Do You Plan to Open Your Pool in Time for Memorial Day?
When you start to experience the first signs of spring – the longer days and warmer temperatures – it’s hard to hold back from getting your yard ready for summer fun. That includes opening your pool.
How long does it take to open your pool?
Start at least 30 days in advance if you plan on having your pool ready for your Memorial Day celebrations. This gives you time to take care of any surprises you may find as you open your pool, like equipment that needs repair or replacement, getting the water chemistry just right and making sure there aren’t any issues with the pool deck and the pool structure itself.
Follow these steps and you’ll be floating in the pool by the time the Memorial Day weekend burgers hit the grill.
60 Days Out
In late March-early April, keep an eye on the weather patterns. As soon as the daily daytime temperature reaches 65 degrees for seven days in a row, you have the all-clear to start the process of opening your swimming pool.
If you delay until the temperatures reach the 70s, you’re risking a bigger algae problem. The warmer it is outside, the warmer the water temperature under your pool cover.
40 Days Out
- Inspect the deck area around your inground pool. Take steps to correct any issues, such as cracks in cement due to the freezing and thawing cycles throughout the year.
- Take your deck furniture out of storage to clean it and make any necessary repairs.
- Check your pool accessories to make sure everything is ready to go for the season. This includes the diving board, ladder, slide, step rails and safety equipment.
30 Days Out
Gather all of the tools and equipment you’ll need to open your pool:
- Garden hose
- Pool cover pump
- Pool cover cleaner
- Soft broom
- Pool brush (nylon bristle recommended)
- Pool gasket or O-ring lubricant
- Plumber’s tape
- Skimmer on a telescoping pole
- Safety goggles
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Pool chemicals (test kit, pool shock)
- Test strips
Buy any supplies you need to replenish before the pre-season rush leaves you empty-handed.
Take a moment and check the pool’s water pump and filter. Look for worn or broken parts so you can replace them in time for the pool opening.
14-20 Days Out
Choose a day about 14-20 days before Memorial Day with a good weather forecast to start opening your pool. Give yourself plenty of time – 4-to-5 hours – for this first phase of the process.
Start by turning off all timers and switches so you can safely put things back into place.
- Using your soft broom, remove any debris or foliage lying on top of the pool cover.
- Remove any standing water with your pool cover pump.
- Once it is clear, apply the pool cover cleaner and gently scrub the surface using the soft broom.
- Take your garden hose and rinse off the cover.
- Remove the cover from your pool. Make sure it’s dry before you fold it for storage. Use towels or a leaf blower to dry it before storing it in a container or sturdy plastic bag.
Do a first pass of cleaning the water with your pool skimmer, picking up any debris that fell in the water after removing the cover. This will help prevent clogging the pool water filtration system.
Circulate the Pool Water and Reinstall Equipment
The first part of the project is to activate the pool’s water circulation system for the first time of the season.
Prepare the water pump and lines:
- If you put antifreeze into the water line at pool closing, run the water pump to drain the line before removing the winterization plugs. Make sure the multiport valve is set to “waste” before you begin. Let the water run for at least 60 seconds.
- Remove all winterization plugs and drain plugs that were put into place to close the pool. As you remove them, make sure all of the pool’s pipes are clear and open.
- Put any hardware back into place that was removed before closing your pool, like underfloor jets.
Move the multiport valve setting from the “winter” or “winterize” position (or from “waste” if you had to drain the line) to “filter.”
Now is the time to put your pool accessories – diving board, slide, step rails, etc. – back in place.
Start the pump to circulate the water
- Before you start the water pump, remove the pump cover and fill the skimmer basket with water. Tighten the lid. This will prime the pump.Turn on the power to the water pump.
- As the pump begins to work, note any noises. It’s okay to hear grinding noises but if you hear anything out of the ordinary, you will want to make sure the water pump is functioning correctly. One way to do this is to observe whether the water is moving on the surface. If it is moving at a good pace, this means the pump is working and the water is making its way through the return lines.
- You also want to make sure the water is flowing inside the skimmer basket.
Check the water level to see if you need to add or remove water to the pool before using it for the season.
Scrub the surface of the pool
When you first open the pool, your water may be green from algae buildup in the water and on the surface of the pool. Take your nylon bristle brush and scrub the pool’s surface. This moves any algae or growth into the water where the opening chemical treatment can best reach and remove it.
Shock the Pool
The next step to beautiful, clear pool water is to shock the pool using high levels of liquid chlorine. Follow the directions on the bottle on how much to use for the size of your pool.
The Next 24 Hours
Allow the pump and filter to run continuously to continue circulating the water and so the shock treatment can take effect.
24 Hours Later
By now, your pool water should be looking clear. You’re almost there.
- Scrub the bottom and sides of the pool again.
- Vacuum the pool.
- Test the water using your test strips to see if you need to add more chemicals.
Your pool is open. Everything is working. The water is crystal clear. It’s time to reward your hard work and enjoy your backyard paradise. Jump in, the water’s fine!