Easy Guidelines for Opening Your In Ground Swimming Pool
Plan early for next summer by preparing now for opening your in ground swimming pool. Take inventory of your supplies, and replenish your stock of pool chemicals. Now is also a good time to check your pool equipment for wear or damage and replace or upgrade as needed. When it comes time to open your pool again next season, you’ll be ready to go.
Make your pool opening even easier by following the easy steps below. You’ll be swimming in no time.
1. The first step in opening your in ground swimming pool is to remove any leaves or debris that have settled on the cover over the winter season. Also, remove any standing water from the cover using a cover pump. Then, remove the water tubes and the cover itself.
Note: if your 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 cover and water tubes, be sure to clean them, let them air dry, and store them away until the end of the swimming season. Proper care of your cover and water tubes will ensure that they stay in good shape for many years.
3. Re-insert drain plugs you may have removed from your pump and filter. Then, add water to the pool, bringing the level up to its normal operating level.
4. Remove freeze plugs, skimmer guards, or air pillows.
5. Next, start your filter system — make sure to prime the pump before starting the motor. Purge all the air from the plumbing and equipment. Warning: Air will be compressed during this procedure. Be sure to release any built up pressure before opening your filter, pump, or chemical feeder. 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 cover over the winter season and secured it well, the water should be as clear as it was when you closed the pool last year. If not, remove any large debris using your leaf net, leaf rake, or leaf eater.
8. Vacuum any dirt, sand, algae, or other small debris that cannot be removed with the 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 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 handrails, ladders, and other deck equipment making sure to inspect them for wear and damage. Car wax applied to stainless steel rails will help protect them from corrosion.
11. Inspect the diving board. Look for stress cracks, and replace the diving board if any cracks are found. Also, be sure the surface of the board is non-skid. If the surface has been worn smooth, use a refinishing kit to correct this.
12. Clean tile lines with baking soda and a sponge if you do not have any pool tile cleaner. Do not use household cleaners (especially abrasives) to clean the tile. You do not want to swim in these chemicals.
13. Go swimming!