7 Pool Opening Tips

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blue pool coverWinter is almost gone and it’s just about time to open up your swimming pool for the warm weather again. If done properly, the pool opening can be a quick and easy process; however, if done poorly, you can cause yourself some serious strain and more work on both your end and the pool’s end. Follow these 7 pool opening tips to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
  1. Gather what you need before you start
The most common issue with pool openings is what you’re missing. After you go through the steps, you’ll find yourself saying things like “Where is it? I thought it was with these!” and “I thought I bought that already.” When you did your pool closing, you should have removed a bunch of little plugs from the multiport valve. Most of the time, you’ll lose a couple. You can’t open your pool until you are sure you have them all because the filtration system and pool pump can’t function properly without all of them. If you are missing some, be sure to order new ones. Contact us if you need help with this because the process varies slightly between the brands.
  1. Carefully remove the cover
Throughout the winter, your pool’s protective cover will gather water and debris. Truthfully, the cover is quite nasty by the time the end of the year rolls around. Many pool owners just want to get the cover off and out of the way so they can “deal with the pool now”, but don’t unlock the cover and merely drag it out of the pool because this can cause more debris to fall into the pool, which just causes more work later on. The more people you have helping out, the better. We recommend at least 2, but 4 people would make this stage very easy. Try to move the cover off of the pool while spilling as little debris/water as possible. If you use 4 people, each person should grab a corner and lift at the same time. If done properly, you can do this without spilling any extra dirt into your pool.
  1. Protect the coverloop loc
You may notice some minor damage to the cover, unless you are using a heavy-duty pool cover, like Loop-Loc. Even with a Loop-Loc, you will need to store it in a safe, cool, dry place for the summer. You do not want to damage it or allow algae and mold to build-up on the cover. We highly recommend you clean the cover and let it dry before storing it away for the season. Some pool owners even scrub their pool covers to ensure they last.
  1. Clean everything thoroughly!
Cleaning the pool is the core of the pool opening. Even with the pool cover, you’ll notice the water is pretty nasty. You won’t want to jump right in just yet! First, you’ll need to remove all of the algae and bacteria that may have built up over the winter. Pool vacuums and a nice chlorine shock to the pool is the best way to go. Using quality tools, like vacuums, can make your life a whole lot easier. There are also automatic cleaning tools, like the Aquabot In-ground Robotic Cleaner. Robots like this will go through and clean up the bottom and sides of the pool. Although they have hefty price tags, they can be a life saver if you really don’t want to jump in and start vacuuming. Along with the vacuuming, you’ll need to scrub all of the buildups off of the walls. You’ll notice the spots all over your pool, but they should come off easily. If not, you may need to use some cleaning chemicals like a stain remover. There are a lot of kits you can buy that have everything you would need.
  1. Check on the hardwarepool pump
Of all of the hardware, your pool’s pump and filter absolutely must be working properly right now. First up, clean out the basket; remove the debris and give it a quick rinse with the hose. After that, check the pressure gage. If it does not read “0”, it’s not working properly. Make sure all of your plugs are plugged in (hopefully you did tip #1!). At the same time, remove the “freeze plugs” or expansion plugs from the skimmers. Make sure to store them somewhere you won’t lose them! When you turn on the pump and filter, it should not sound like it is sucking air. If it does, turn it off and make sure everything is plugged in correctly. Most of the time, something was pulled loose during the off-season and just needs to be tightened. Another very common problem is that you didn’t remove all of the leaves and debris from the skimmer. If they are sucked into the skimmer line, it will cause a blockage. If water isn’t getting pulled in, then the pump will be sucking on air instead. If neither of these 2 is the cause, then give us a call and we’ll take a look at it for you.
  1. Make sure your chemicals are balanced properlypool chemical test
The opening of the pool is one of the 2 most important times to make sure your chemicals are balanced properly (the other is during a pool closing). It’s vital to your pool’s (and your) health that all of the bacteria and algae is being killed off and filtered out. The first thing you should do is test the current chemicals. Again, there are a lot of kits that come with all of the chemicals you need. Note: pH and chlorine are not the only chemicals you need to check! You should check:
  • pH
  • Chlorine
  • Total alkalinity
  • Calcium hardness
Check and balance the chemicals according to the directions on the kit. Afterwards, you’ll need to “shock” the pool. When we say shock, we mean a chlorine shock. There are a couple of ways to do this, but we recommend you dump the shock into the pool itself and allow the system to circulate the shock itself. Do not enter the pool during the shocking process. Also, make sure the pump is in fact running when you shock the pool. If the pump is not running (or not running properly), then the shock will be useless. High chlorine levels are dangerous to your skin and health. Wait until the levels are back to normal before jumping in.
  1. Hire a pool expert to open your pool
You may want to do some of this yourself first, but it’s recommended that you hire a pool expert to do the more complicated parts. If you do not want to deal with the hassle of the pool cover, we completely understand! Chemical balancing and ensuring the hardware is properly hooked up are the 2 hardest parts. The rest is just tedious. A pool expert can get you up and running just in time for the warm weather to hit. If you’re in Maryland and are looking for a pool opening and closing expert, then contact Leisure Contracting today for a free estimate.

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