Beyond removing the pool cover, there are a lot of chemical considerations that need to be addressed before the first swim. Testing calcium hardness and pH level and prepping the filtration systems are all necessary. Here’s a quick guide on how to open your swimming pool:
Step 1: Removing and Storing the Pool Cover
You will need to drain, remove, and store your pool cover for the swimming season. For inground pools, use a submersible pump to drain all the excess water from the cover. You can use a siphon for above ground pools. Once the pool cover is drained, you will need to remove and clean it with a mold preventing powder before storing it.
Step 2: Bringing Winterized Equipment Back to Life
If your pool equipment was winterized, you will need to reconnect all components and discharge any pool antifreeze that was used in the drain lines. Once all the winter drain pumps are removed and the pool equipment is reconnected, you can prime the pump and turn on the filtration system. You may want to add Metal Free to the system to clean out built-up metals. After adding the treatment, run your filtration system for at least two hours.
Step 3: Testing and Adjusting Chemical Levels
Once the systems have been running for several hours, test the chemical levels of your pool with a test kit. If levels are not ideal, you will need to adjust the chemistry of your swimming pool until the proper levels are achieved. Always start the adjustment with the alkalinity, as it is easier to adjust pH and chlorine once the alkalinity is resolved. After these levels are fixed, check your calcium level. It should always stay above 150ppm. If the level needs to be adjusted, you will need to wait a day before adding the calcium hardness chemical.
Step 4: Manually and Mechanically Cleaning Your Pool
Once the task of chemical testing and adjusting is complete, you are almost ready to dive in. You will need to thoroughly brush and vacuum your entire pool to remove built-up debris collected during the winter. Afterwards, let your pool filtration system run overnight to filter the remaining bacteria and debris.
Optional Step: Shocking Your Pool
If you like, you can shock your swimming pool to completely kill off any remaining bacteria and prevent algae from forming over the summer. There are many options for shocking your pool and they all vary in effectiveness and direction. Speak to a pool professional to find the best option for shocking your pool.