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Opening Your Pool – Do it Yourself This Year!

It is almost time to open your swimming pool! But maybe you’re a first time pool owner or perhaps you’ve had someone maintain your pool before and you want to start. What better time than now?

There are a few steps to opening your swimming pool, so here we go:

  1. Step 1: Net leaves from the swimming pool cover – This one isn’t too hard, but you do want to get all the leaves off the cover so you can pump the water off, then store the cover properly.
  2. Step 2: Pump water off the swimming pool cover – Again, not hard, if you do not know how to use a cover pump, most are fairly simple – connect the garden hose attachment to the output port, gently toss the cover pump into the water to be pumped off, then plug in the cover pump.
  3. Step 3: Remove the cover from the swimming pool – Do not try to remove the pool cover with any leaves or water on the cover.
  4. Step 4: Clean and fold the swimming pool cover – Make sure to clean the cover thoroughly, you don’t want anything eating away at the cover while it is stored.  When you fold it, do it neatly, this will make it easier to put back on the pool when you need to close it.
  5. Step 5: What chemicals should  you add to the pool? – As the swimming pool fills add algaecide as per directions on the bottle. You may skip this step if your pool has a salt to chlorine system.
  6. Step 6: Start up the pool pump – When the swimming pool water is 3/4 the way up the skimmer opening, start the pool pump. The multi-port position on your pool filter should be on rinse for about 30 seconds before being switched to the filter position.
  7. Step 7: Net any leaves or debris from the swimming pool – If the pool is dirty it should also be vacuumed. For usual dirt, vacuum on filter and backwash after vacuuming. For excessive dirt or algae, vacuum the pool in the waste setting.
  8. Step 8: Add Shock to the swimming pool – Use the recommended dosage on the bottle. Even if you have a salt chlorinator in your pool, you will still need to complete this step.
  9. Step 9: Brush the swimming pool floor – This can be tedious depending on if your pool is dirty, but it is worth it in the long run!
  10. Step 10: Check the swimming pool water’s pH – Use test strips to check the swimming pool water pH and adjust as needed (use baking soda to raise the total alkalinity). Almost there!
  11. Step 11: Add stabilizer to the swimming pool as directed on bottle – Stabilizer is a chemical that is added to the pool water to help to keep the chlorine from being used up too quickly.
  12. Step 12: Circulate the swimming pool pump for 24-48 hrs – Keep the pump running so that all the water in the pool will be run through the filter, cleansing it from any bacteria and making it safe to swim in.
  13. Step 13: ENJOY!!!

You are now ready to swim in your crystal clear swimming pool!  And congratulations on opening it yourself!  If your pool is giving you trouble, don’t be ashamed to ask for help – many times there are neighbors or friends who would be happy to lend a helping hand.  If there aren’t, you need to find a qualified swimming pool company for assistance.  First, check with your local yellow pages, call several local pool service companies, check their BBB ratings, then meet with a few to determine which will be the best for you.

Once your pool is open, enjoy it!  Pools can be a lot of work, but they are worth it.  Nothing is more enjoyable than lounging in the pool, hosting the pool party of the year at your house, or even just swimming a few laps to stay in shape!

Some other maintenance tips:

Vacuum the swimming pool as needed – Now that the water has circulated, vacuum the pool if it is needed.

Backwash the sand filter – backwash once each week or when the pressure gauge goes up 8-10 lbs (which ever comes first) or clean the DE or cartridge filter as per instructions.

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5 Comments

  1. Lauren says:

    Great step-by-step post! Especially liked your note to clean the pool cover off entirely before placing it in storage. Too often people forget to do this, and then have to buy a replacement cover when they want to close their pool. This can be an easy way to save money. A little extra time can save money and avoid unnecessary hassles in the long run.

  2. Pearl Mary says:

    This is very helpful. Thank you.

  3. Lillian Nelson says:

    Why should the multi port position for your pool filter be on rinse for 30 seconds. And vacuuming in the waste setting for very dirty pools, why? I have a lot of port positions but don’t know what they are for other than backwash and filter

  4. Derrick Ward says:

    Great article! Don’t forget to add the stabilizer through the skimmer while the pool is running and leave it running for 24 hours after adding it.

  5. Brian says:

    Ajusting the PH is a very good idea. This will help with a lot of pool issues. The not stinging, less scale build up and over all pool quality. Great post.

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