A backyard swimming pool is a great thing to have, especially in the depths of a humid summer. If you're lucky enough to have your own swimming pool, I have a quick guide to help you with the grand opening this year!
Take Off the Pool Cover
Before removing the pool cover, use a broom or leaf blower to clean off the leaves, sticks, and other debris so they won't fall into your pool. If any water has collected on top of your pool cover, use a submersible pump to drain it off. After removing the cover, use a hose to clean it and spread the cover out on the grass to dry. Once it's dry, fold it up and put it into storage.
Add Water and Reconnect Plumbing
Turn on your garden hose and put it into your pool. You want the water level to reach the mid-point of your skimmer so it can start to filter your pool water again. As the water rises, turn off the breakers to your swimming pool so you can replace all of the drain plugs on the filter and heater. Take the opportunity to reconnect the plumbing parts of your swimming pool equipment that were disconnected for the cold weather months.
Start the Pump
Once the water level is halfway up the skimmer, prime your pool pump. Be sure to remove the winterizing plugs you put into the skimmer and returns so the water flows freely.
Check the Pump for Leaks
Running the pump and the heater gives you the chance to look for leaks in your pipes. If you see one, use a piece of duct tape to mark the leaking area so you can get it repaired. If you don't have any leaks, run the pump all day and night so you can flush out all of the pipes completely.
Clean the Pool
With your pump running, the water in your pool is circulating and the skimmer is picking up floating debris. The drain at the bottom of your pool is also picking up debris. If the water in your pool is clear and you see leaves and other debris on the bottom, then get out your pool vacuum. Switch the valve on your filter to the waste setting so whatever travels into your vacuum goes directly to the waste port.
Test the Water
Once you're done vacuuming, take a sample of your pool's water using a testing kit. These kits test for chlorine, pH, and bromine. Go to the deep end and dip your sample vials at least a foot beneath the surface to get an accurate reading. Put the proper drops into the sample water and follow the directions as you read the results. Ask one of your children or grandkids to help you: It's a great opportunity for them to learn a simple lesson about chemistry! Once you have the results, start adding the necessary chemicals to your pool water according to their instructions.
Maintain Good Circulation
Continue to circulate the water in your pool for about 12 hours a day to make sure the system is working as it should. Check your chemical levels each day and add more if necessary. You want to get back to the point where your pool's chemical levels balance out.
Leaks in the pipes around your pool's pump or filter are a common occurrence. Take a few moments to tighten the connections before calling in a professional to make a repair.
Another common issue is algae. This is the green stuff that grows on the bottom of a pool and moves up its walls. You can shock the pool with chemicals to get rid of the algae growth.
- Get a friend to help you open your pool. It's much easier to fold a pool cover, spot leaks, etc., with two people. Plus, the job is more enjoyable with a good friend.
- Open your pool several days before Memorial Day if you can. Opening your pool before the traditional day allows you to avoid the crowds at the pool supply store and have quick access to a pool professional if you need one.
Good luck with opening your swimming pool this year! Thanks for reading. - Alan