Nothing is more enjoyable than relaxing out by the pool on a hot summer day. A pool is an enjoyable addition to any backyard, but they do require some work to keep them in pristine condition. One of your responsibilities as an owner is opening your pool for the season so you can enjoy those hot summer days later on. Unfortunately, opening an inground pool for the season isn’t as easy as removing the cover and diving in, it requires a little more than that. But once you open your pool, and you do it right, you’ll enjoy your pool all summer long. Check out our tips for opening a swimming pool below.
Step 1: Don’t Empty Your Swimming Pool
Unless you need to do major structural work, there’s no need to empty it. Even in cold winter months, water in a pool can be useful. Sometimes draining it can cause big problems in areas with a high water, as the outside water pressure can actually push on the walls and dislodge it from its placement. This could lead to your entire pool needing to be reinstalled. It’s best to keep it filled during the winter and just put a cover over the top of it. If your pool was damaged during the winter and you have found cracks, SANI-TRED® waterproofing products are perfect for swimming pool repair. The best part about the SANI-TRED® System is that you can do it yourself, as soon as this weekend!
Step 2: Clean It
Start this process with a “Chemical Open”. Put the filtration system together, clean all the skimmer baskets, and remove any plugs you put in when you closed it in the winter. For now, keep the cover in place.
Step 3: Check Water Level
If your pool has lost some water over the winter, top it off to normal level and then clean whatever type of filter you have. Once the filter is clean, turn it on to the normal level.
Step 4: Call a Pro
Take a sample of the water to a specialized store and have them test the pool chemicals for you. Many stores provide this service for free and they’ll be able to tell you exactly what your chemical levels are and what you need to fix it. Knowing exactly what your pool needs will save you a lot of guess work.
Step 5: Balance the Chemicals
Based on what the professionals tell you, adjust the chemicals to reach optimal cleanliness and safety.
Here are some guidelines for your pool:
PH levels: 7.2 to 7.4
Use soda ash to increase pH; muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate to decrease.
Total alkalinity: 80 to 120
Use sodium bicarbonate to increase alkalinity, muriatic acid to decrease it.
Calcium hardness: 150 to 250 parts per million (ppm)
This depends on how hard your water is. Softer water will absorb nutrients from its environment. Adding calcium to water protects tiles, as water that absorbs calcium will pull it from grout if it isn’t getting enough naturally. This can also happen to vinyl pools, so be sure to keep calcium levels in this range. Adjust the calcium hardness by using calcium chloride.
Chlorine: 1 to 3 ppm.
Cyanuric acids prevent the sun from burning off chlorine, helping adjust levels. Cyanuric-based tablets are commonly used for this purpose. These tablets can be placed in skimmer baskets, but it’s best to get a plastic chlorinators attached to your filter system instead of in the filter system itself. This acid eats metal and can cause trouble for any metal in your filtration system.
Step 6: Let the Water Clear
Clean the filter every day for at least the next week until the pool water is clear and you can see the pool floor. The pool cover should still be on at this point as removing it too early will just leave you with more to clean.
Step 7: Tidy it Up
Once the water is clear, remove the cover and vacuum any leaves off the floor.
Step 8: Keep it Clean
Your pool is now officially open and ready to enjoy. Your job now is just to keep it open, keep the filters clean, and most importantly, enjoy your summer.
Having a pool is a responsibility, but it’s also a fun feature to have in your backyard when the sun is hot and the day is long. Open it properly and maintain it and your summer will be filled with enjoyment. And for when summer is over, check out this post on how to close a pool for the winter.
For more information on repairing and waterproofing your pool, visit SANI-TRED