When Should An Above Ground Pool Be Closed
Without winterizing your pool, the water could turn green with algae. If the chlorine system stops functioning, youll say adieu to the beautiful blue pool you know and love. Come spring, your pool will be a homely sight and cause a real dent in your wallet. Bacteria that feed on algae could even cause health risks.
A Shock To The System
With everything back into balance, we need to make sure the sanitizer has a fighting chance. When opening your above-ground pool, youre going to want to give it a double dose of shock to really get that cleaning power into gear.
A double dose, you say? What does that look like? Well, its going to be around 2 pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water or 5 gallons of liquid shock for every 20,000 gallons. Its a good idea to add shock after the sun has set to avoid losing any to those UV rays and remember, always follow the manufacturers guidelines whenever adding chemicals to your pool.
Then once youve added the right amounts of all of the ingredients, you need to stir the pot.
Balancing Your Pool Water
Your pool water pH level is the most important component of water balance. Proper pH doubles your chlorine potency, is more comfortable for swimmers, and reduces the chance of algae and stains forming. For spring clean-up and whenever you shock the pool, adjust the pH to the low side in the range of 7.2 7.4, otherwise aim for a normal pH of 7.5. When pH creeps up above 7.6, add an acid to lower the pH level, and when pH is lower than 7.2, add a base to increase the pH level.
The alkalinity level of your pool water helps keep your pH stable and resistant to change, acting as a pH buffer. When alkalinity is below 80 ppm, the pH can fluctuate wildly, or become erratic and become hard to stabilize. Raise pool alkalinity levels with Alkalinity Increaser. Conversely, if your Alkalinity reading above 120 ppm, it becomes hard to adjust pH, locking in your pH at an incorrect high or low level. Lower pool alkalinity levels using our safe Instant Liquid Acid, or our granular pH Reducer.
From the moment you open the pool, until it freezes over during winter, you need to keep a constant level of chlorine in the pool. The final component of water balance is your sanitizer, or chlorine level. After balancing the water, shock the pool with granular chlorine, and then allow the chlorine level to drop to 1.0-2.0 ppm. Maintain the level with 3 chlorine tablets, placed in a floater or feeder .
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What Chemicals Do You Need To Close A Saltwater Pool
Just like any other pool, you want to test chemicals levels and balance pool chemistry before closing your pool. Also, test and adjust salt levels. You want salt levels at the low end of the normal range because salt could react with contaminants over the winter months, staining your pool.
Use the same winterizing chemical steps as you would use on any inground pool, including shocking the pool and adding algaecide and stain and scale preventers. You can even buy winter pool kits that include all the chemicals you need in a convenient package.
One additional step for saltwater pools is to remove your salt water generator, drain it, clean it using diluted muriatic acid if necessary, and store for the winter.
Remove Clean And Store Pool Cover
Drain off any accumulated water on top of the pool cover. Using a submersible pump works best. Make sure the pump is pumping fast enough so it is only pumping the water on TOP of the winter cover. If your winter cover has small holes in it, water from under the cover could come through. Keep an eye on it so you are not pumping out water from under the cover.
Scoop out any remaining leaves or other debris that remains on the cover. Leaf rakes work great for this. Trust us you dont want all that gunk to accidentally slide into the pool when you take the cover off, so remove as much as you can.
Remove cover clips and water tubes from the cover , and loosen the winter cable. Slowly remove the winter cover and pillow.
Once removed, clean the cover with water and half a bottle of BioGuard Stow-Away® to prevent sticking and odors. Then store the cover in a large covered plastic bin filled with water and the remaining Stow-Away. This prevents dry cracking and any rodents from destroying your cover. While youre at it, this is also a good place to store your air pillow and water tubes, too!
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Test Shock & Balance Your Pool Water
Now that the physical pool and equipment is ready, its time to prep the pool water for opening. Since the water has been sitting through the cold months, it will need a large dose of chemicals to kill bacteria and algae, and to bring the water to a proper pH that doesnt irritate eyes and skin for swimming. Youll need a few days to work on the water before opening day to ensure you have clean, clear, blue water thats safe for swimmers. Once youve gotten your pool opening balance set up correctly, youll be maintaining for the rest of the pool season.
What Chemical Do I Need To Open My Pool
Once the pool is opened and the floor and walls have been brushed the first chemical you should add is chlorine to shock it. Its recommended you add a gallon of liquid chlorine or pound of granular chlorine for every 5,000 gallons of water in the pool. You can also add more chlorine at the end of the opening process.
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What Youll Need To Open Your Pool
Gather your equipment and lets get started! Once you get everything together the whole task seems a lot less daunting. Well walk you through it and make this process as painless as possible.
- Pool cover pump or sump pump
- Soft broom or skimmer net
- Pool cover cleaner
- Start-up chemical kit
- A second set of hands
- A previously-closed above-ground pool
Before Starting Please Remember To
1. Read entire label of each bottle and use in accordance with precautionary statements and directions.
2. All chemicals should be handled by adults only, and kept out of the reach of children. Filter system must always be on and running when adding chemicals to pool.
3. All chemicals should be added to pool separately and must not be mixed together.
4. For existing pools, remove cover, connect filter to pool and remove any winter plates and plugs. Add water if needed, and clean and vacuum pool.
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What Chemicals Are Needed For A Pool Start Up
When youre finding the chemicals you need for a pool start up, it all starts with your water.
