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How To Get An Above Ground Pool Ready For Summer

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Test The Chlorine Level

How I got my above ground pool ready for summer! Costco Bestway Pool

Chlorine is essential for pool water because it kills harmful algae, bacteria and microorganisms. Unfortunately, chlorine breaks down when exposed to the sun and chemicals from sunscreen, sweat and more. A pool should have a chlorine level between two and four parts per million . Make sure your above ground pool has enough by testing your water about every other day with chlorine test strips, such as these Aqua Chek Test Strips. Learn more about maintaining your pools chemicals.

How To Fill An Above Ground Pool

If youre ready to fill your above ground swimming pool, Im going to assume youve already taken care of everything else.

Its set up where you want it and the necessary plumbing is installed or you have someone scheduled to install it.

But the big question is, How do you fill it up? Where does all that water come from?


Not to worry. You have a few options. You just have to find the one that works best for you in the area where you live.

Remove Winter Pool Plugs And Ice Compensators

With the cover safely stashed or drying in a sunny place, you can start removing winterizing pool plugs. Carefully check all around your pool, and remove the plugs from all openings, including the return jets and skimmer bucket.

If you use an ice compensator in your skimmer bucket, be sure to remove that, too.

Reinstall all your skimmer baskets and return jets into the return line. If you used a skimmer plate over the winter, make sure you remove it.

A skimmer plate is designed to keep water out of your skimmer during the winter while allowing you to keep your pool filled. Once its gone, water can flow easily when you reactivate your pools filter system.

Skimmers and filters and plugs, oh my! You can get more details about all these things and much more in The Pool Care Handbook and Video Course.

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Inspect And Service Your Pool Heater

Remember, if you plan on opening your pool early, then heated water is 100% essential. And if you live in colder areas, its the only way to get your pool ready for summer. On top of maintaining your water at a steady temperature, a pool heater can keep your water from freezing.

But even if your pool is open come spring time, you may still deal with the occasional chilly day. But thats no reason to stay out of the water. And it wont be, as long as your pool heater is working when the time comes.

Hence why its wise to inspect and service your pool heater ahead of time. It ensures the availability of heated water while helping to keep your pool heat pump in tip top shape the key to consistent, optimal performance.

These links should help with all of that:

Reacquaint Your Pool And Pool Accessories

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Its time to redecorate your pool! Anything you removed before closing your above-ground pool for the winter, now goes back in. Items like rails, ladders, or your diving board can now return home.

As a responsible pool owner, Im sure you took out all of your pool accessories last winter and cleaned them thoroughly before storing them safely away. If thats the case, youll probably just need to do a very quick wipe-down to remove any dust before putting them back in the pool.

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Add Winter Chemical Kit

The ideal winter chemical kit contains chlorine shock or non-chlorine shock, and a winterizing algaecide. If you have a heater or use well water, it is a good idea to use a kit that also comes with a metal control. Tip: Dont add algaecide and chlorine shock at the same time, as chlorine can break down the algaecide and prevent it from working properly.

Turn On The Pool Filter And Test The Water

Youre almost there! All you have to do now is get the filter up and running. Turn on the filter and run it for 12 to 24 hours to mix up the old and new water before testing or adding chemicals .

Dont feel comfortable testing the water yourself? You can always bring a water sample to a pool professional for proper analysis. Your pool professional will provide you with instructions for balancing your pool water. They can test the waters pH level, the alkalinity, the calcium hardness, and the chlorine content. In addition to shocking the pool, they may be able to also recommend that you add a stabilizer, conditioner or algaecide to your pool before its ready for the warm weather.

Continue to run the filter for a few days, vacuuming out any debris that has settled. When the water is clear and the chlorine levels have come down, your pool is ready for swimming! Enjoy your pool!

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Test And Balance Your Water

Assuming your water is looking visually clean, its time finish the job on a chemical level.

Before you begin restoring balance to your water, grab your test kit and check your:

  • pH
  • Alkalinity
  • Calcium Hardness

Once youve measured each of the levels, its easy to determine what chemicals are needed to achieve balance.

For a list of all the proper chemical levels, and what chemicals to add, check out Pool Chemistry 101

Add Water And Prepare Equipment


Once youve finished checking the pool and equipment for leaks and made any necessary repairs, go ahead and start filling your pool from the hose. While you wait, start hooking up the hoses from skimmer to pump and filter to return, tightening all hose clamps securely. Replace any pump and filter drain plugs removed during winterization.

Once your filter hoses are connected to the pool, you can remove the freeze plugs or Gizzmo, and replace the return eyeball fittings and skimmer baskets.

Return the pump basket to its proper place and lubricate the pump lid O-ring with a Teflon-based lube. Set the filter valve to the Filter position for sand and DE filters. Once the water reaches the middle of the skimmer, open up any valves in front of the pump and allow the pump to fill with water.

