All of this sunshine and warm weather mean plenty of time spent outdoors – and if you have a pool, your backyard will undoubtedly become the place to be this summer. Of course, you need to get it opened up first. Opening your pool for the summer should be low stress, especially if you did a little winter preparation at the end of the last summer season.
Want to know how to get your pool ready for summer? Read our 7 simple tips.
1. Remove Leaves and Debris
After the fall and winter months, you probably have a build up of leaves, dirt and other debris around the pool and on the cover. Before you open your pool, you’ll need remove all dirt and debris from the pool cover and the surrounding deck or patio. If there’s any water sitting on the cover, use a pump to remove it and prevent it from working its way into the pool before taking off the pool cover. This is also a good time to check the pool for cracks or tears in the liner.
2. Take Off the Pool Cover
With excess leaves cleared away, it’s time to remove the pool cover. If you have the space, it’s a good idea to spread it out and spray it down with the hose. Let your cover air dry before folding and storing it, and sprinkle a light layer of talcum powder over it to prevent it sticking together while in storage. Keep your pool cover in a cool, dry place until it’s time to use it again.
3. Top Up the Water Level
After months of not being used, there likely isn’t enough water in the pool for the pump to function properly. Therefore, it’s important to check the skimmer water level. For the pool’s pump to work effectively, the water should be in the middle of the skimmer opening. Add water as needed to ensure the pool is filled to the appropriate level.
4. Check the Pool Equipment
With the pool full, it’s time to ensure that all of your equipment is fit to use for the season. Start the circulation system and allow it to run for 8-12 hours. Be sure to verify that all of your pool’s hoses, pumps, and filters are in good working condition according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This is also the perfect time to check all handrails, diving boards, ladders, or slides for loose bolts and other potential safety hazards. Catching those early helps to ensure everyone who enjoys your pool does so safely.
5. Check the pH Levels
Once the circulation system has run for 8-12 hours, check your pool’s pH level, total alkalinity, hardness of water due to calcium, and chlorine levels. Test your pH levels yourself by filling a test tube from your pH kit with water from at least 18 inches below your pool’s surface, and far from the pump intake. Add the appropriate amount of agent, cap the tube, and give it a good shake. Or, have your pH levels professionally tested by taking a water sample to your local pool store. Whether you’re testing your water yourself, or having it checked out by a pro, you’ll need to add chemicals in the proper order to balance your water.
6. Wait for the Water to Clear
It’s not time to jump in the pool until the water is clear – and that process could take up to a week. You’ll need to clean the filter everyday until your pool is filled with clear water and you can see the bottom of your pool. During this time you’ll also want to keep your pool free of falling leaves and debris, and you may have to add chlorine to keep your water balanced.
7. Stay Safe
Boasting clean, clear water your pool is ready to use – but it’s a good idea not to skip out on this last important step before jumping right in. Before officially declaring your pool open for the season, check all of your items related to pool safety to be sure they’re in good working order. Take stock of the items in your first aid kit and keep it in a place that’s easy to reach when you’re outside enjoying the pool. Verify your gate and latch is secure to prevent others from entering your pool accidentally, or when you’re not at home.
With these steps complete, you’re ready to open your pool for the summer. So dive in, and soak up the sun! It’s time for months of cannon balls, and playing Marco Polo.