The cold, winter months have finally come to an end! Warm weather and sunshine take center stage again, and that means it is finally time to get your pool ready. We know how excited you are to swim and relax in your pool and throw summer backyard parties, but we also know how terrible the thought of actually getting your pool open and ready for the season can be. The whole process of cleaning it can be exhausting and arduous, but in the long run, it is totally worth it. While it can be a hassle, you only have to go through this process once a season, so join us as we go through the steps to opening your pool this summer!
Preparation: Cleaning your pool and getting it ready for use can be a long and difficult operation, so it is very important that you have all of the necessary equipment on hand to make this task easier. Hopefully, you already have plenty of this equipment on hand, but you may need to pick up a few things. Here are a few things that should help your opening:
- Pool Cover Pump
- Skimmer Net
- Chemical Start-Up Kit
- Garden Hose
- Pool Brush
- Pool Shock
- Test Strips
- Safety Goggles and Gloves
Thousands of pool owners end up in the ER with injuries, burns, or poisoning from pool chemicals, so for your own safety, have proper protection on hand. Also, having a friend to help you can spread the responsibility around and help with the removal of your pool cover.
Clean and Remove Your Pool Cover: Chances are that your pool cover has picked up quite a bit of debris in the fall and winter months. You should use a broom to sweep away most of the larger pieces you find on top of the cover. Next, you should take your pool cover pump to remove any water that has been left.
After the cover has been completely clean of any excess water and debris, it is time to finally remove it from your pool. Pool covers are rather large and heavy, so having an extra pair of hands can go a long way. Each of you should stand on the opposite side of the pool, lift it and fold it up, and then lay it on a flat surface to properly clean it. Once cleaned, fold it back up and store it until it’s needed again.
Skim the Pool: While your pool cover is designed to keep things out of the pool, nothing is perfect. Chances are some leaves and other things may have found their way into your pool. Even when taking off the cover, things could’ve fallen in. Make sure you have your pool skimmer to grab anything that made it into your pool. More thorough cleaning will be done later on, but it is important to get most of the big things out of the way first.
Remove Winter Plugs: When your pool was shut down for the winter months, we hope you installed winterized plugs to prevent water from getting into your pool’s pipes and eventually freezing. You will need to remove all plugs installed around the pool. Pool water should quickly flow back into these pipes.
You can also now reinstall all other pool accessories like ladders, slides, diving boards, and anything else you would normally have.
Raise Water Level: A pool cover’s main purpose is to keep any trash or debris from getting into the pool, but it also does a decent job of keeping water in the pool. However, it can’t completely protect your pool from evaporation, so you will have lost some water. You will need to add water to your pool to raise the water level up to avoid having to balance your pool’s water chemistry twice during your opening.
Reinstall Filter and Pump: Once the pool water has risen, reinstall drain plugs in your pump and filter. Make sure that all pumps and filters are still fully functioning before leaving them installed. Use a pool gasket lubricant on any O-rings for protection. If any part looks rusted, cracked, or worn down, replace them immediately. Power it up to ensure your whole system is running smoothly.
Clean Your Pool: While it isn’t completely necessary, you can still brush and vacuum your pool to pick up any sediment build up at the bottom of your pool and to help fight against algae and other bacteria in your pool before you shock it.
Shock Your Pool: Use a chlorine pool shock product in order to kill off any excess algae and bacteria and get your water crystal clear. The amount of shock needed depends on the size of your pool, but you will need to pour shock straight into the water slowly as you walk around its perimeter. Always remember to wear safety goggles and appropriate safety protection.
Balance the Water: You need to make sure your pool’s chemistry is safe for people to swim in. Use your test kit to make sure all your levels are safe. It even helps to run a sample to a pool supply store for safe measure. Adjust the chemicals accordingly starting with alkalinity, then pH, and finally the calcium.
Filter: Now all of the hard work has been finished, you just need to leave your filtration system running from between 24 to 48 hours to make sure the shock and any debris is removed. After this time, your pool should be ready to go!
Summertime is the perfect time to enjoy your swimming pools. From exercising and relaxing to hosting backyard summer parties, pools are exciting investments. Even though cleaning them may seem like a handful, it is beyond worth it. If you have any other questions regarding opening your pool, call the pool builders at Mid City Customs Pools to learn more!