How To Open Your Pool

As the weather grows warmer and the days grow longer, you may be getting excited about pool season! While lounging next to and swimming in your pool is an exciting prospect, the pool opening process may be something you dread. There are many steps involved in opening your pool for the season including shocking the water, adding chemicals, ensuring proper filtration and much more. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on easily opening your swimming pool.

What You Will Need:

1. Clean The Area

The first step in opening your swimming pool is to clean the area surrounding your pool. After autumn, winter and spring, your pool cover may be covered with debris like leaves and twigs. The same goes for the surrounding pool area. While this may not seem like an issue, this debris may enter your pool’s water if you open the pool immediately, requiring you to complete more cleaning steps than initially needed.

Promptly clean off your winter cover and surrounding pool deck using a soft-bristled broom. This will effectively prepare the area for the next steps.

2. Remove, Clean & Store The Pool Cover

A pipe near a pool.

Next, carefully remove the cover with the help of a friend or family member (if needed). Be careful not to drag the cover across a rough surface as it could rip.

After a long season, the cover has likely accumulated quite a bit of dirt and grime. Carefully wash the winter pool cover on a flat surface using a garden hose and mild detergent. Allow it to completely dry before you fold the cover. Finally, store the cover in a dry place to reduce the risks of mildew.

3. Inspect The Swimming Pool

Now that you can see the pool, it’s essential that you take the time to inspect its quality and current conditions. Over the course of the winter, a pool’s return lines and filtration system may become damaged due to natural elements, age or even rodents. Pool owners should inspect the current conditions of their swimming pool before they continue with the opening process in case they need to purchase new pool equipment from a pool supply store. Look for these possible issues while inspecting your pool:

4. Fill With Water

Once you have decided that the pool is in good condition, it’s time to top up the water levels. Using a hose, fill the pool with water until the water level rests halfway between the skimmer opening and the waterline tile. More pool water can be added later throughout the week to top up levels. For those with an auto-fill feature on their pool, check the water tubes and ensure that water is being added as needed.

5. Clean Debris

While the pool’s water levels may have improved, it’s likely that the water quality remains less than ideal. Although a cover protects your pool, many leaves can still enter a pool’s water and algae can build up after water has been stagnant for a long period of time. Prepare your above or inground pool for use and clean the debris out of the pool using a skimmer, a pool vacuum and a brush.

a man cleaning swimming pool
Surface skimmers can easily remove any floating debris like branches or bugs in the pool water. It can also remove floating algae. Next, vacuum the pool floor to remove any dirt or debris that has sunken to the bottom. This is a great way to clean a pool without much effort. Lastly, clean out the leaf net. Tip: Use a tile brush with a household tile cleaner or baking soda to scrub away any dirt or algae that have built up on your pool tiles.

6. Prime Your Pump

In order to prepare a pump and filter for use, you will need to ensure they have suction and pressure relief. This can be done in 3 simple steps:

7. Run The Filter & Complete A Water Test

After you have added new water to your pool, you should turn on the filter to circulate it. The filter will circulate the water and effectively mix old and new together to ensure the entire pool has the same chemical composition. This is an important tip that will save you issues while testing the water quality. Make sure to turn on the filter and allow it to run for approximately 12 to 24 hours. If you have a cartridge filter, replace it with new products before doing so.

Once the filter has run for half a day or more, it’s time to test the pool chemicals. This is an important step to ensuring the chemicals are balanced properly and the pool water is safe for use. We recommend that you use a testing kit or testing strips to determine your pool’s pH level, calcium hardness, total alkalinity and chlorine levels.

8. Swap Out Winterizing Plugs

Winter plugs stop water from draining into your pipes during the winter and freezing. While these are beneficial, they become redundant during the summer. Take the time to switch these drain plugs from your filter, pool heater and pool pump. Replace each drain plug with restore directional fittings to allow water flow.

9. Shock Your Pool

Using a sponge to clean a pool.

After discovering your pool’s pH, calcium hardness, total alkalinity and chlorine levels, select the appropriate chemicals to right the water quality. This is important to ensure that all chemicals are balanced and the pool is safe for use.

When opening your pool, it is best that you shock the pool twice for safe measure. Shocking your pool twice will remove harmful chemicals. You can actually shock your pool twice at the same time by adding two pounds of chlorine per every 10,000 gallons of water.

10. Enjoy Your Inground Pool

Finally, reinstall the safety rails and enjoy your pool for the rest of the summer!

Curb Wise