There are parts of the country that are starting to defrost, which means some people might be ready to get their pool ready for spring/summer. Use these tips to help you get your pool ready to go for swimming weather.
While it might still be pretty frigid in some parts of the U.S., it’ll soon be time to open up your pool and get it ready for summer fun. As long as you properly closed down your pool for the winter months, it should be pretty easy to open it up again for the summer. Here’s how to open a pool after a long winter.
Drain Water Off the Cover Before Removing It
A pool cover keeps debris out of your pool, and it keeps the water in the pool clean over the winter. Chances are, though, that much of that debris and dirty water have accumulated on your cover over the winter months, and you don’t want it to get into the pool. Pump water off of your pool cover with a sump pump before you remove it.
When it’s time to remove the cover, get someone to help you. It’s easier to remove a pool cover with two people, especially because you need to be careful not to drop debris from the cover into the water. If you do drop a little debris into the water, don’t panic. Your pool opening and maintenance process should take care of it, but it’ll be easier to get your pool in working order if you minimize the amount of debris that falls into it.
Store Your Pool Cover Properly
Once you’ve got the pool cover off, you’ll want to store it properly to minimize pool maintenance costs. Lay the cover out flat and brush off any remaining debris, residue or water before drying it and treating it with talcum powder or alkalinity increaser to prevent the growth of mildew and mold. Fold the dry, clean cover and store in a cool, dry place. Be careful to avoid tearing or cracking the cover as you fold it.
Reconnect All Disconnected Equipment
When you winterized your pool, you disconnected the pool pump, filter, heater, automatic vacuum and other equipment. Now’s the time to hook these back up again and make sure you don’t need to repair or replace any components of your pool’s equipment. If you do, American Home Shield's® pool and spa pump coverage can help defray the cost. Take this opportunity to lubricate seals, O-rings and other hardware with a silicone-based lubricant. Set up any ladders, handrails or other accessories that you took down last year.
Replace Winterizing Drain Plugs with Summer Plugs
Winterizing drain plugs are great for preventing freezing damage in areas where temperatures drop below freezing, but when springtime arrives, it’s time to swap them back out for your normal drain plugs.
Remove Metal Stains
Metals like iron and copper can build up in your pool over the winter and cause stains on its floor and walls. Add a metal stain remover to your pool water to remove any stains. Even if you don’t have any stains yet, you should still add a remover to your water to prevent them. Metals may have accumulated in your water but may not have yet reached the point of causing stains.
Test and Balance the Water
Now it’s time to test your water chemistry so you know what to add to your pool water to bring it up to snuff. Make sure to test for pH level, total alkalinity, stabilizer levels and calcium hardness. Bring these numbers to within safe levels for swimming.
Start with total alkalinity, as balancing this first will help bring the other chemical levels closer to the safe range. Then balance pH and calcium hardness.
Brush and Vacuum the Pool
This is when you remove any debris that has fallen into the pool while removing the cover, or anything that somehow slipped into the water over the winter. Even with the best solid cover on your pool, there could still be some amount of debris in your pool after a long winter.
Vacuum your pool directly to waste, and brush the walls and floor thoroughly, starting from the shallow end. This should remove any algae, bacteria and algal spores from your pool, and it will prevent algae and bacterial growth from clinging to the walls and floor of the pool. Once you’ve finished brushing and vacuuming the pool, let its filtration systems run overnight to clean any debris, spores or other contaminants from the water.
Shock the Water to Kill Bacteria
Shocking your pool is the last step towards cleaning the water of any contaminants that may have found their way in over the winter months. Add two pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. Then run the circulation system for at least two hours and add an algaecide. Now your pool is ready for swimming!
Here at American Home Shield, we know how important it is to keep your pool in great shape. That’s why we make pool and spa pump coverage available to our members. Contact us today to learn more about adding pool and spa coverage to your plan.