Open up the filter air bleeder and start up the filter pump, watching the pressure gauge rise. You should quickly see air bubbles coming into the pool. If not, shut off the pump, and check that all valves are open and all plugs are removed from the pool returns.

If your pump doesnt catch prime and begin pumping, check that the pump lid is tight, the hose adapter coming into the pump is tight and sealed with Teflon tape, and that the incoming hose has no splits or kinks.

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Set Up Your Pump Filter And Other Equipment

Youll need to bring your pools hardware back to life after a long winters slumber. The mad scientist goggles and lab coat are optional.

First, put back all the plugs to the drains and pressure gauges to your pool filter system, pump, and other equipment.

Next, attach your systems hoses to your equipment, and double-check the connections.

  • Connect the skimmer to the pool pump.
  • Connect the pump to the filter.
  • Connect the filter to the heater, chlorinator, and any other extra filter equipment. If you dont have any, attach the hose directly to the return inlet.
  • If you have a multiport valve, make sure its turned to the filter position.

    Test And Adjust Water Chemistry

    Proper water balance is the key to clean, bacteria-free water and a healthy swimming environment. Use a fresh test kit or test strips to check the chemical levels in your pool.

    Choose a test kit that will test for all chemical levels . Make adjustments to hardness and alkalinity first, followed by pH and stabilizer. Do this before you shock the pool and begin using chlorine tablets.

    Many of our customers like to use our Pool Chemical Value Packs. We have Spring Opening Kits or Full Season Kits, each sized to match the capacity of your above ground pool.

    Let the water filter for 24 hours and then re-test before swimming to make sure you have the ideal water balance.

    Once the basics have been taken care of, your pool opening duties are complete, and you are free to enjoy the pool with your friends and family. Always remember that safety comes first, so swim well and swim safe!

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    Keep Your Pool Sanitised

    In crowded public pools during summer, you may get a bit squeamish. With your own above ground pool, you can feel confident that it is clean from germs and debris. However, you have to make sure it is water-balanced, sanitised, water-clarified, shock-treated, pumped and filtered, vacuumed, brushed, and skimmed.

    Pool water balancing uses water-testing kits for alkalinity, pH level, calcium, and chlorine. Sanitising uses the most common sanitiser, chlorine, whilst shock treatment uses concentrated chlorine treatments. The Internet offers do-it-yourself guides on these procedures.

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    If you own an above ground pool, your thoughts are probably never far from the sun and fun of pool season. But before you can enjoy your pool, youll need to open and prep it. You could pay someone to do it for you, of course. But why P-A-Y when you can DIY?

    Once you learn how to open an above ground pool, the process will become easier every year. All you need is a friend, the right supplies, and a little elbow grease, and youll be swimming again in no time.

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    Reinstall Your Deck Equipment

    This might seem like a page from How to Open an Above Ground Pool 101, but youll need to reinstall your deck gear to use your pool. This includes ladders, steps, or lifts.

    Double-check each component for rust or other damage. If anything seems flimsy, damaged, or worn out, nows the perfect time to replace it.

    Consider Opening Your Pool Early

    Maybe you closed your pool for the winter, or maybe you left it open but didnt really maintain it. Either way, if youre reading this at a warmer time of the year, then consider these questions:

    Would you rather go through the whole pool opening process in the heat of the summer, after pool water has been sitting for months?

    Or, would you rather open your pool early while its comfortable outside, tending to simple maintenance in preparation for the swim season?

    With an early start, even if you lack half the necessary pool equipment, youll still have plenty of time to gather it. Stress-free, and at your own pace.

    The opposite of what youd experience scrubbing the pool walls in 100-degree weather: endless beads of sweat drip down your neck as you hastily skim the pool surface, panicking about whether or not you remembered to buy the right chemicals. Okay, we exaggerate, but you get the idea.

    Here are some helpful resources:

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    Disinfecting Your Swimming Pool With Salt Electrolysis

    Salt electrolysis uses salt instead of chlorine as the disinfectant. An electrode splits the salt into sodium and chloride. The sodium binds directly with the water, while the chloride disinfects the water. So you still use chlorine, but in a much smaller dose. Disinfecting your swimming pool with salt electrolysis offers many more great advantages:

    • Once the chloride has reacted, it binds back to the sodium. As a result, nothing is lost and the entire disinfection process can be repeated. So you can use each dose of swimming pool salt multiple times.
    • Disinfection is completely automatic.
    • The risk of irritation to the skin and eyes is much smaller than with chlorine tablets or dosing pumps.

