Tips for Opening a Seasonal Pool
When warm weather finally arrives, homeowners with swimming pools will undoubtedly find themselves starting the annual process of opening their pool and/or spa for the upcoming season. Here are a few tips from the recreational water experts at NSF International to help you avoid potential problems and ensure your pool opening process goes smoothly:
- Check your supply of water treatment chemicals to make sure you have everything you need. If any chemicals are beyond their expiration dates, replace them before opening the pool.
- Before trying to remove the cover, pump any standing water off the cover and remove as much dirt and debris as possible from the cover as well as from the deck area immediately surrounding the pool. Remove the cover carefully, cleaning it thoroughly and allowing it to dry completely before storing it away for the summer.
- Inspect the walls and/or liner for any punctures or tears; scrub and clean walls as necessary. Inspect the deck area surrounding the pool for any trip hazards and make any repairs as needed.
- Remove plugs and reinstall any pumps, filters or other items and fittings that were removed at the end of the previous season.
- Check to be sure drain covers are in place and properly installed. Consider upgrading to new drain covers that meet the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (VGBPSSA) of 2007. The act, which helps to protect children in particular, requires new drain covers to be designed to prevent body parts or hair from becoming trapped in the drain due to suction. More information about this act is available through the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Add water to bring the water level up to normal, then turn the power on and start up the system. Check for leaks and make sure the system is operating properly. Restart the circulation equipment and clean the pool.
- Analyze the water quality and add treatment chemicals as needed to adjust the chlorine, pH and alkalinity to desired levels. Refer to the chemical manufacturer's usage instructions or contact a qualified pool supply company for assistance if you are unsure how to safely use these products. Monitor water chemistry levels frequently the first few days the pool is open, adjusting chemical treatment as needed until they stabilize. Store chemicals in a secure location where pets and children cannot access them.
- Run the pump continuously at the beginning of the season until the pool water is clear and balanced. The filter may need to be backwashed frequently during the first few days of operation, depending upon how dirty the water became over the winter.
- Reinstall and tightly secure any ladders, railings or other pool equipment such as diving boards and slides. Check gate latches and install a pool alarm to help prevent unauthorized entry.
- Check skimmer baskets and remove debris, ensuring the water level is approximately mid-height of the skimmer weir opening for best surface skimming performance. Once the water quality has reached the desired level, enjoy your pool!