Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally the pool opening weekend. Make sure your pool is ready to go for the long weekend by starting your pool opening routine now. We’ve broken down tasks into manageable lists you can take on a few at a time leading up to a quick and easy opening Memorial Day Weekend or another time that works for you. Backwards plan leaving your last step at least 24 hours before you want to swim and you’ll be ready to go when pool season starts.
The Phases of Pool Opening
Getting your pool open involves more than just pulling off the cover and getting the water level where you want it and the temperature up. Instead, there are essentially four general areas you need to work through: chemicals, equipment, the physical pool, and finally the water. Here are pool opening tips to take you through these steps quickly and easily as well as some ideas for how to make this process easier each year.
Tips for Pool Chemicals
Your pool requires a selection of chemicals to keep the water clean, clear, and healthy. Many of these chemicals are highly toxic so be sure to handle them carefully. While you’re thinking about pool opening, here are some tips for all those chemicals.
- Keep an eye on expiration dates. Just like most things, chemicals expire, so it’s important to keep an eye on things. Expired chemicals and empty containers should be disposed of properly.
- Location, location, location. Chemicals react when mixed, some can give off fumes that are dangerous and you certainly never want to get chemicals in or near your eyes. Follow these rules for storing them safely:
- Store chemicals above the reach of children but not above eye level in a cool, dry, well-ventilated place.
- Check covers after use to make sure they are secured.
- Powders and solids should be stored HIGHER than liquids.
- Oxidizers and acids should never be stored next to each other.
- Get into good habits. At the end of a season if you’ve got chemicals that will expire during the off season, get rid of them and make a list of what to buy before the spring. Never wash empty containers to “use later”.
Pool Opening Tips: Equipment
There’s plenty of equipment that keeps your pool running smoothly. You should be sure to check it before the season starts so that you can get done or make any necessary repairs.
- Check the foundation, pump and filter for cracks.
- Check the drainage area to make sure that there are no blockages or backups.
- Check the reading on the pressure gauge of your pool filter.
- Carefully examine all of the electrical wires connected to the filter, pump and heater for fraying — do not touch exposed wires.
- Clean the heat exchange before lighting your heater.
Check And Spruce Up Your Pool
The weekend before or or during the week leading up to Memorial Day Weekend it’s time to uncover and get your pool looking ready for another summer.
- Do these things before removing your swimming pool cover. Before you get the cover off trim the trees and landscaping around your pool, handle any mulching and do your planting. It’s much easier if this is done when the cover can catch the debris!
- Remove the cover. To avoid major messes in the pool, follow these steps to remove your cover:
- Use a wet vac or cover pump to remove the water and debris from the top of your pool cover.
- Remove the cover.
- Lay the cover out flat for cleaning and sweeping. Allow the cover to dry out so that you don’t get any mold. Once totally dry, roll the cover up tightly and store it in a dry place.
- Do A Visual Inspection. Check for cracks in the pool deck, pool finish and everywhere else including tiling, pavement, stone walkways, etc.
- Fill your pool halfway up the skimmer weir.
- Spruce Up The Water. Clean your pool with a vacuum, manual skimmer and any other tools to get everything out of the pool and ready for swimmers.
Take To The Water
The last step of pool opening requires checking the water. Here’s what you need to do so that you and your family and friends can enjoy the pool over the long weekend.
- Test your water for pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, Free Chlorine, Metals.
- Add Algaecide if you have algae or if this is a part of your recommended pool routine. This is also the time when you’ll add Pool Shock if needed as well as all other chemicals you need. Be sure when you add chemicals to the water that you get as close to the water as possible to avoid splashing.
- Test again to make sure that your pool water is balanced.
- Turn on your filter.
Once you have completed these steps you just need to wait 24 hours and then it’s time to start enjoying your pool. Remember, if you run out of chemicals while preparing your pool or notice anything that is expired, dispose of the chemicals and their containers. After using chemicals make sure to put caps on securely and store appropriately.