Opening up your pool for the season
After months of cold weather, it is beginning to warm up for the swimming season. Even though the sun is shining and the water is warm, your pool may not be quite ready for swimmers. With a little bit of work, you will be on your way to having a clean pool and a stress-free spring opening.
1. DRAIN AND CLEAN THE POOL COVER
If you have a winter cover or a solid safety cover, you will want to drain as much water as possible before removing it. You can do this by placing a cover pump on the cover and let it do the work. It’s also important to sweep or blow all the leaves off of the cover before removal. This will not only lessen the amount of debris in your water, but will make for a happy closing next winter!
2. REMOVE THE POOL COVER
Using two people if available, remove the cover from your pool. It is inevitable that a little water and debris will fall into the pool from the cover, and this is OK. You will be shocking and vacuuming the pool, so a small amount of water and debris won’t hurt anything.
3. CLEAN AND STORE THE POOL COVER
After removing the pool cover, lay it out and brush away the remaining debris. Fold the cover loosely and store in a cool, dry place.
4. RAISE THE WATER LEVEL BACK TO NORMAL
Use a garden hose to fill the water level in your pool back to its normal level. This is typically around the middle of the skimmer opening or halfway up the tile.
5. RECONNECT YOUR POOL EQUIPMENT
If you prepared your pool for freezing temperatures over the winter, you will want to reconnect all the equipment. This includes reconnecting your filter, pump, heater, and anything else. For above ground pools, you will need to reconnect the flexible plumbing lines to the pool equipment and skimmer.
6. REMOVE WINTER PLUGS AND RE-ATTACH DRAIN PLUGS
Make sure to take out all the winterizing plugs from your pool equipment. This may include your pump, filter, heater, booster pump, and pool cleaners. Remember to reinstall each normal drain plug.
7. REMOVE WINTERIZING PLUGS FROM SKIMMER AND RETURN LINES
Make sure to wait until after the antifreeze has been discharged to waste before removing the winterizing plugs from your skimmer and return lines. Now you will reconnect any return valve fitting that were removed last winter.
8. TURN YOUR SYSTEM BACK ON
At this point, you will want to start turning most of your pool equipment back on. This includes priming the pump and turning on the circulation and filtration system. If you have an air relief valve on your filter, make sure to open it to bleed the air from the system.
9. TEST YOUR POOL CHEMISTRY
Once the circulation system has run for several hours, you will want to test your pool water for pH, Total Alkalinity, and Chlorine levels using a good test kit. Ideal levels for these chemicals should be:
• pH: 7.4 to 7.6
• Total Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
• Chlorine: 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
10. NOW, IT’S TIME TO ADJUST THE pH BALANCE
Once the Total Alkalinity is within its proper range of 80-120 ppm, you can now adjust the pH balance in your pool. Bringing the Total Alkalinity back to a normal range should have pushed the pH level close to normal, as well. If the pH is not between 7.4 and 7.6, not to worry. If your pH level is above 7.6, you can add small doses (2 cups at a time) of Leslie’s Dry Acid. Wait 2 hours with the circulation system running and retest before adding more acid.
11. BRUSH AND VACUUM THE POOL
After your pool chemistry has been adjusted, there will still be some remaining dirt and debris from the winter. Now is the time to thoroughly brush and vacuum your pool, giving special attention to areas near pool steps, ladders, or other equipment.
12. RUN THE FILTRATION SYSTEM OVERNIGHT
Filtration will filter out all the dirt, debris, algae, and bacteria still floating in your pool after brushing and vacuuming your pool.
13. SHOCK THE POOL
Shocking the pool will eliminate nearly all the remaining bacteria and contaminants in your water after the winter off season.
Time to go swimming
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