It’s just about that time of year for most of us to start thinking about uncovering our pools and getting them ready for swim season. For new pool owners thinking about how to open an inground pool for the summer is intimidating. Just the thought of peeling back that pool cover to see what’s lurking underneath is enough to make anyone wish for winter again…just kidding. Really though, with a little patience and some good old elbow grease it’s not as bad as you think.
First things first, remove the cover. Find that friend that owes you a favor for some help. Pull the cover off carefully and fold it as you take it off. Now is a good time to inspect your cover to see if there are any holes or tears. If it’s good shape, clean the cover by using a pool cover cleaner or mild soap with a soft brush. Best to get it ready for the end of the season now. If it’s damaged, no need to clean it. (That was easy!)
Now, skim your pool. Get all the big stuff out that may have fallen in when you removed the cover and any other debris that you can just scoop out. Makes life easier for your pool cleaner. Hopefully, when you closed your pool last year, you blew out the pipes and installed winterizing plugs. It’s time to remove those plugs now. Next, reinstall the accessories you removed for the winter such as the diving board, pool ladder and rails.
It’s now time to turn on your filter and pump. Check for any cracks on your equipment. If you see any cracks or leaks, be sure to replace the part immediately. Turn on your pump and once you see water flowing through it you can turn on the filter. This is a good time to check your filters too. If they weren’t cleaned before shutting down the pool last year, it may be necessary to clean or replace the filters now. This may be another great job for that friend of yours.
Test your water. While your pool was inactive all winter the water chemistry most likely changed and not for the better. This is a good time to skip the test strips and use drop-test kit for a more accurate reading. You can also take a water sample to your local pool store for help. Sitting stagnant all winter, your pool water may have developed algae and other dangerous bacteria, it’s time to double shock your pool. You will use two gallons of liquid chlorine per 10,000 gallons of water. Keep in mind that your CYA (Cyanuric Acid) levels will affect your shock level.
Finally, let your filter do its job! Run your filter for at least 24-48 hours, to filter the shock and clean the remaining debris and microorganisms. Now who said opening inground pool for summer is only a job for professionals? By the following day your pool will be sparkling. Literally! Your family and friends will appreciate all of your efforts, as your pool will be clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.