The SIMPLE Pool Opening
Strip the cover off the pool
The pool has sat dormant for a few months with a cover on it for a reason. The cover acted as a barrier to keep dirt and leaves from entering the pool water during the winter months. Covers accumulate quite a collection of leaves and dirt that we want to clean before we attempt to pull it off. Sometimes trying to rush a pool opening leads to a huge deposit of the debris into the pool water.
- Pump the dirty water off the pool cover with a submersible pump.
- Brush dirt and leaves off before removing the cover.
- Hose off the remaining debris while the cover is in place.
- Pull the clean cover off the pool and spread it out in the yard.
- Inspect the cover for cleanliness and let cover dry.
- Roll the cover up and store it for the season.
- Begin filling the pool to the proper level if necessary.
Inventory of your pool supplies from the previous year
This is a great time to look at all the pool supplies you have accumulated over the years. Taking a physical inventory of your chemicals will help you be more effective when you head to your local pool store because you will know exactly what you have versus what you need. It is also a good time to see what condition your leaf rakes, brushes, poles, and vacuums are in to start the season.
- Write down in a notebook the names of the chemicals you currently have and the approximate quantity.
- Pull out your Tele-pole and verify that it is in full working order.
- Inspect leaf rakes, leaf bags, brushes and vacuums for condition. Make sure the V shaped tension clips are not brittle and in place.
- Inspect your water testing products. Check your expiration dates on all water testing strips and reagents. Make sure you are going into the season with enough to test a few times each week.
Maintenance tasks to prevent any possible future issues
The best time to do annual maintenance items is before any drop of water begins to flow through the system. We want these things to be done before the filter gets filled with water which could possibly make the job more difficult.
- Inspect the skimmer baskets. Replace the skimmer baskets if the plastics have become brittle or damaged.
- Look at the pump for any damage or possible leaks. Inspect the pump basket at this time and check pump basket lid o-ring for wear.
- Examine the filter thoroughly for any issues. Check the body for any cracks. Look very carefully at all the o-rings for any wear and replace if necessary.
Make sure the filter pressure gauge is properly operating and in good working order. The filter pressure gauge is a very important piece of equipment that is often overlooked.
Plumbing ready for the season
Plumbing for a pool is often forgotten about because it is not overly visible to the pool owner. Because the plumbing system is not seen, it never really gets the full attention it deserves. Many pools will have hundreds of linear feet of plumbing that gradually builds up a scum inside. Cleaning the plumbing before the pool is in full operation is a good practice for success. There are several things that can be done with the plumbing system in the spring to make the season a lot simpler with much less issues.
- Walk around the pool and do a physical inspection of the pool’s circulation system.
- Take an inventory of the returns and make sure they are operating properly. Inspect the eyeball fittings to make sure there are no cracked retaining rings.
- Position the rings to point downward at a 45 degree angle. They also need to be all pointing in the same direction moving the water in a circular motion (example all sown and to the right).
- If the lines are filled with anti-freeze, follow the professional pool dealer’s recommendations as the best way to eliminate the anti-freeze from the pool.
- Take this opportunity to chemically treat and clean the plumbing lines to rid the gunk and grime that typically builds up over the years. An enzyme product can help.
Once you have reached this step, the pool system should not be connected and circulating.
Level chemically balance the pool water
This is usually the only step that people think about when they go to open their pool every season. Getting the pool back into the chemical balance after sitting dormant for the winter can take some time, but following a few steps can really make this the easiest of them all.
- Let the pool circulate for at least 24 to 48 hours. This allows the pool water enough time to ensure a good mixture has taken place. Once properly circulated, a water sample can be taken and will be a good representative of the pool water.
- Add a spring time enzyme and phosphate removal product at this time to speed up the cleaning of the water while reducing phosphate levels. Natural Chemistry’s Pool Perfect with Phosfree is an example of this type of product.
- Follow the recommendations of the professional pool and spa store to reach a chemically balanced pool.
- Ensure the proper levels of Cyanuric Acid are in the pool. The spring time is best time to add CYA if needed. Look for the liquid version of the product to speed up chlorine protection.
- If you decide to heat the pool, it is best to turn on the heating system once the water chemistry has been balanced.
Enjoy your pool
If you do take your time to properly open you pool in the spring, you will avoid a lot of issue and pitfalls down the road. A properly operating pool is much easier to maintain and stay in balance then to bring back a pool that has been experiencing problems. Small issues always much larger ones, and always at the worst time.
- The spring is the best time to look at all the new toys and games that professional pool stores have to offer. The inventory levels of the hot new pool items are always greater in the spring than later in the year.
- Have ample numbers of goggles on hand for visitors to your pool
- Make sure you toy count is high.
The old adage of an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure is very true when it comes to your swimming pool. The best thing that pool owners can do to enjoy an entire successful swimming pool season is to get started on the right path from the beginning. Do the work now so that you can enjoy the season.