    In short, salt electrolysis is a simple, safe and sustainable alternative to traditional chlorine baths. But you just need one thing for a good result: high quality salt. For example, POOLSEL® from Zoutman is an excellent choice. This pool salt is made from coarse sea salt and does not contain any additives. In addition, POOLSEL® has the ideal granule distribution for rapid dissolution in the pool water.

    Check Your Chemicals And Equipment

    How to open your above ground pool for summer (step by step)

    Pool chemicals dont last forever. Check the expiration date and properly get rid of any expired chemicals. Gather up all your equipment and make sure you have all the pieces. Check to see if any parts need to be replaced. You want to have everything ready when you do take the pool cover off. Buy supplies at Texoma Country Pools & Spas.

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    Hook Things Up And Turn It On

    Get connected! Its time to hook up all of the connections before we fire-up this bad boy.

    The skimmer attaches to the pool pump, the pump connects to the filter, and the filter connects to any add-ons you might have . If you dont have any of those, just hook it up to the return.

    Now, its finally time to flip your circuit breaker and turn the pump back on. Make sure the pump is primed so water is flowing through it. With a multiport filter, you can now switch it to the filter setting.

    If you need to prime your pump, just turn everything back off, remove the pump cover, and add some water from the hose. Then, seal everything back up and turn it on again. This should get things flowing.

    Watch your equipment for a few minutes to make sure everything is working properly and there are no leaks or drips anywhere.

    At this point, its a good idea to resurrect your pool filter with a nice backwash. Depending on what type of filter you use, we recommend following the manufacturers instructions for backwashing or cleaning your filter so nothing goes awry.

    Next, its time to clean things up.

    Prime Your Pool Pump And Filter

    To get your pool pump and filter ready take the following steps:

    • To eliminate any air in the plumbing lines, make sure to add water to the suction lines with a garden hose.
    • Open the filter gauge pressure relief. Then, mark or document your starting PSI.
    • Inspect your controller for the correct time, hours of operation and programs for variable speed or variable flow pumps.
    • After the filtration system is operational, inspect all components in the equipment area for leaks.
    • Open all suction and return lines, utilize the multi-port valve and clean out any debris in the line by discarding to the waste position. Prior to operating the pool, remember to return the multi-port valve to the filter position.

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    Activities To Keep Your Children Occupied During These Unprecedented Times

    Are your kids starting to get bored with the same old routine every day? After you’ve gotten your swimming pool ready for summer, consider these fun activities to do with your children the next time boredom strikes:

    • Make a fort out of cardboard boxes – and then paint them. Set the fort up like a “resort” by the pool.
    • Create a treasure hunt around your home and out in your yard. The winner gets to be “king” or “queen” of the pool for the day.
    • Login to the Georgia Aquarium’s website and watch beluga whales or jellyfish live then have your child guess how many pools you’d need to have a whale at home.
    • Check out the Paris museum, the Louvre, for a virtual tour. Then gather items from outside, such as leaves, rocks, or sticks, and have your child recreate their favorite painting or sculpture.
    • Watch the livestream from the Cincinnati Zoo, then go outside and act our your favorite animals.
    • Choose a new recipe and make supper or dessert together and then have an outdoor picnic to make the eating more fun!

    With this knowledge and these cool ideas, your summer will be filled with a lot of fun.

    Run The Pool Pump Daily

    Intex 8ft x 30in Easy Set Inflatable Above Ground Summer ...

    Even if you don’t plan to use the pool for a day or two, you should still run the pool pump and filter for 12 to 18 hours daily. The two run together to keep the water clean. The pool pump pulls the water from the pool and into the filter to clean the water from accumulated dirt and debris. The pump is also important because it keeps the water circulating to reduce algae growth.

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    Do Not Empty The Pool

    You do not need to empty the pool unless its an emergency situation. Examples: Any major structural work or algae growth that is too thick for you to handle. Emptying the pool just to refresh the water can cause damage. If your pool is built on dirt with a high water table, it can actually lift out of the ground without the weight of pool water to hold it down.

    The best way to keep your water clean over the winter isyou guessed it a good pool cover!

    Check The Technical Installation

    Your pool is now clean, but there is still a lot of work to do. Before using your pool again, it is best to check all the technical systems.

    • Start with a backwash of the swimming pool filter. This should ideally be done once a week to prevent the filter from becoming completely clogged. Always switch off the swimming pool pump, and set the lever to the ‘waste’ position.
    • Rinse the filter again momentarily and switch the pump back on. Check that the pump is working properly, even when using the pool. Filter the water for twelve hours a day until it is completely clean. Tip: remember to replace the sand filters every three to five years.
    • Make sure that the inlets are not clogged. They make sure that splashed water drains back to the pool.
    • Clean the collection filters of the skimmers regularly, and the suction drainage system at the bottom.
    • Finally, don’t forget to turn the heater back on, especially if you intend to take a dip in your pool straightaway.

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