Why You Need To Know How To Open An Above Ground Pool
Your pools been covered all winter. As convenient as it would be to just pull the cover off and dive right in, think for a minutethat waters been sitting there, stagnant, all winter long. Do you really want to submerge yourself in that? Didnt think so.
Knowing the above ground pool opening process will ensure that when you do finally get back into the pool, its in clean, clear, non-swampy water.
Additional Things You Might Need
Here is a list of some of the equipment you might need to open the pool for the first time:
- A pool cover pump
- A soft broom or skimmer net
- A cover cleaner
- A friend to help you out
- Chemical testing kit
Now that you have an idea of the chemicals you will need, lets take a look at the steps you need to take to open your above ground pool.
Step 1 Clear off the water, debris and anything else from the pool cover
First off, use a pool cover pump to remove water that might have accumulated on the pool cover surface. You can even use a regular sump pump, which you must have at home. Once all the moisture has been removed, use a soft broom or a skimmer to clear out debris from the pool cover surface.
Step 2 Remove the pool cover
Once the pool cover has cleared and dried out completely, it is time to remove the pool cover. You need to be very careful while removing the pool cover. Make sure that you do not let any of the debris or accumulated water enter the pool.
With the pool cover removed, get the help of a friend and wash the pool cover using a pool cover cleaner. Cleaning the pool cover will save you from a lot of trouble when you need to put the cover back on. It also helps extend the lifespan of the pool cover.
Store the pool cover in a safe place to protect it from damage caused by critters. Use an airtight container to give it the best protection.
Step 3 Pull the winter plugs and accessories out
Step 4 Top up the water in your pool
Step 5 Reinstall the pool ladder
What Chemicals Are Needed To Close An Inground Pool
Before you start adding pool chemicals for winter closing, you need to figure out the condition of your water. Use a home test kit such as a liquid testing kit or easy-to-use test strips. For a more precise analysis, you can bring a water sample to your local pool store for professional testing.
Pool chemical levels should be at these desired levels:
- pH should be between 7.2 7.4
- Total Alkalinity should range between 80-120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness should range between 200-400 ppm
- Free chlorine should range between 1.5-2.5 ppm
After you test your water, add chlorine and acidic or alkaline substances to get chemical levels in the desired range. Before adding winter pool chemicals, be sure to vacuum, remove leaves and debris, and scrub your pool thoroughly in order to assist chemicals in working effectively.
When basic pool chemistry is balanced, you want to shock your pool. You dont have to spend extra money on stabilized pool shock unless you have an old or flimsy pool cover. A sturdy pool cover will protect the water from sunlight, so unstabilized chlorine works perfectly.
Other pool closing chemicals include optional chemicals for your specific water needs:
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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.
If you have a multiport valve, make sure its turned to the filter position.
Understanding Chlorine Vs Bromine
In most pools, there will be one of these halogens. Chlorine and bromine share several characteristics on the chemical level. Since they have an identical number of valence electrons, they behave similarly. Thus, you can use them in the same applications to produce substantially comparable results.
Chlorine:In most instances, chlorine is the pool sanitizer of choice. Once you add some of this, none of those bacteria can thrive.
Bromine:If you are sensitive to chlorine, then bromine might be an appropriate substitute. Sometimes, people develop rashes when swimming in chlorinated water. If you are in those truths, then try some of this. Typically, it will perform much better.
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How To Properly Open Your Pool
Whether its your first time opening your pool or youre a seasoned pro, its easy to forget or simply not be aware of all the essential steps needed to properly prep your pool for the season. Adapted from our own pool experts, the following basic instructions can help you save time, money, and open your pool the right way. Happy swimming!
Remove water and debris from the winter cover carefully to keep any debris from entering the pool water. For water removal, use a cover pump or a siphon. For leaves and other large debris, use a skimmer net.
For first time pool fill-up, follow these additional steps:
Remove phosphates from pool water by adding Natural Chemistry’s Pool Perfect + Phosfree.
Add Swimway Conditioner in the amount prescribed by manufacturer.
Clean top seats with Natural Chemistry’s Clean & Perfect.
Use each product as label indicates.
Remove winter cover and other winterizing accessories . Clean winter cover with Swimway Tile & Vinyl Cleaner or another product. Allow the winter cover to dry thoroughly before storing off the ground. DO NOT leave winter cover on the grass it will kill your lawn. Store inside to prevent nesting of birds, insects, and rodents.
Clean the scum line at the water level with Swimway Tile & Vinyl Cleaner or another product prior to filling pool.
Hook up all hoses and filter or pump systems.
Fill pool to proper level. The water should be about 1/2 to 2/3 up the skimmer housing.
|2 – ½ gallons
S To Open Your Saltwater Swimming Pool
Remove the swimming pool cover.
