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How to Open Your Pool - Do it Yourself This Year!

By Greg - Updated On: 04/25/19

It's Spring! Now that warm weather is approaching, it's time to think about opening the pool for the season. Planning ahead can make the job much easier. Even if it’s not warm enough for you to enjoy swimming just yet, here are some points to consider:

  1. Some days it doesn't seem like Mother Nature can make up her mind if she wants to be Winter or Spring. On those beautiful, sunny weekends where the temperature seems to be sweltering hot, it's nice to have your pool open and ready for a spontaneous dip to cool off after you've cut the grass or worked in the garden.  Got kids?  I haven't met any kid between the ages of 5-12 that doesn't love to swim in the cold water!  Personally, I like my swimming water to be warmer than normal, but I remember as a kid not being able to wait for swimming season. Plus, when the day finally comes around where the weather has been consistently warm and it's time to swim, your pool will be completely ready for the seasons first summer cannon ball!
  1. Cleaning your pool will be easier!  If you wait to open your pool until May you run the risk of having more algae to clean.  Algae loves to grow in your pool once the temperatures start to rise.  If you open your pool in Spring before algae has much of a chance to grow, you'll not only have less to clean but you won’t spend a lot of time on hot summer days waiting for algae cleaning chemicals to dissipate.
  1. Keep in mind that pool companies (us included) run Spring deals on chemicals or services and that saves you money.

Here are the steps that you need to take for a successful pool opening!

  1. Net leaves from the swimming pool cover - This one isn't too hard, but you do want to get all the leaves off the cover so you can pump the water off, then store the cover properly.
  2. Pump water off the swimming pool cover - Again, not hard, if you do not know how to use a cover pump, most are fairly simple - connect the garden hose attachment to the output port, gently toss the cover pump into the water to be pumped off, then plug in the cover pump.
  3. Remove the cover from the swimming pool - Do not try to remove the pool cover with any leaves or water on the cover.
  4. Clean and fold the swimming pool cover - Make sure to clean the cover thoroughly, you don't want anything eating away at the cover while it is stored.  When you fold it, do it neatly, this will make it easier to put back on the pool when you need to close it.
  5. Add the proper chemicals to your pool? - As the swimming pool fills add algaecide as per directions on the bottle. You may skip this step if your pool has a salt to chlorine system.
  6. Start the pool pump - When the swimming pool water is 3/4 the way up the skimmer opening, start the pool pump. The multi-port position on your pool filter should be on rinse for about 30 seconds before being switched to the filter position.
  7. Net any leaves or debris from the swimming pool - If the pool is dirty it should also be vacuumed. For usual dirt, vacuum on filter and backwash after vacuuming. For excessive dirt or algae, vacuum the pool in the waste setting.
  8. Add Shock to the swimming pool - Use the recommended dosage on the bottle. Even if you have a salt chlorinator in your pool, you will still need to complete this step.
  9. Brush the swimming pool floor - This can be tedious depending on if your pool is dirty, but it is worth it in the long run!
  10. Check the swimming pool water's pH - Use test strips to check the swimming pool water pH and adjust as needed (use baking soda to raise the total alkalinity).
  11. Add stabilizer to the swimming pool as directed on bottle - Stabilizer is a chemical that is added to the pool water to help to keep the chlorine from being used up too quickly.
  12. Circulate the swimming pool pump for 24-48 hrs. - Keep the pump running so that all the water in the pool will be run through the filter, cleansing it from any bacteria and making it safe to swim in.
  13. Jump in! 

Additional Maintenance Tips:

Vacuum the swimming pool as needed - Now that the water has circulated, vacuum the pool if it is needed.

Backwash the sand filter - backwash once each week or when the pressure gauge goes up 8-10 lbs (whichever comes first) or clean the DE or cartridge filter as per instructions.