Winter's done. Hibernation is over. This means for your pool too. It's time to bring your splash zone out of slumber and into the marvelous light of the sun!
There's more to opening your pool for the season than filling it up and jumping in. Opening your pool correctly is extremely important for the pool as well as the swimmers. Check out these eight steps to opening your pool for the swimming season.
1) Don't empty your pool. First of all, don't empty your pool even if you live in a cold climate unless you absolutely have to for structural work that needs to be done on it for example. Why? Because draining the pool can bring bit problems such as an empty pool in a high water table can lift it right out of the ground without the weight of the water to hold it down. If this happens, you could be looking at a total pool replacement.
2) Spring clean your pool. Perform a "chemical open" by putting the filtration system together, cleaning out all the baskets and removing any plugs that you put in the pool when it was closed for the winter. While working on this, leave the cover on the pool.
3) Top it off. Top off the water level if it's fallen over the winter. Also, be sure to clean the filter before you turn it on. You can clean a cartridge filter by removing the cartridge and washing it with a hose. If you have a sand filter, set the filter to backwash which will clean the sand and then turn it back to the normal setting.
4) Get a pro to test the water. It's a good idea to have the water professionally tested. They'll do a complete test including mineral content, total alkalinity and the pH and the chlorine levels. They will tell you what needs to be adjusted and by how much.
5) Balance your chemicals. Bring pH levels to between 7.2 and 7.4. Bring total alkalinity between 80 to 120. Bring calcium hardness to between 150ppm to 250 ppm (parts per million). Lastly, bring chlorine between 1ppm to 3ppm.
It's really not a bad idea to get a professional to take care of all of this for you as well.
6) Let the water clear up. Don't take the plunge into your pool just yet. The filter needs to be cleaned every day until the water is clear. This could take about a week. You may need to add more chlorine. Don't remove the cover or take a swim until you can see the pool floor.
7) Finishing up. Finish up the summer time prep steps by vacuuming all the leaves and debris from the bottom once you remove the cover.
8) Maintain. From here on out, keep the filter clean, test the water levels every day and vacuum once a week.
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