Connect your filter system to your swimming pool.
If you have an inline saltwater generator connect it after the filter system, right before the pools return. If you have a drop in model re-install the saltwater generator by removing the top ledge of the pool where you would like for the chlorinator to go.
Remove skimmer plate from the skimmer opening along the swimming pool wall and remove the winter plug from the pool return opening.
Review the pool water level and add water to the swimming pool .
Perform a quick scrub of the inner pool walls as well as vacuum the swimming pool.
Check the salt level with a saltwater test kit and adjust if necessary. You only need to add the full amount of salt for your pool size when you initially fill the pool the salt stays in the water and keeps making chlorine. Only water loss will reduce the salt content, so you will need to check the salt level with a salt test kit and adjust as necessary.
Test and adjust the swimming pools water total Alkalinity Level using Saltwater Series Alkalinity Increaser or similar.
Measure the chlorine stabilizer level of the pool water. Add Saltwater Series Stabilizer as necessary following the instructions on the label.
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How To Open A Pool Clean Your Pool Cover
Im assuming your pool has been sitting idle through the winter and you used an above ground pool cover to prevent any leaves and bugs from falling into the pool water. Regardless of if you have a pool with 10,000 gallons, 40,000 gallons or bigger, the initial steps are pretty much the same. The above ground pool cover has done its job of protecting the water. But if you just remove the above ground pool cover to open the pool without clearing the debris from on top of the pool cover, you will undo all the work it has done through the winter months.
So use a light brush to remove all the dried leaves and twigs from the pool cover. If you have a pool cover pump, that should take care of any excess water that may have accumulated on top of the above ground cover. If you dont have a pool cover pump even a normal sump pump should do the trick.
About The Pool Factory
Americas Above Ground Pool Experts is the best place to find everything you need to make owning a swimming pool or spa fun and easy, at the best prices today. With a combined 50+ years of experience The Pool Factory employs a highly trained staff of above ground and semi inground pool specialists. The Pool Factory can provide unique solutions for all pool supplies and swimming pool needs.
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Don’t Forget To Remove Winterizing Plugs And Replace Drain Plugs
If you live in an area where the winter temperature drops below zero, then you may have replaced the pool inlets/outlets with winterizing plugs. These rubber plugs provide a very tight seal and prevent any plumbing damage due to leaks or ice during winter. You may have also installed a skimmer plug or gizzmo to protect your skimmer from expanding ice. After re-connecting your equipment, you will want to remove all of the winter plugs and put the pool inlets and outlets back in place. Remember to also reinstall the drain plugs in your pool equipment. If the water level is below the skimmer, you can now refill the pool.
Test And Adjust Water Chemistry
Pools Following Our Aqua-Guard Tablet or Granular Chlorine Program
For pools using our Aqua-Guard Chlorine Products, we recommend using Vinyl Shock and our Aqua-Guard Deluxe Opening Pool Kit. Our kit contains Meta-Sol, a sequestering agent, our 50% Concentrated Aqua-Guard Algaecide, and Oxy Out, a gentle non-chlorine shock treatment.
After the pool water has circulated for a minimum of 8 hours:
Add Meta-sol or Stain and Scale Control Solution, according to the instructions on the label. Meta-sol will tie-up and inactivate any stain causing minerals that may be present in the water. It is especially important to do this step prior to pH adjustments in case your pool water is acidic. Continue to circulate the pool water overnight.
Day 2:1) In the morning, with the water continuing to circulate, broadcast 1kg of Oxy-Out across the surface of the water. This oxidizing product destroys organic wastes that have accumulated over the winter, without bleaching surfaces.
2) One hour later, adjust Total Alkalinity and pH if required. Depending on the amount of adjustment required to balance the water chemistry, this process may take anywhere from 2-8 hours. *A water sample may be brought in to The Pool Shoppe where a Water Lab Technician will perform a complimentary pool water test for Total Alkalinity, pH level, Copper, Sanitizer and Stabilizer and recommend any adjustments required.
Pools following our Synergy Program See New Alliance Program
Salt Water Pools
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How Many Chemicals Do You Need To Start Up Your Pool
Once you know the state of your pool prior to start up, you can start to add and adjust the chemicals in your pool. The amount of chemicals for pool start up that you need to use is going to depend on what state your water is in.
Each chemical that you add to your pool needs to be doing something to the water to help it reach those targets. However, you need to be careful of chemical interactions and not overload your pool all at once.
These are the chemicals that you might have to add to your pool to get it in working order.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Opening An Above Ground Pool
- Forgetting to clean your pool cover.
- Forgetting to pull out all of the winter plugs.
