If you live in an area with a seasonal swim season, spring is the time to prepare for your pool opening. Although you can always hire a pool cleaning service for help opening a pool, many homeowners take pride and enjoyment in doing it themselves. If you’re one of those people, you’ll want to keep some tips in mind before you take the plunge.
Pool Opening Checklist
If you’re wondering how to open an inground pool this spring, check out this handy checklist for some simple steps to follow for an easy pool opening process.
Clean the deck and cover.
One of the first steps to opening a pool is removing the pool cover, but before you do so, clean the deck area to prevent debris from being swept into the swimming pool. This will also give you some space to prep the pool cover for storage without worrying about sticks and stones puncturing the material. For more intensive swimming pool cleaning services, purchase a small, portable pump to remove standing water from the cover. Of course, you could always just grab a garden hose and broom to sweep the debris and dirt to one side for quick cleanup.
Remove the pool cover and place it in storage.
If you’re lucky enough to own an automatic pool cover, you’re good to go. If you have a winterizing cover on the other hand, ask someone to help you remove it and lay it on a clean area of your deck. This way, as a part of your pool cleaning service, you can scrub it with a mild detergent, hose it down and let it dry thoroughly before folding and storing it in a clean, dry place. Storing it in a dirty or wet state can cause major damage like rot and mildew.
Remove the plugs.
Hopefully the pool was winterized properly. If so, you should have plastic plugs in the water inlets, keeping water out of the pipes so they don’t freeze and crack. Now is the part of the pool cleaning service when you remove them. If you winterized your pool with antifreeze, lower the water level to below these inlets. Next, remove the plugs and drain the antifreeze into a bucket.
Hook up all light fixtures.
Often, companies that offer swimming pool cleaning services recommend lowering the water level for winterizing. When this is the case, they typically remove underwater light fixtures from their housing with the wires still connected to prevent lights from cracking under the freezing conditions. If yours were removed, coil the wire back inside the niche and snap the light fixture into place.
Set up your deck equipment.
If your diving board, handrails, ladders or slides were removed, reinstall them. Also, spray a nut and bolt lubricant on all bolts to prevent them from rusting (sold at hardware stores).
Reinstall skimmer baskets and fittings.
If you removed the skimmer baskets from your inground pool, remove the winter plates and reinstall the skimmers. Hook up the hoses from the skimmer and return jets. For all swimming pools, insert removable skimmer baskets to catch large debris before entering into the filtration system. This goes a long way when it comes to a successful pool cleaning service.
Reconnect the pump, filter and heater.
If you removed the pump, reinstall it along with the filter and the heater if you use one. Ensure the fittings are tightened and cleaned. If you removed drainage plugs, valves and pressure gauges, replace them as well. If you’re not working with a professional swimming pool cleaning services company, consult your owner’s manuals for help with start-up procedures.
Fill the pool with water.
When opening a pool, be sure the water level reaches about midway on the waterline tile or to the middle of any skimmer weirs. You can also remove any stains or scale from the tile with any household tile cleaner.
Power up the pool.
Switch the circuit breaker back on while keeping the equipment turned off until you can get back over to your pool. Ensure the valves are open and fill the pump with water for proper priming. Switch on the circulation system taking the time to search out leaks and cracks. Quickly turn the power off if you see any damage and consult a repair technician.
Treat the water.
Test the water’s sanitizer residual, pH and alkalinity using all-in-one test strips or test kits. Most pool cleaning service professionals recommend shocking the pool water upon pool opening to kill bacteria and algae.
Run the system until the pool is clean and clear.
Run the filter for 24 hours, vacuum debris and retest the water. Some swimming pool cleaning services experts recommend reducing pump operation to one hour per day until normal filtration cycle time is reached.
It’s a lot more enjoyable to swim in your pool than clean it. But knowing how to open an inground pool properly is the most important step to long-lasting swimming satisfaction!