Spring is almost around the corner. This means it’s about time to wake your pool from winter hibernation and start prepping it for summer swims.
Many homeowners think that opening their swimming pool for summer/spring simply involves filling it up with water and jumping in.
You’re wrong! The process involves much more details that that.
Opening your pool correctly is important for the health of both you and your pool.
A properly opened pool will operate perfectly and also guarantees chemical safety.
So, here is a guide for the steps you should take to get your pool ready for the lazy summer days that are to follow.
Remove Leaves and Other Debris
Your pool cover (assuming you have one) is now probably filled with leaves, dirt, twigs, and also algae over the winter months.
Before removing the pool cover, use a leaf scraper to pull out all the debris accumulated at the center of the cover and get rid of the same.
Alternatively, you can also use a leaf blower to blow off the debris, both from the pool cover and the surrounding area.
If there is water amassed on the cover, use a pump to remove it and make sure that it doesn’t get into the pool and contaminate the pool water.
Remove the Pool Cover
Once you have cleaned the cover getting rid of all the leaves and debris, carefully remove it following your usual technique.
After removing the pool cover, be sure to spend some time to clean and dry it completely before putting it away.
If you have enough space in your backyard or driveway, you can lay out the cover and use your hose to spray wash.
Let it dry for a few hours. Make sure that the cover is completely dry before folding it for storage.
To prevent the sheet from sticking, sprinkle some talcum powder throughout the cover before folding.
Do Not Drain Your Pool
Experts suggest that pools need to be drained only once in three to five years.
Therefore, even if you happen to live in a region where winter tends to be really cold, do not empty your pool, unless of course you are left with no other option.
If there are structural repairs to be done to your pool, or if you hadn’t installed a pool cover and your water in way too contaminated to use, you may have to drain your pool.
Draining your pool completely can cause serious damages to the structure of the pool in the ground and therefore requires expert advice before proceeding.
But, if circumstances demand and you do drain your pool, use the opportunity to clean the pool surface thoroughly, have your pool lights replaced if necessary, and perform other importance changes.
Check the Water Level
If your pool is fine and there is no need to drain the water, proceed to checking the water level in the skimmer.
To ensure proper circulation, check if the water level is in the middle of the skimmer opening.
If not, fill the pool until the water reaches that level.
During this time, check the different pool fittings, like slides, ladders, handrails, etc. and make sure they are secure. Replace any screws or bolts if necessary.
Check and Clean the Equipment
Check all your pool equipment, like the filtration system, pumps, pipes, hoses, etc. to see they function properly and make adjustments wherever necessary.
Lubricate all the rings and valves before turning anything on.
Remember, the equipment should be of manufacturer standards.
Start and let the circulation system run for about 8 to 12 hours.
If you find that the motor is running slower than usual or is much noisier, call a technician to inspect and have it fixed.
Shock Your Pool
After you make sure that all the pool equipment is working properly, it is time to shock your pool with an expert recommended chlorine solution.
Add three to five times the usual amount of chlorine or any other chemical sanitizer of your preference to your pool water and let it circulate overnight.
Test the Water
Now that your pool water is chlorinated, it is time to test it, and make adjustments, if needed.
Remember, water testing should be done only after 8 to 12 hours of circulation or run time.
The best way to do this is to have it tested by professionals.
All you need to do is take water sample from a minimum of 18 inches below the surface of the pool and take it to a pool store in your neighborhood.
They will perform a complete test of the water, including testing its chlorine and pH levels, alkalinity, and mineral content, and will recommend the adjustments to be made.
Time for Pool Safety
Your pool will now be ready for diving. Therefore, it is time to perform safety checks and provide pool safety instructions to your family and friends, especially kids.
If you have installed a fence around your pool to prevent toddlers or small children from entering the pool area without adult supervision, check its locks for proper functioning.
Make sure that you have all necessary pool safety equipment ready and located in an easily accessible place.
Some of the standard safety equipment you should have include a fully stocked first aid kit, floatation devices like throw rings, vests, jackets, baby floats, etc., and a pool rescue hook and pole.
You can also teach your kids and pets to remain safe when they are in and around the pool.
Once you are done with all the hard work, all that’s left to do is look forward to the fun days in the pool.