- Not giving the shock, algaecide, and filter 24 hours to work.
- Balancing your water before chlorine levels have come back down.
- Adding chemicals to the water before cleaning and vacuuming your pool.
- Vacuuming your pool on the Filter setting rather than Waste
- Adding all your balancing chemicals at once.
- Not regularly retesting the water.
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Reconnect And Maintain All Pool Equipment
At pool opening time, you will want to reconnect all the equipment that you disconnected before the winter season. This usually includes the pool filter, pump, heater, automatic pool cleaner, in-line chlorinators, and all other pool equipment. This is also the time to reattach any ladders, hand rails, and other pool accessories that were taken down for winter.
When connecting your equipment, it’s a good idea to lubricate all o-rings, seals, and hardware with a silicone lubricant. This will keep the equipment working properly all year, and will make it easier for you to disassemble them when you close your pool.
Pool Opening Remove Pool Plugs And Other Equipment
When you closed your above ground pool down for the winter, you may have installed equipment like pool plugs and ice compensators. Now that the summer is here, you need to remove all that winter equipment. So take a good look around your pool and remove all the winterized plugs from the openings. Make sure to check the return jets, too, before you open your pool. If you used an ice compensator on your pool skimmer, be sure to remove that too.
Put all your skimmer baskets and return jets back into the return line. If you used a skimmer plate to cover your pool skimmer, remove that as well.
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Remove Excess Water With A Sump Pump Before Taking Off Pool Cover
If you have a winter cover or a solid safety cover, chances are a fair amount of water and debris has built up on the cover during the long winter off-season. Pool covers can be difficult to remove when water is on them, so we recommend using a sump pump to drain the water off the cover before moving it.
It is best to use two people when taking the cover off of the pool, because even with most of the water drained off, pool covers can still be quite heavy. Take care not to spill too much debris from the cover into the pool, or else it’ll take longer to open the pool. If a small amount of water or debris does spill in, don’t worry. The pool will soon be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed.
What Do You Need
The first thing you need to do before diving into the whole pool opening process is gathering the necessary tools and equipment.
When you put together everything necessary, the task will be liking walking in a park. I will take you through the whole journey to make the entire tasks simple as possible.
- Start-up chemical kit
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Add Water If Needed And Start Up The Equipment
If your pools water level dropped over the winter, top it off to the halfway mark of your skimmers openingbut make sure to check for leaks and cracks first!
Get your filter system ready by replacing any broken drain plugs and pressure gauges.
To get your pump and filter up and running, attach your skimmers drain hose to the pool pump, connect the pump to the filter, and connect the filter to your heater, chlorinator, or other equipment .
Once everythings connected, its time to fire your system up make sure the pump, filter, and heater , are all working properly.
Also take the time to assess for any leaky joints in your plumbing that need to be sealed or replaced.
Pool Chemicals Guide For Opening Your Pool
At the end of a long winter you never know what you are going to find when you remove your pool cover. During all of those months of sitting dormant, chances are your pool water has gone out of balance and built up some contaminants. To open your swimming pool the right way, there are several different chemicals you need.
After you have removed your pool cover, replaced your winterizing plugs, cleaned the skimmer baskets and main drain, thoroughly checked and reconnected your pool equipment, and started up your pool pump, its time for the chemicals. This handy guide will walk you through exactly which pool chemicals you need to start off on the right foot and get your pool ready for swim season. For complete instructions on how to open your pool, check out our comprehensive pool opening checklist.
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Pool Water Chemical Levels
For the most accurate pool water testing, we recommend a titration test kit the Taylor K-2005 is the same test kit used by pool stores.
The ranges shown here are suitable for any pool surface or any type of pool sanitizer used.
Adjusting to the lower end of these ranges is best under most circumstances.
Step 2 – Add Stain & Scale and Clarifier: Before you shock the pool, which can disrupt other pool start up chemicals, add a Stain & Scale chemical to prevent staining by keeping minerals and metals locked tightly in solution. Follow up with a good pool clarifier, following label dosage information, to help your filter remove small suspended particles.
Step 3 – Filter the Pool! Run the filter overnight or for 6-8 hours to distribute water balance chemicals, and then backwash or clean the filter as needed, and empty the pump and skimmer baskets. Run your filter 24/7 if possible, for the first few days after opening the pool from its winter slumber.
Before adding your pool opening chemicals, test the water again to be sure your adjustments hit the mark, and all water balance levels are correct, preferably on the lower end of the ranges.
Step 5 – Add Algaecide: The final product in our pool start up kits is the algaecide. Add your algaecide only after chlorine levels have dropped below 3 ppm, which is usually a few days after shocking the pool. High chlorine levels quickly deplete pool algaecides, or render them useless.