Pool Maintenance Questions
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Opening the Pool (General):
The reopening process begins the moment the pool is closed. By keeping an eye on the pool over the winter, the reopening process becomes that much easier. Snow or rain can raise the water level or sink the cover. Since heavy debris can fall in, it is better to remove it immediately than waiting till the spring. Reopening the pool entails reversing the instructions for closing it. The following is a handy checklist:
Supplies: Take the supplies (chemicals) out of storage and replace those that have exceeded the expiration date.
Uncover: Remove the cover, and then clean it. Allow it to dry (to prevent mildew) before folding and storing it for the summer.
Equipment: Reinstall or reassemble the pump, filter, and other removed items.
Deck. Reinstall ladders, diving board, and other deck fittings. If used at closing time, most of the petroleum jelly used to coat exposed metal fittings will have weathered off. Use a dry terry cloth towel to wipe off the remainder if necessary.
Plumbing: Remove the plugs and replace return outlet fittings.
Refilling the Pool: Bring the water level up to normal.
Electrical: Restore circuit breakers, switches, and time clock trippers to normal operating positions.
Cleaning: Restart the circulation equipment and clean the pool.
Chemistry: Balance the water chemistry and check the levels frequently during the first few days (until they stabilize).
Run the circulation system 24 hours straight for three days or until the water has cleared completely. Depending on how dirty the pool became over the winter, the filter must be backwashed frequently during this period.
Opening the Pool (Detailed):
1. Remove the leaves and debris from the pool cover with a leaf net and/or skimmer net. Pump off any excess rain water with a submersible pump. If an above ground pool, the excess water may be siphoned off instead.
2. Remove cover. Try to minimize the amount of water and/or debris that gets into the pool water. Some dirty water will always manage to get in – don’t worry about it. You will be adding shock to the water and filtering it soon, so a little dirty water will not hurt anyone !
3. Lay out pool cover and sweep or brush off any remaining debris. If you do not store your cover indoors, and you keep it outside or in a shed, then you do not have to worry about getting the cover particularly spotlessly clean. If you do keep it in the garage or basement, you may want to clean it to a greater extent. Properly fan-fold cover and store away.
4. Empty the water out of any water tubes you may have. On above ground pools, deflate the air pillow. Clean off items and fold properly and store away.
5. Unplug all piping, both in the pool and at the filter system area.
6. Re-attach any deck equipment you have such as ladders, rails, diving boards, etc. Make sure to reconnect any grounding wires or straps that may have been attached to the metal parts last year.
7. Lubricate all bolts on the dive board, ladders and/or rails. This will prevent them from rusting over the summer. Remember, you are probably the one who will be closing the pool, so you want the bolts to come off easy at closing time !
8. Re-install the skimmer baskets and any return jet eyeball fittings. If an above ground pool, you may have to re-attach the actual skimmer and return fittings onto the pool (depending on how the pool was closed). If an above ground pool, also hookup any hoses from the skimmer and return jets to the pump and filter.
9. Hook up pump, filter and any other additional equipment you might have (booster pumps, spa equipment, waterfall circulation pumps, heaters, etc.).
10. Turn on the power to the pool system. You may have to turn on the circuit breaker from the house. Start and check system. Check for leaks or drips. Make sure any grounding straps or wires are properly connected to the pump and any other components that need them. Make sure pump primes properly. Check for proper flow. Backwash the filter thoroughly. Add new DE if you have a DE filter.
11. Shock the pool with any chlorine shock product. This is available in liquid or granular form. You want to add enough to raise the chlorine level of the pool to at least 3.0 ppm (darker yellow color in most liquid test kits). If you use granular shock, do not throw it directly into the pool ! You could bleach and stain the liner. It is best to mix the granular shock chlorine in a bucket and then add that mixture into the skimmer while the system is running.
12. If your pool is a “green swamp” when you open it, bring a water sample to Village Pools and Spas for further information.
13. If your pool water is relatively clear, accurately test your water for chlorine, PH and Alkalinity levels. If available, also test for Stabilizer (cyanuric acid). Adjust these chemicals to the proper levels. Add a high quality algaecide to the water.
14. Let pool run for at least 24 hours. Vacuum any debris out of the bottom. Retest water. Do not go into pool until water is crystal clear and chlorine level is between 1.0 ppm-3.0 ppm. (medium yellow color on most test kits).