Opening your inground pool includes everything from chemical treatment to achieve a safe swimming environment and properly refilling it. Pool cover removal is labor intensive and reassembling your pool equipment can be challenging. If anything is missing, broken or leaking, you may not have the know-how or the parts to fix the issue. These are some of the reasons it’s better to hire a professional to ensure it’s done correctly. However, if you want to open your pool yourself, here are 10 things you need to know.
Trying to open your pool with the wrong equipment can be frustrating. Gather everything you need for the opening to save time later. Some useful items include pool shock and other pool opening chemicals, test strips, cleaning equipment, appropriate tools, items to clean and store pool cover, pool cover pump and etc.
Remove the Cover
If you had a cover over your swimming pool, it’s important to ensure the water, leaves, sticks, dead bugs and other debris accumulated on top of your cover doesn’t fall into your pool. This may require a helper and a submersible pump to remove excess water. Don’t try to lift the cover until you get most of the weight off it. A pool professional can carefully remove the cover, thoroughly clean it and sanitize it to prevent mildew and bacteria buildup during storage.
Pull the Plugs
Remove winterizing plugs from return jets, step jets, skimmer baskets and other pool equipment, which may include the filter, heater, booster pump and pool cleaner. This typically requires specialized tools to prevent damaging them. Install eyeball or jet fittings, skimmer baskets, and normal drain plugs.
Reinstall Deck Equipment
Gather up and reinstall your accessories. This includes pool ladders, step rails, diving boards and other deck equipment. Lubricate bolts to prevent rusting.
Fill It Up
If you drained your pool over the winter or water is low due to evaporation, refill it to the middle of the skimmer opening using a garden hose. Improper water levels can cause malfunctions and costly repairs. High inground pool prices often make replacing damaged parts expensive, but a seasoned pool expert ensures proper pool depths and only reconnects your system when it’s at the appropriate level.
Set Up Filter and Pump
Winterized inground pools require reconnection of equipment like the filter, pump, heater, chlorine dispenser and etc. Double check the plugs in the filter assembly before starting the pump. If you have a multiport valve, set the diverter handle to waste the first time you run the pump to remove antifreeze (if used), then turn it to filter. If your pool water is green, run your system continuously until it clears up, then set it to run the appropriate hours per day. This can be between six and 12 hours. Ask a pro, if you don’t know how long to run yours.
Start It Up
Check all your filters, before turning your pump and filter system on. Once you’re powered on, you may have to clean and prime the filter, if it’s not pulling water. Also, check for leaks throughout the system’s mechanisms. If you’re using a sand filter and the pressure seems high, you may need to backwash. If you discover leaks or have difficulty restarting your equipment, call in a pool professional.
Clean It Up
Once everything is back together and running, clean your pool. Use a plastic leaf net and telescopic pole to remove large debris. Use a pool brush on the walls and floor of your pool to detach dirt and allow filters to remove it. Run your automatic pool vacuum, if you have one.
When you remove your cover, don’t be surprised if your water is green. If so, use an algaecide first before you shock it with chlorine. Wait a day after treatment, vacuum up dead algae, then shock it. Choose a pool opening kit to make balancing your chemicals simpler. Test your water, adjust your chemicals, then test again. Start by adjusting your alkalinity, then pH, and finally calcium.
Once your pool water is balanced, add the proper amount of sanitizer. Run your filter overnight, then retest your water. Bring a water sample to your local pool supply store for computerized water testing for more accurate results and before declaring your pool officially open.
Key Points of Opening Inground Swimming Pools
Closing your pool the right way makes opening it easier. If you’re opening yourself, remember:
- It’s simpler and safer to leave pool openings to a professional.
- Removing covers on inground pools is cumbersome and takes two people.
- Specialized tools make equipment startup easier.
- Appropriate water levels prevents equipment damage.
- Summer startup kits include all the chemicals you need and step by step instructions.
If you’re not sure if you can open your pool yourself or find the task too daunting, turn to the experts at Aqua Spas and Pools. We offer seasonal pool openings, closings and regular maintenance and cleaning. We also install new inground swimming pools and offer quotes, if you’re wondering ‘how much does an inground pool cost?’ Contact us! Call 877-775-3442 for answers to all your pool questions.