If you own a pool in your backyard, self-quarantine probably has you feeling like you want to open it sooner rather than later. The good news is the earlier you start the pool opening process, the better. Opening your pool a few weeks before the start of the swim season can help save you money in the long run. Here’s how to open up your pool this spring.
- Check the pool cover and store it. Throughout the winter months, your pool covering can take a beating — especially if it has done its job right! Ensure that any accumulated dirt and debris didn’t cause damage to your pool cover before you remove it for the season. If you have a traditional tart cover or a spring-loaded cover, clear the top as best as you can to prevent contaminating the pool. Mesh covers allow snow and rainwater to drain through — if you have that type of protection, remove as much debris as you can before taking it off. Once you remove the cover, carefully fold it for summer storage, but repair any small rips before doing so. If the damage is beyond repair, it’s time to invest in a new pool cover.
- Get the water levels right. If you notice that your pool’s water level is low, use your garden hose to bring it back to normal. Use your wall skimmer as a good indicator — once the water level reaches the skimmer, your pool is filled to the proper amount.
- De-winterize. If you winterized your pool, you’ll need to reconnect all of the pool equipment that you prepared for freezing temperatures. Reconnect the filter, pump, heater, flexible plumbing lines (for above ground pools), and anything else you may have disconnected at the end of last season. If you didn’t winterize your pool, you can skip this step!
- Turn your system back on. Turn your pump, circulation system, and filter on to ensure they’re in proper working condition. Inspect for drips, leaks, or unusual sounds coming from the mechanics of your pool — if you notice any, fix them before you allow your pump to run consistently.
- Test chemical balance and adjust as needed. Once the system is running regularly, get the water levels balanced. During the off-season, it’s likely the chemicals in your pool changed. Restore them to balance to keep your water safe. Levels should be: — Chlorine at 1.0 – 3.0 ppm— pH between 7.2 and 7.6— Alkalinity between 80-120 ppm— Calcium hardness between 150-225 ppm
- Clean the pool. Vacuum and skim the pool to remove any unwanted particles and debris as well. Use a brush to remove any clinging algae from the surfaces of the pool. This will prevent future buildup.