Spring time is near and you're thinking of putting off opening your swimming pool because "the start" of the swimming pool season is months away, the earlier you start-up the swimming pool, the better. Opening your swimming pool a few weeks earlier than normal can mean the difference between saving you money or costing more money. We recommend opening in March, before the warm weather begins.
Spring opening is one of the most exciting times of the year for any pool owner. After months of cold, snow, and ice, the weather is starting to warm up and your pool is nearly ready to be the centerpiece of some backyard fun in the sun! Even though the sun is shining and the water is warm, the pool isn’t quite ready for swimmers just yet. There are still some necessary steps every pool owner must take in order to have a clean and safe pool that is ready to handle a long summer season. We are here to help you through the process of opening your pool, so read through these easy-to-follow instructions and you will be on your way to having a clean pool and a great summer!
These step-by-step instructions are designed to help you open your pool for the summer. If you are a new pool owner or are taking care of your pool for the first time, you may want to call Brindlee Mt Pools @256-586-0400 and request our Pool Opening Service. We would be happy to send one of our trained and certified technicians to your house and have them assist you with opening your pool and give you tips on how to easily open your pool in the future.
1. Drain the pool cover
If you have a winter cover or a solid safety cover, you will want to drain as much water as you can from the cover before removing it. You can do this easily with a submersible pump..
2. Remove the pool cover
Using two people if available, remove the cover from your pool. It is inevitable that a little water and debris will fall into the pool from the cover, and this is OK. You will be shocking and vacuuming the pool, so a small amount of water and debris won’t hurt anything.
3. Clean and store the pool cover
After removing the pool cover, lay it out and brush away the remaining debris. Once the cover has dried, sprinkle both sides with Alkalinity Up or talcum powder to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Fold the cover up loosely and store in a cool, dry place.
4. Raise the water level back to normal
Use a hose to fill the water level in your pool back to its normal level, typically about the middle of the skimmer opening or halfway up the tile.
If you did not winterize your pool for freezing conditions, please skip ahead to Step 9.
5. Reconnect your pool equipment
If you prepared your pool for freezing temperatures over the winter, you will want to reconnect all the equipment that was disconnected. This includes reconnecting your filter, pump, heater, and anything else.
6. Remove winter plugs and reattach drain plugs
Make sure to take out all the winterizing plugs from your pump, filter, heater, booster pump, pool cleaners, and everything else with a drain plug, and replace them with their normal drain plug.
7. Clear antifreeze from drain lines
If you used pool antifreeze to protect your plumbing during the winter, you will want to discharge it to waste.
8. Remove winterizing plugs from skimmer and return lines
Make sure to wait until after the antifreeze has been discharged to waste before removing the winterizing plugs from your skimmer and return lines.
9. Start turning your equipment back on
At this point, you will want to start turning most of your pool equipment back on. This includes priming the pump and turning on the circulation and filtration system. If you have an air relief valve on your filter, make sure to open it to bleed the air from the system.
10. Add Metal Free to prevent staining
After a long winter offseason, metals like copper and iron may have built up in your pool. In order to prevent these metals from causing stains or discoloration in your pool, add 1 liter of Metal Free for every 20,000 gallons of water. After adding, allow the circulation and filtration systems to run for at least 2 hours.
11. Test your pool chemistry
Once the circulation system has run for several hours, you will want to test your pool water for pH, Total Alkalinity, and chlorine levels using a good test kit. Ideal levels for these chemicals should be:
PH levels between 7.2 to 7.4. The pH level dictates how much chlorine turns into hypochlorous acid in the water. Use soda ash or sodium bicarb to increase pH; muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate to decrease.
Total alkalinity from 80 to 120. Alkalinity is a pH buffer—pH levels will be consistent if the alkalinity level is correct. Use sodium bicarbonate to increase alkalinity, muriatic acid to decrease it.
Calcium hardness from 150 ppm to 250 ppm (parts per million). This is directly dependent on the hardness of the water. The softer the water, the more calcium it will absorb from its environment. "If you don't put [calcium] in the water, it will take it from the grout in the tiles. "It will actually ruin a marble dust (a finish product), it will even effect vinyl." Adjust the calcium hardness by using calcium chloride.
Chlorine from 1 ppm to 3 ppm. A popular product for backyard in-ground pools are cyanuric-based tablets (the ones that look like large white hockey pucks). "Cyanuric acid inhibits the sun's ability to burn off chlorine. "It's like a sunscreen for the water."
You can put the tablets in your skimmer baskets, but their low acid content means they'll eat metal—a problem if your pool has a metal filter system or a heater with a copper heat exchanger. So we recommend getting a in-line chlorinator, which attaches to the filter system. Get a pro to hook this up.