Your Guide to Opening Your Swimming Pool
With parts of the country still experiencing snow and freezing temperatures, the thought of opening your pool may be the furthest thing from your mind. However, the warm temperatures of spring arrive before you know it, and they wreak havoc on your pool. It makes sense to prepare for swim season early.
When the weather warms up into the 70’s or warmer, using the following guidelines to walk you through opening your pool for the new swim season.
Step 1: Clean the Cover
If you use a winter pool cover, the first step is clearing it of debris and standing water.
For a significant amount of water, use a submersible cover pump. However, do not set it in place and walk away. You need to stop the pump while a small amount of water remains on the cover; otherwise, your pump can burn out. Unless you want to dump a bunch of debris-filled water into your pool, do not remove the cover with standing water on it.
To remove debris, use your pool brush, skimmer net, or a leaf blower.
Step 2: Remove and Clean the Pool Cover
Once you clear the cover, remove it from the pool. Next, lay it flat on the ground and wash it, using a mild soap, water, and soft brush or cloth. Before storing the cover for the swim season, allow it to dry completely.
Step 3: Check and Adjust the Water Level
Check the pool's water level. Ideally, it reaches the midway point on the skimmer. If it's too low, add water using your garden hose.
Step 4: Reconnect the Plumbing
If you installed winter plugs, go ahead and remove them now. Don't be worried if you see air bubbles, as they just mean that you did a good job clearing the lines when you closed the pool for winter.
Step 5: Reinstall Your Accessories
If you removed your an automatic pool cleaner, diving board, ladder, slide, or any other pool accessories, reinstall them now. To protect them from rusting, take the time to lubricate the bolts first.
Step 6: Replace the Pump Parts
Replace the drain plugs on your pump. If it has a multiport valve, you also need to replace the air bleeder, pressure gauge, and sight glass before turning the valve to Filter. Finally, look at the housing's o-ring. If you see damage, such as cracking, replace it.
Step 7: Clean the Filter
You want to clean the filter before switching on the pump. If it's a cartridge filter, remove it and wash it with the garden hose. You need to take apart a D.E. filter to clean it, and then reassemble it. If you have a sand filter, set the pump to backwash to clean it and then return it to the normal setting.
Step 8: Turn It On
It is now time to turn your pump back on, check for leaks, and make sure it pulls in water. If the pump doesn't pull in water, priming it should help. Shut off the system and take off the lid. Fill the housing with water, close the lid again, and turn the pump back on.
Step 9: Clean the Pool
Grab your skimmer net and pool brush. First, skim any debris from the water's surface. Next, thoroughly brush the pool, starting at the tile line and brushing straight down toward the drain.
Step 10: Check the Chemicals and Shock It
Take a water sample and check the chemical balance, adding the requisite chemicals. It's also a good idea to shock the pool when you first open it. Then, let the pump run for 24 hours, vacuum it again, and retest the chemistry.
When to Open Your Pool
Unfortunately, climate differences across the country make it impossible to provide a definitive date on which to open your pool. Instead, we recommend paying attention to the weather in your area and opening your pool once temperatures regularly hit 70 degrees or warmer.
This is not your guideline for swim season, unless you have a heated pool. However, even though 70-degree days aren't warm enough for swimming, those temperatures do promote algae growth. If your filter and pump aren't running, the result is a green, swampy mess.
Another challenge once the weather warms is pollen, since warming temperatures indicate that plant growth is in full swing. Again, with your pump running, that pollen cycles through no problem. Without it, swamp time.