Supplies needed: Cover pump / syphon, skimmer net, cover cleaner, shock
Opening your pool this spring can be a daunting task for some, but it doesn’t have to be. With these 12 easy steps, your pool will be open, clear, and ready for fun in no time!
- Remove water from cover – Place cover pump or syphon on top of the cover to remove all the water that built up over the winter. Doing this is much easier than trying to remove the cover with the water still on it trying to prevent it from dumping in the pool and making an even bigger mess to clean up.
- Remove debris from cover – With you skimmer net, scoop off all the leaves and debris that have built up on top of your cover.
- Remove cover – Carefully remove your cover working from one side to the other, making sure not to dump any remaining debris in the pool. However, if some do manage to get in the pool don’t worry. That can be removed later.
- Clean cover and store – Lay cover out in the sun and apply a cover cleaner to remove any dirt and algae that accumulated over the winter. After it is clean and dry, fold up and place in a storage bag or container. The better care you take of your cover the longer it will last you.
- Set up pump and filter – If you are like most people you took your pump and filter in for the winter, or at least removed the hoses to prevent freeze damage. Now is the time to set it all back up. First, replace all drain plugs and gauges to the pump and filter. Then, attach one hose from the filter to the pump, attach another hose from the skimmer to the pump, and the last hose from the filter to the return in the side of the pool.
- Remove plugs and gizzmos – Go around the pool and remove all the plugs from the returns located in the walls. Then, go to your skimmers and remove the gizmo. Depending on who closed your pool and how it was done, your water may have been lowered to below your returns so no plugs or gizzmos were needed. If that is the case, that is completely fine.
- Add water – As mentioned before, your water may have been lowered when closing. However, even if it wasn’t there is a good chance that the water being on top of the cover pushed some water out of the pool. At this time, fill the water up to halfway up your skimmer. If the pool has a lot of debris in it, fill the pool up to the very top. The extra water will be removed when you vacuum your pool
- Install steps / ladder – Put steps back in pool. We generally recommend that you place them in a different location than they were located last year to avoid excess fading on your liner. Using bags of sand to anchor the steps is generally frowned upon since they will get water logged and be difficult to remove in the fall. Using a concrete block is also frowned upon as it can damage your liner. One good suggestion would be to use 1’ sections of PVC pipe filled with concrete and capped off to hold down your steps. They are easily moved around and removed.
- Prime and start equipment – Make sure multiport on filter is in “filter” position. Turn on power to pool. Make sure your equipment starts up. At this time, check for leaks in your plumbing and equipment.
Tip: If pump is having a hard time priming itself, turn off power, remove pump lid, fill pump housing with water either via a water hose or a bucket of pool water, replace lid, turn power back on and try again.
- Get water clear – If you opened your pool at the water was clear, GREAT! I would still encourage you to brush your walls, steps, and floor to make sure any particles that may be hiding are circulated through your pump and filter.
If your pool is not clear, it’s time for a little bit of elbow grease. Use the skimmer net and remove all the debris possible. Then brush the walls, steps (if you left them in the pool over the winter), and hard to reach places. Once you only have small debris left on the bottom, hook your vacuum to your skimmer and vacuum the remaining debris.
- Add chemicals – Since your pool has been sitting without chlorine all winter, now is the time to add an initial shock treatment. If your water is clear, add 2lbs per 10,000. If the water is cloudy, add 4 lbs per 10,000 gallons. If the water is green, add 7 lbs per 10,000 gallons. Make sure to leave your equipment running for at least 24 hours if the water is clear. If not, leave your equipment running until the water is clear.
- Water Sample – Take a water sample to your nearest pool dealer for them to give you exactly the chemicals you need to balance your water for the coming season.
Tip: When collecting your water sample, dip your container elbow deep in the water away from a return to collect a sample that is an accurate representation of what your water looks like.