Opening and closing a swimming pool can be a challenge — even for a veteran pool owner. It’s easy to forget tasks, so we recommend having a checklist of all your pool opening and closing must-dos to avoid finding yourself scrambling to get everything done.
To save time, use our pool care checklist:
How To Open Your Pool:
● Remove the pool cover. First, clear off any debris that has accumulated on the cover using a broom or leaf blower. To keep it clean year-round, plan to use your hose, a pool brush, and some dish soap to scrub the cover every three to six months to increase the lifespan of your cover and ensure that it continues to protect your pool from debris.
● Vacuum and clean your pool. If you have a very dirty pool, the best option is to use a manual pool vacuum, or there are adapters available for ShopVacs. For pools that are in good, clean condition, automatic pool cleaners are a great option. There are a few different types of automatic pool cleaners, suction side cleaners, pressure side vacuums, and robotic cleaners, each picking up different size debris. After it’s vacuumed, scrub the water line to remove any calcium build-up and stains.
● Refresh and fill your water. There is a lot of debate about if — and how often — you should replace the water in your pool. We recommend checking your water level and chemical balance when you open the pool. If you properly manage your chemical levels and follow regular maintenance rules, you shouldn’t have to completely replace the water, just simply add water when levels get low. When you open your pool, check your pH and total alkalinity before and after you bring the pool back to its full water level. The chemical densities will change along with the water level so it’s important to make sure that you are monitoring levels in real time. An automated smart water monitoring system like pHin by Hayward makes it incredibly easy to get accurate measurements so you can tweak your chemicals while you refill your pool for the season.
● Test and adjust chemical levels. Whether you use chlorine, bromine, or saltwater, you must test the pH and alkaline levels before swimming. You could take samples and test manually — but if you want to make it easy, a smart water monitor will do the work for you. A smart water monitor like pHin tests your chemical levels over 1,000 times per week and sends an alert to your phone when you need to make an adjustment. You’ll always know when you need to add chemicals, balance or shock your pool so it’s ready to enjoy the minute you are.
How To Close Your Pool
● Lower the water level. Reduce the amount of water in your pool during the off-season to avoid problems with groundwater and freezing temperatures. The amount of water you drain will depend on winter temperatures where you live and the type of pool you have. If you live in a colder climate, you should drain the water 4 to 6 inches below the tile line in order to avoid the risk of damage from frozen water. If you’re in a milder climate, you just need to make sure the pool water temperature is below 65 degrees to avoid algae growth, but you probably don’t need to drain any water.
● Test and adjust chemical levels. Before you close your pool for the winter, check and adjust all of your chemicals so you don’t end up with a complicated science experiment when you’re ready to start using your pool in the spring. Check your pH, water hardness and alkalinity and make sure they’re in the correct range.
● pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6
● Water hardness should be between 175 and 225
● Alkalinity should be between 80 and 125 ppm.
● Check and clean filters. Making sure that your filters are clean and functional helps ensure that your pool is clean and safe. Filters help remove debris, dirt, calcium, and oils that can make your pool water cloudy and dirty, but they need to be cleaned regularly to function properly. Clean filters in the spring and the fall for safe water, and this will also help preserve the lifespan of your pool equipment, pumps, and filtration systems. There are different types of filters and the method for cleaning each is a little different but having clean filters will help ensure that your pool is clean and also helps the chemicals maintain proper balance.
Learning how to open and close a pool is a challenge for many pool owners, but smart pool owners use tools that make it easier. We hope that this checklist and the pHin Smart Monitor make opening and closing easier so you can enjoy your pool!