Ideally, you should have properly cleaned your pool prior to filling it back up. Going through a full pool cleaning before filling it back up will cut down on contaminants in your water, equally a pool maintenance service can ensure chemically balanced water on start-up.
If you are filling from a freshwater source, it isnt going to be perfect pool water. It would be a bit ridiculous to use entirely purified water too, so this is something youre going to have to deal with.
The first thing that you need to do is test your water. While you can do this with a small test, it is better to go all-in with a full water test.
You need to know exactly what it is that youre working with if you want to start your pool up right.
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Chlorine For Pool Start Up
This might be the most important pool chemical that you have to use. Chlorine keeps your water clean and safe for use.
Too much chlorine though, can make your water sting and damage the skin of anyone who swims in it. This is definitely something you want to avoid. Fe people are convinced that the stink of chlorine is worth it for a cleaner pool!
You need to raise your chlorine level quickly during pool start up. This is a type of shock treatment that should get your water clean without degrading any of your other chemical levels.
When adding chlorine, you need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer for dosage and how long to leave the chemical before adding more. It is important to be careful with it.
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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Remove The Pool Cover
This part is easier said than done. Pool covers can be pretty cumbersome. To get an extra set of hands, you can always bribe a friend with a pool party invitation.
Spread the cover out nice and wide somewhere flat where you can see the whole thing. Most of us arent blessed with a pool-cover-sized garage, so the front yard is probably going to be your best bet. This isnt a flag, so theres no penalty if you drop it on the ground.
Give your pool cover the old looky-loo and see if itll last another season. If its worn or torn beyond hope, then the good news is you get to skip the next step. The bad news is, youll need to pick up a new one before the swimming season ends.
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Oval Frame Intex Pools
A slightly different take on the traditional rectangular pool, these babies straddle the line between the Easy Sets convenience and the durability of higher-end Intex pools. The elongated shape fits into narrow backyards that might not otherwise accommodate a pool.
This model also makes a perfect lap pool if one of your crew has Olympic aspirations or their eye on crossing the English channel, wot wot.
Oval Frame Intex Pools are available in two sizes:
18 ft. long by 10 ft. wide by 42 in. high
20 ft. long by 12 ft. wide by 48 in. high
Instead of all-around legs, these pools use a snap-on frame that provides support where its needed most without taking up extra space.
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.
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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 Chemistryâs Pool Perfect + Phosfree.
Add Swimway Conditioner in the amount prescribed by manufacturer.
Clean top seats with Natural Chemistryâs 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.
Above Ground Pool Opening Step By Step
If it’s the first time opening your above ground pool it’s important to work through the following steps and get familiar with them before carrying them out. Most above ground pools are relatively simple to open or maintain and can be accomplished by any do it yourself pool owner that’s willing to put the time and effort in. The pool opening steps below should help you through this process and you can always call your local pool professional if you are overwhelmed by the following above ground pool opening steps.
You can take a water sample to your local pool supplier who will analyze the water chemistry and make recommendations based on your pool size, usage and existing chemistry.
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Create A Maintenance Schedule
As you learn more about your pool and how to care for it, your to-do list might start to seem a little intimidating. Creating a pool maintenance schedule makes it easy to stay organized and make sure important tasks dont slip through the cracks.
Not only will you be able to stay on top of basic upkeep, but youll be able to plan ahead for more advanced pool maintenance tasks like closing your pool, caring for it during the off season, or getting your swimming pool ready to roll when pool season returns.
If Using Granular Dilute Completely First
It seems that every year, I have to replace a one-year-old liner due to the fact that the pool owner poured granular shock directly into the pool without diluting it first.
Its very easy to tell if granular chlorine was poured into a pool as the bottom of the liner will be bleached white. This not only takes the color or pattern from the liner. It also makes it brittle and takes the life out of it.
Dilute your granular chlorine in a five-gallon bucket with water first. Stir the water until there are NO GRANULARS left. Then pour into your pool.
NOTE:I recommend using liquid chlorine for shock. With liquid, you cannot damage the liner.
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What Happens If You Dont Clean Your Swimming Pool
A dirty swimming pool wont just ruin your day improper pool maintenance or care could lead to recreational water illnesses like diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory infection, rashes, inflamed eyes, and lungs.
This is why its important to keep up on pool maintenance and make sure the pool chemistry is balanced so everything stays safe and clean.
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Chemical #: Chlorine To Shock The Pool
Saving the best for last, the chlorine. You will want to add double of the amount you would use for a regular shock. This will oxidise the pool, killing any bacteria, algea and other organics that would have grown over the winter. If you use granular chlorine, do
mix if first thoroughly, given that the water is cold and the quantities are large. If you are using liquid chlorine, pour a little all around the pool and the reminder near the water return.
Note: Do not splash the chlorine on yourself or your clothes, it will bleach.
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Put Together A Cleaning And Maintenance Schedule
The number one thing I recommend every new above-ground pool owner do is put together a scheduled routine for maintaining and cleaning the pool.
This puts you into a proactive position, staying ahead of potential problems.
Yes, this will require some time that could be better spent enjoying your pool, but when you compare the amount of time that reacting to pool problems, whether its having to shock the water, buy a new pump and filter, or having to hand scrub an inch of algae off the pool walls, a little proactive scheduling will save you a ton of time down the road.
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