Opening Your Pool
When spring is finally here and as the temperatures begin to climb, it’s time to think about getting the pool area ready for the warm weather. Opening a pool is now easier than ever and with a few simple steps, you can be ready to enjoy your pool in no time!
Perhaps one of the most-overlooked steps in getting your swimming pool ready for the season is addressing the area surrounding your pool.
Things to Consider:
Clean up plant debris from the pool deck, patio, nearby planting beds – virtually anything that has the potential for producing debris in your pool. Prune trees and hedges that have grown in recent months and might hang over your pool. Some plants shed their flowers in the summertime, which can end up in your pool.
Check your Pool Supplies
Check expiration dates on all pool chemical containers. Cleaning supplies that are past expiration should be properly disposed of and replaced with new chemicals. Also remember that if a chemical was not properly sealed before being stored in the off-season, you need to replace that as well.
Remove the Pool Cover
During the fall and winter months your pool cover accumulates water. Be sure to avoid mixing the water on the top of the cover with your pool water by using a pump or shop vacuum to remove the water from the top of the pool cover. After removing the cover, take it to a driveway or other solid place on a slant or slope for easier drainage. Thoroughly sweep and hose off the cover, and use cleaner or treatment if it’s recommended by the manufacturer of the cover.
Should You Test Your Fill Water?
PoolStyle Clean-N-Store removes dirt, grease, oil, grime and deodorizes as well as protects the cover during storage – ensuring a longer life for your pool cover. You can pour the cleaner on and scrub it with a brush. There is no need to let the cover completely dry, however it is recommended that you buy a large plastic container to store your pool cover in. This way, it can remain wet and no insects will have access to it. If not using PoolStyle Clean-N-Store, allow the cover to dry completely before storing. Tightly roll or fan-fold the cover and wrap with rope or use strapping to keep it tight. Store the pool cover indoors or in a garage - away from insects, rodents and moisture.
Inspect the Pool
Remove expansion or freeze plugs from the surface skimmers and wall returns, and restore directional fittings. Make sure to inspect the filter and pump for possible damaged or worn parts and buy a replacement. To prevent lights from cracking in areas where it freezes, underwater light fixtures are often removed from their housings, with the wires still connected. Coil the wire into the niche and reattach the light fixture. Also, be sure to look for chips in the plaster and indentations on the deck and coping. It’s also a good time to remove calcium scale and stains from the tile with a household tile cleaner or baking soda and a tile brush. For tougher stains, try using a pumice stone.
Different types of pools require different pre-opening measures:
Check for holes or tears and make any needed repairs as soon as possible. The primary function of the vinyl liner is to hold water. If it is properly maintained, it can last for a very long time. Patch tears or holes promptly, before they get any bigger, following the instructions of your pool’s manufacturer. If you are not sure about how to make the repair, call or go to your local pool supplier for help or consult a swimming pool maintenance company.
Keep your pool liner clean. Dirt and other fine materials accumulate at the waterline. Remove this buildup frequently by gently scrubbing it with a soft cloth and vinyl cleaner. You can also use a mop or a brush specially designed for your type of pool liner.
Check for cracks and repair any cracks you find within the season. Checking for cracks should be a standard part of regular maintenance. It’s especially important to check for cracks at the beginning and end of the swimming season. Cracks often develop from ground shifts. Water may be lost as well. Repair cracks in accordance with guidelines on the product label or instructions from the manufacturer.
Hairline cracks are normal; inspect for other damage. Hairline cracks often occur in fiberglass over a period of time. Since fiberglass pools have a gel coating, hairline cracks do not tend to leak or affect the integrity of the pool. If you see a major crack or damage, however, call a fiberglass pool specialist.
Fill the Pool Water Midway and Clean Debris
Grab a garden hose and fill the pool to the midpoint on the waterline tile or middle of the skimmer weirs. Once it's at the desired level, you can now clean leaves, twigs and debris from the pool’s bottom by using a wall and floor brush. This is also time to dust off your algae brush and pool vacuum. Also be sure to remove any debris from the leaf basket.
Check the Filter Cartridge
Remove the top of the filter and check the filter cartridge (if applicable). If you have a sand filter, refill it to the indicated level. Check the piping in your filters for cracks or leaks.
Turn on the Pool Filter
Turn on the filter and run it 12-24 hours to mix up the old and new water before testing or adding chemicals. Be sure that you are using new testing strips and not expired ones. In order to get the best start for your pool, you should bring a water sample to a pool professional for proper analysis. Your pool professional will provide you with instructions for balancing your pool water. They can test the water’s pH level, the alkalinity, the calcium hardness and the chlorine content. In addition to shocking the pool, they may be able to also recommend that you add a stabilizer, conditioner or algaecide to your pool before it’s ready for the warm weather.
Continue to run the filter for a few days, vacuuming out any debris that has settled. When the water is clear and the chlorine levels have come down, your pool is ready for swimming!
Clean and Repair Pool and Deck Furniture
Be sure to clean and repair any pool and deck furniture so that it is safe for use. Replace any that is unstable or rotted. Also, check all safety rails, slides, ladders, and diving boards by checking that the bolts are secure.
Rescue equipment should be easily accessible near the pool and well maintained. The equipment should be appropriate, durable, and easy to use. All equipment should be checked before the swimming season begins. Don’t forget to post emergency numbers by the pool.