Its understandable why swimming pool owners across Canada get excited when spring arrives as it means swimming season is almost here. The cold weather ice and snow is eventually replaced by the summer sun and heat and its time to open the pool for a few months of backyard fun. However, you cant just uncover the pool and jump straight in as there are a few things youll need to do to prepare it These are 10 useful tips for opening your swimming pool regardless of the climate you live in.
1- Pump off the water
Depending on the type of pool cover you have, you may need to pump the water off of it. If the cover has water and debris on it youll need to remove it before you can take the cover off. The simplest and quickest way to do this is to use a sump pump. If you have an above ground pool, you should be able to remove the water with a siphon. After the water has been removed its a good idea to make sure you have some help when taking the cover off since it could still be quite heavy. At the same time, try to keep as much debris out of the water when removing the cover.
2-Take care of the pool cover
When you take the pool cover off your pool, be sure to clean it and then properly store it for the summer to make sure it isnt damaged. You can do this by laying the cover out and brushing any remaining debris and water off of it. Let it dry out and then try sprinkling some talcum powder on it before folding it up an putting it away as the powder can help fight off mold and mildew. Fold the cover carefully and store it in a cool, dry area.
3 -Reconnect the equipment
All of the swimming pool equipment that was disconnected when you closed the pool down will now need to be reconnected. This includes things such as the pool cleaner, heater, pump, and filter. You can also connect any accessories as well as ladders, diving boards, slides, and hand rails etc. Its recommended that all O rings are lubricated as well as any screws and bolts that are going to be used. If all moving parts are lubricated they should work better during the summer and will be easier to disassemble when its time to close the pool.
4-Change the plugs
If youve used winterizing plugs over the winter to prevent damage theyll need to be replaced with your regular plugs after your pool equipment has been replaced.
5-Remove metal stains
Some metals such as iron and copper can build up in the pool during the winter and stain the walls. The longer theyre left the harder theyll be to remove. Its a good idea to use a some type of Metal-Free remover when opening the pool to help neutralize the metals in the pool.
6-Test the water chemistry
At this point youll want to test the water with a pool water test kit or strip before adding any chemicals to it. Testing it will let you know exactly what needs to be added and how much of it. You should check the water for acidity, pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, stabilizer, and chlorine levels. The total alkalinity level should be between 80 and 120 ppm, while the pH level should be from 7.4 to 7.6. The free available chlorine is best between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm with the calcium hardness recommended to be from 200 to 400 ppm and the Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid) between 30 and 50 ppm.
7-Take care of total alkalinity
When adding chemicals its a good idea to balance the total alkalinity first as this will help the other chemicals achieve their normal range. This results in cleaner and safer water. There are special chemicals that can be bought to raise or lower the total alkalinity level. When the total alkalinity is between 80 and 120 ppm its a good time to adjust the other chemical levels. These can also be lowered or raised with special products which are available from swimming pool supply stores.
8- Thoroughly clean the pool
No matter what type of pool cover you use, theres a good chance the water will be dirty and/or there will be debris in it. You should brush the walls and floor down and vacuuming it before shocking the water. This will help remove any bacteria and algae from the walls and elsewhere. You may want to start the brushing in the shallow end and work your way to the deep end. Its also a good idea to vacuum the dirt directly to the waste option. After cleaning you should let the filtration and circulation systems fun for a few hours before shocking the water.
9- Shock the water
If there is any algae, bacteria, debris and/or dirt left in the pool you can remove it by adding two pounds of shock for each 10,000 gallons of pool water. This will also help raise the chlorine to about 10.0 ppm. After the shock has been added let the pool run for another two hours before placing algaecide in the water.
10- Algae prevention
You should make sure youve added and algaecide before using the pool and use one on a regular basis throughout the swimming season.
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