Can you believe it is almost time to open your swimming pool?? This is by far my favorite time of the year! Why? It means that warmer temperatures are right around the bend AND I get to see all of your smiling faces when you come in to have your water tested. I am going to outline the steps I recommend when opening your swimming pool, you can also pick up a “cheat sheet” in our store.
Now you are going to want to replace all of the plugs and hoses (above ground pools) that you removed when you closed your pool. If you forgot to remove your pressure gauge you will most likely need to get a new one. Remove all return line plugs if you used them. If you have a multi-port valve place it in the filtration position. You should also take the time to lube all of your o-rings with an approved lubricant; we sell “Magic Lube” in the store and it works quite well. Once the plugs are installed in the pump make sure that you fill the pump with water to pull a prime.
If you have a sand filter and the sand is 5 years old or more we recommend changing the sand. It is easier to do it now before you add water to the pool. If you are leaving your sand in the tank we recommend cleaning it with a sand filter cleaner. If you have a cartridge filter we recommend cleaning it with a mixture of 5 gallons of water to one cup of TSP (trisodium phosphate) and 1 cup Muriatic Acid; if you do not want to use the acid you can purchase a good filter cleaner; let the cartridge soak for about 20 minutes, rinse and you are ready to go. Most swimming pool filter cartridges last 2-3 years before they need replacing.
Now you are ready to fill your pool with water! When you are able turn the pool equipment on and check to make sure it is working properly. Take an extra minute and look for leaks – the most common leaks are the gasket around the pump basket and the multi-port valve gasket.
Brush down the pool with your brush, do not forget entry steps, benches, etc. I recommend using a tile and vinyl cleaner. If there is any debris in the water skim or vacuum it out. Now is the time to install any ladders or handrails that were stored for the winter.
After the water has circulated for at least 24 hours bring in a water sample to Big Kahuna Pools, Spas & More or your local swimming pool store so it can be tested in a Water Lab. Remember if you keep your water balanced your chlorine or other sanitizer will work more effectively.
If your water is green bring us a sample in as soon as the water level is up and we can get you cleared up with our Back to Blue Kit.
There is one question that I am asked all the time – When can the kids go in the water? If they are anything like mine they will ask you until you finally give in. I tell all parents to let the kids jump in as soon as the water is clean and clear, but more importantly properly balanced. You just need to make sure you are by the pool because that cold water is going to be a shock to their system. They will probably only last about a minute or two. I did this with our kids and after the first time they never asked again to go in the pool right away because they remembered how cold the water was!