You’ve Gotta Friend
Opening up a swimming pool can be done by only one person, but Swimming pool maintenance is much easier with two, and you can turn it into a good time.
Invite a friend over to help you get your pool ready. You might have to give them an incentive. Perhaps dinner or access to your swimming pool whenever they want…ok, maybe just stick with dinner.
Open Your Pool Early
If you have seen any of my pool care YouTube videos, you might be able to tell that I’m a sweater. I know it’s gross, but if you’re anything like me, then you’ll want to open your pool earlier while it’s cooler outside.
Also, you can take advantage of the early buys deals at your local pool store or online (if they are running any). You’ll also have your pool open in case you have an early summer 😉
Opening your pool early even helps with algae. Algae loves warm and dark places, which is why it grows so well when you have the winter cover on your pool until the middle of June!
Before you get started, make sure you have everything you need to open your pool. You don’t want to be running to the pool store every time you forget something. Create a checklist and lay everything out. Here is what you’ll need:
- Spring Opening Kit or Chemicals To Open With (shock, chlorine, pH alkalinity, chlorine stabilizer)
- Telescopic Pole
- Skimmer Head
- Vacuum Head
- Vacuum Hose
- Pool Brush
- Test Kit or Test Strips
Get Your Filter and Pump Running and Keep It Running
Once you open your pool, you could be in for a surprise. It may be dark green, light green, cloudy, or crystal clear. I really hope everyone opens up to a crystal clear pool, but it’s not always the case.
Make sure that once you get the cover off your pool that you focus on getting your filter system up and running. Then, make sure it keep it running until your pool is clear. After that, you can start running your filter system between 10 and 12 hours a day.
Test Your Water Right Away
You should have test strips or a test kit already on deck and ready to use, if you followed my checklist.
Take a sample of your pool water by using a cup, holding it upside down, and putting it in the water elbow deep. Then, turn the cup upright to take the sample. Make sure you take a sample away from your return line.
Use your test kit or test strips to check your pH and chlorine levels. For a more accurate reading (which I highly recommend when you first open your pool), take a sample to your local pool supply store and have them check for:
- Total and Free Chlorine (or the type of sanitizer you use)
- pH and Alkalinity
- Cyanuric Acid or Chlorine Stabilizer
- Calcium Hardness
Stick To One Source
When it comes to pool care, it’s a good idea to get all your information from one source. Take it from me, this industry cannot agree on anything.
You could go to your local pool store to get some information on how to change the sand in your filter, and then go to the pool store down the street and they’ll tell you you never have to change your sand. Point is, if you stick to one source, you won’t have any problems. Hopefully, it’s right here at Swim University.
Shock Is Your Best Friend
If you have a chlorine pool, then shock is your best friend. Shocking your pool jacks up the chlorine level which helps to kill bacteria and get rid of dead chlorine that has done its job and needs to leave.
If you open up to a green mess this year, then shock will not only be your best friend, but your soul mate.
Clean Your Winter Cover Before Storing It.
I recommend you take your winter cover and lay it out next to your pool to clean it. You can use car wash soap and a brush to scrub the whole thing down. Or, I recommend using a winter cover cleaner that you don’t have to dry before you store it. Yes, you can store the cover wet with this cover cleaner.
Use A Plastic Container To Store Your Winter Cover
Go to Home Depot, Lowes, or your favorite local hardware store, and buy yourself a giant, plastic container. You can even use a large plastic garbage container with a seal-able lid.
Whether you have a safety cover or a disposable tarp cover, you should use this to protect the cover from being eaten by bugs, mice, or other pest while it’s in storage. Your winter cover will last a lot longer.
As a homebrewer (of beer), we have a little saying…
Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew. – Charlie Papazian: The Godfather of Homebrewing
Pick a nice day, grab a friend (and some beer if you’d like), open up the pool and enjoy the rest of your day knowing that you accomplished a chore that will set you up for the rest of the summer