Author: Sara May

Easy Steps to Open Your Above Ground Pool

Above Ground Swimming Pools

Even before summer arrives, you should start thinking about the process of opening your above ground swimming pool. Check your inventory of pool chemicals and the state of your pool equipment. Winter or spring are the perfect times to replenish your supplies and upgrade or replace worn or damaged pool equipment. When the time officially arrives to open your pool, you’ll be ready with everything you need.

Make the opening of your swimming pool even easier by following the steps below. You’ll be swimming in no time.

1. First, remove any leaves or debris that have settled on the winter pool cover. Also, remove any standing water from the cover using a cover pump. Then, remove the cover itself.

Note: If your winter cover has a hole in it and you use your cover pump to remove standing water, you may actually end up pumping water out of the pool. This can lead to a drained pool, so be sure to watch for this.

2. After removing the winter cover, take time to clean it, let it air dry, and then store it away for the rest of the season. The time and effort you spend caring properly for your winter cover will ensure that it stays in top shape for many seasons.

3. Re-insert drain plugs you may have removed from your pump and filter hoses, and re-attach your hoses. Then, add water to your pool until it reaches normal levels.

4. Remove freeze plugs, skimmer guards, or air pillows.

5. Plug in your pump, and make sure that the valve is turned to the backwash position (for sand filters). Doing so will ensure that any old water left in your filter will not go into your pool.

6. Check for leaks.

7. Assess the cleanliness of the pool itself. If you used a solid winter cover and secured it well, the water will be as clear as it was when you closed the pool last year. If not, now is the time to remove large debris from the pool with your leaf net, leaf rake, or leaf eater.

8. Vacuum any dirt, sand, algae, or other small debris that cannot be cleared out with a leaf rake or net.

9. After cleaning the pool, check the water chemistry:

  • Allow the water to circulate at least 8-12 hours so that the water that was added has time to mix with the water that was already in the pool.
  • After that time, test the water thoroughly, then add the necessary chemicals in the proper sequence to balance the water chemistry. We suggest taking a water sample to your local pool professional to have it tested for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, etc. Be sure to follow the procedure they describe to avoid damaging your pool.

10. Install the ladder and any other deck equipment.

11. Go swimming!

Put Your Pool to Work for Outdoor Gatherings

The next time you plan a romantic dinner or cozy gathering on the patio or at poolside, put your swimming pool to work.  Pool fountains create a dramatic backdrop for any outdoor event, and they provide an easy and tasteful way to dress up your outdoor areas.

Some pool fountains spray in multi-leveled tiers and provide an elegant effect:

Other pool fountains feature spinning parts that create beautiful arcs and patterns of falling water:

Raindance Spinning Fountain

For a more subtle visual effect, there are also pool fountains that recreate the naturally soothing sounds of waterfalls:

Kutstone Cubic Scupper Pool Fountain

Using any kind of pool fountain allows you to turn your swimming pool into a key contributor to the ambiance and style of your outdoor gathering.   Whether dramatic or subtle, your pool fountain will certainly impress your guests.

Prepare Now for Safe Summer Swimming

Pool Safety

The best time to prepare for a safe swimming season is before the season ever begins.   Two of the most important pieces in the pool safety plan can be accomplished now — swim lessons and CPR certification.

Swim Lessons

Children and adults should not only feel comfortable in the water, they should successfully complete basic swimming and water safety training before entering a swimming pool.  Even better, swimmers should continue with swimming lessons throughout the season and beyond to increase ability and strength.  Your local Y or community center may offer year-round swim lessons.  Alternatively, you can contact your local Red Cross to find locations that offer swim lessons.  

CPR Certification

Even the strongest swimmers can experience accidents in water, so becoming certified in CPR and first aid is the second crucial step you can take now to prepare for a safe swimming season.   Contact your local Red Cross for class offerings.  Be sure to take a refresher course every year because you never know when your life-saving skills will be needed.

When swimming season arrives, the swim lessons you and your family take and the CPR certification you achieve will go far in helping prevent accidental injuries and drownings in and around the swimming pool.  Don’t forget, though, that responsible adult supervision should always be available when children are playing in and near the water.  No preventative measures ever replace proper supervision.

Make Your Own Backyard Water Park

Crowded Water Park

Indoor and outdoor water parks seem to be in every town these days, and their numbers continue to grow.  Savvy parents know that these “vacation destinations” are rarely worth the expensive admission fee.  Additionally, indoor and outdoor water parks use an excessive amount of chemicals in their water to keep bacteria and germs from hundreds of visitors at bay, which leads to irritated eyes and skin.  Kids love these places, though, so how do parents entice their young ones to stay home and enjoy the swimming pool in their own backyards?

One easy way to make the backyard pool more exciting for kids is to add a pool slide for action packed fun.  Pool slides made for backyard swimming pools don’t reach the dizzying heights of those at the local water park, but there are no lines to wait in, no crowds to wade through, and kids can slide to their heart’s content.  Add a couple of friends to the mix, and families can enjoy full days of free fun at home.

Turbo Twister Pool Slide  G-Force 360 Degree Pool Slide  Rocket Ride Pool Slide

Simple Steps Save Lives – Pool Safety

Pool Safety is simple, and can save lives!

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Pool Safely campaign aims to educate parents and pool owners/operators about the many ways to provide a safe swimming experience for our children.  One important way to ensure that the pool or spa you use is safe is to check that all its drains have safe drain covers.

Non-compliant drain covers can create a dangerous suction that can entrap hair, jewelry, clothing, and body parts.  Many injuries and deaths have occurred as a result of this powerful suction.  That’s why the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was passed.  Now, public pools and spas are required by law to replace old, hazardous drain covers with compliant, safe drain covers.  Owners of residential pools and spas should do the same.

The following short video created by the CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign offers more helpful safety tips related to safety drain covers.