(BPT) – When spring arrives, it’s time to start thinking about summer fun. If you have a swimming pool, and you closed it for the winter, it’s important to plan ahead so you’re ready to open it back up for the season. Do you have all the supplies you need? Do you know what to do to get the water in top condition? When temperatures are consistently above 65ºF and there’s no longer a risk of freezing weather, you can consider opening your pool.
Here’s how to open your pool correctly, with tips from In The Swim to help you every step of the way.
1. Remove your pool cover
A cover that’s bogged down with water and debris will be difficult to remove. Use a submersible cover pump to remove as much water as possible from the top of your solid cover. Then use a pool brush or leaf net to remove leaves and large debris. This will help keep the pool a little cleaner as you peel back the cover. After uncovering your pool, clean and dry your pool cover so you can store it for use next fall.
2. Prep your pool equipment
First, you’ll have to reconnect the pump and filter if you disconnected them at closing time. Then you can reattach any other equipment to your pool plumbing, such as a tablet feeder or saltwater chlorine generator. Don’t forget to reinstall all the drain plugs in your equipment.
3. Remove winterizing plugs and accessories from the skimmer and return lines
Now it’s time to take out any remaining winterizing accessories, like pool plugs or a skimmer guard. Remember to reinstall any return fittings you removed at closing time. If you used pool antifreeze for the suction lines when you closed the pool, be sure to discharge it to waste/backwash once you start up the pump, or use a wet-dry vacuum to remove it from the plumbing.
4. Add water to the pool
A normal operating level for pool water is usually about halfway up the mouth of the skimmer.
5. Run the pump
Prime the filter pump, then set it to run continuously until the pool opening process is complete. This helps circulate the water, filter out debris and distribute your pool chemicals. Doing this ensures that your pool is well on its way to being safe for swimming once again.
6. Manually clean the pool
To get your pool clean and sparkling before you take the plunge, skim, brush and vacuum the entire pool. This will also help your chlorine work most efficiently. Enlist your whole family to help with the cleanup!
7. Treat the water
Rather than gathering a bunch of pool opening products individually, investing in an In The Swim Pool Start-Up Kit can help the process go a lot more smoothly. Start-Up Kits include a stain and scale preventative, pool shock, algaecide, clarifier, test strips and an oil-absorbing sponge to help keep your pool clean.
- Add your stain prevention product first, then wait at least 4 hours.
- Test the water and balance total alkalinity (80–120 ppm) and pH (7.4–7.6).
- Add your pool shock to get free chlorine levels up to at least 1–4 ppm.
- The next day, add the correct dose of algaecide, and wait for at least 2–4 more hours.
- Using clarifier will help your filter clear up the water faster. Let the pump run for at least 4 more hours after application.
- If needed, vacuum the pool again.
Check the filter pressure often throughout the process, and clean or backwash the filter as needed during startup. Let your filter pump continue to run until the water is clear.
8. Set up your regular pool maintenance routine
Test the water as you normally would, and balance any aspects that are out of range. It’s important to make any final water balance adjustments before swimmers get to jump in and enjoy the pool.
9. BONUS: Swim sooner with warmer water
Whether or not you have a heater or heat pump, solar pool covers are great for keeping heat in the pool. They greatly reduce heat loss to evaporation, and can even increase water temps up to 15ºF on their own, depending on the thickness of the cover.
In The Swim has all the supplies you need for opening and maintaining your pool, including algaecide, chlorine shock, water balancers and more. Once your pool is up and running, don’t forget to pick out a few cool, new pool floats and backyard games to maximize your outdoor fun this season. For more tips on the right way to get your pool ready for a summer full of swimming, check out the In The Swim Blog.