Steps To Open A Pool:
Clean and Remove the Pool Cover
Before removing your pool cover, clean all dirt and debris from the top of your pool cover. You don’t want any of this dirt getting in your pool. The best time to do this is when the cover is dry since it will be easier to sweep off dirt.
Otherwise, use a pool cover pump to remove standing water.
Once the cover is clear, remove it, clean it, and hose it off. Allow it to dry before storing it for the summer in a dry, rodent-free storage area. If your cover is damaged, don’t bother cleaning or storing it. Just replace it instead.
Prepare Equipment and Accessories
Replace any lights that you removed for the winter, checking that they are correctly installed and working well. If they aren’t working, replace the bulbs.
Reinstall your pool ladder, diving board, slide, and other accessories, making sure they are installed properly and securely and are in good condition.
Once installed, you can lubricate the bolts and hinges on this equipment.
Skim the Pool
Use your skimmer net to skim any debris from your pool water that could clog up your filter system.
Remove Plugs/Ice Compensator
Remove all the winterizing plugs you installed when you closed your pool for the winter. And remove the ice compensator and the plugs from your skimmer as well.
Raise the water level of the pool with a hose and hose filter until the water reaches the normal level.
Install Pump and Filter
Reinstall drain plugs in your pump and filter with thread seal tape. And lubricate O-rings with pool gasket lubricant. Replace cracked O-rings.
Follow the same steps for your pool heater and chlorinator, if you have these.
Next, open your return side valves. For a multiport valve, turn the handle to “waste” and replace the air bleeder, sight glass, and pressure gauge.
Flip the circuit breaker and turn on your pump.
If you need to, you can also clean or replace your filter. Make sure you switch the multiport valve to “filter.”
Add pool chemicals to reduce metal levels and balance pH levels. You can use a pool opening kit for this step.
After adding the chemicals, run your pump for a day or two until the chemicals are balanced. And add an algaecide if your pool is turning green.
Here’s a list of pool chemicals you might need:
- Alkalinity increaser,
- Calcium hardness increaser,
- Metal sequestrant,
- pH increaser,
- pH decreaser, and
- Water clarifier.
Clean the Pool
One of the most important steps for a successful pool opening is thoroughly cleaning your pool. So brush the sides of your pool until clean. And use a pool vacuum to remove any dirt and debris on the bottom of your pool.
To ensure your pool water is clean and free of bacteria and algae spores, double shock your pool at pool opening. For chlorine systems, use two pounds of chlorine shock per 10,000 gallons of water. Slowly pour into your pool as you walk around the perimeter.
Be sure to wear safety goggles, gloves, and a mask when handling the shock.
Leave Filtration System Running for At Least 24 Hours
This should be enough time to circulate the shock, kill bacteria and algae spores, and clean out any remaining debris.
Rinse Away Chemicals
Use your hose to spray away any chemicals that could have ended up near your pool, such as on your pool deck.
Test Water Repeatedly
To make sure that your pool is safe to swim in, test the water for safe chlorine levels and balanced water chemistry. And be sure to test your pool water regularly (about once a week) throughout the pool season.
Test All Safeguards Regularly
Check that all your pool safeguards are working properly, such as your pool gate locks and door alarms. Fix or replace anything that doesn’t work.
Properly Store Winter Cover Away From Children and Animals
You don’t want kids and animals playing in and getting trapped in your pool cover. So store it in a secure spot, ideally in a sturdy container away from sunlight.
Store Chemicals Safely
Also store your properly-closed pool chemicals in a cool, dry, and secure location away from sunlight and out of reach from children and animals.
Why Should I Hire A Pool Company For My Pool Opening?
To ensure your pool opening goes smoothly, consider hiring a pool service to do this work for you. Professional pool opening experts can address any issues that might arise during pool opening to make sure your pool is safe and ready to use come the first warm days of the pool season.
If you’re not sure how to open an inground swimming pool for the summer, or you want to leave this extra work to the pros, consider hiring a pool company for a successful pool opening. They will give you a safe, sparkling clean pool to swim in all summer long.