Pool owners take part in the same important event twice a year in backyards everywhere: opening and closing the pool. How you open yours in the spring sets the tone for your swim season with less maintenance and upkeep worries throughout the summer. Whether you're a first-time pool owner or a seasoned veteran, opening your pool can be easy.
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Skip the first four steps if you keep your pool open year-round. Otherwise, begin with step 1.
Sweep off any debris from the pool cover. Remove any standing water on the cover by using a pump to drain it.
Do not walk on the cover, and do not allow children and pets to play near the pool unsupervised.
Verify that the water level is up to the middle of the skimmer openings. As needed, slide a hose under a cover opening and raise the water level.
With assistance, carefully remove the cover from the pool.
Clean and dry the cover before storing it to prevent the growth of mildew.
If you dry the cover on the lawn, be sure to move it around throughout the day so the heat doesn’t burn the grass.
Remove all freeze plugs from the return lines and skimmers.
Reinstall the directional fittings on the return lines.
Inspect all pool accessories such as the ladder, rails and diving board for any damage.
Reinstall the pool accessories following the pool or equipment manufacturer(s) instructions. Make sure everything is properly secured.
As needed, reinstall the pump, skimmer and heater, making sure that all the fittings are secure.
Before starting the filter system, first release the air pressure by opening the relief valve. When there is a steady flow of water, all of the air has been released. Close the valve.
Verify that the filter was cleaned before closing the pool or is new. If not, clean or replace the filter following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Open the valves on the return line, skimmer line and main drain.
Start the filter system.
Use a skimmer net to clear debris off the top of the water.
Use a pool brush to clean the pool sides and floor.
Use a pool vacuum to collect the dirt dislodged by the pool brush.
Allow the filter system to run for about 24 hours to circulate and clean the pool water before checking pool chemistry.
Follow instructions provided by the pool test kit manufacturer. Most products suggest this procedure:
Always wear safety goggles and rubber gloves when performing water tests and working with chemicals. Also make sure you read and follow each product’s directions including how to use and how to store the chemicals.
Dip the test strip well below the water surface for a few seconds, then remove.
Read the test strip results by referring to the color chart provided with the test strips.Keep the included Water Chemistry Chart for quick reference.
Adjust total alkalinity (how well the water resists a change in pH levels) as needed.
Check and adjust pH, the level of acidic and alkaline qualities in liquids.
Check and adjust water hardness, the proper level of calcium in the water.
Check and adjust the chlorine level in the pool water. Chlorine is what kills all the bacteria, viruses and germs in the water. However, the sun’s UV rays can diminish its effectiveness, so pool water also needs a chlorine stabilizer.
Avoid adjusting the chlorine and stabilizer levels during the hottest part of the day.Also, add the appropriate chemicals with the pump running to circulate additives.
Add algaecide as recommended to prevent the growth of algae on the walls, floor
and ladder of the pool.
The following day, test the chlorine level again. If needed, adjust the chlorine as above.