Getting Your Pool Ready for the Season
May 06, 2020 at 09:00 AM
Summer’s right around the corner (although some may already have been experiencing 90-degree weather) or, maybe you’ve just been itching to open your backyard pool early. Hopefully, you’ve kept your pool tucked under a pool cover all winter to keep out leaves, dirt, animals, and other debris. Even after being covered up for a winter, your pool still needs its own spring cleaning. Don’t wait too long to get started – you’ll need about a week’s time to prepare, so you don’t want to be the only house on the block whose pool isn’t ready when summer finally arrives.
Here’s a checklist of steps to take to bring your pool up to summer readiness.
- Make sure you have all your chemicals and tools in place: test kits or strips, chlorine, shock, pH balancers, stabilizers; you can also choose to purchase a Blueriiot™ Smart Water Analyzer, which automatically takes water balance readings for you. Ensure you have the related items as well; a vacuum, pool brush, and skimmer. Check with your pool tech to see if there are any specific items you need on hand when opening your pool. Some stores will also sell a spring opening kit.
- Assemble your filter and clean out the pump baskets. You may also need to clean or change your cartridge depending on your filter type. A regular filter will just need to be hosed off, while a sand filter can be cleaned by backwashing the filter. If you have a diatomaceous earth filter, you may need to take it apart to clean. Once your filter is ready, turn it on. After you have cleaned it, allow the system to run 24 hours a day, and make regular chemical adjustments until the water is both balanced and clear.
- After you turn on your filter, test your water. For opening the pool, many stores will test your water for free, which is a good idea at the beginning of the season when the water’s been untouched for so long. Take a cup-size sample from the middle of the pool, about a half-arm’s reach down. You’ll have it tested for pH, alkalinity, chlorine level, cyanuric acid or chlorine stabilizer, and calcium hardness. For those with the Blueriiot Smart Water Analyzer, you simply need to check your app for the current water balance readings.
--> Warning: Prior to draining the pool always check with an industry professional. Draining the pool's water may cause severe damage to the pool and surrounding areas.
- Using your test results as a guide, balance your water’s chemicals according to the recommended levels given by the chemical manufacturer, pool technician or your Blueriiot app. At this point, you will probably shock it as well. You’ll need to test the water every day while the pool is being filtered (or simply check your Blueriiot app); the entire process may last a week until your water is entirely clear. During this time, you should re-cover the pool (if you have a pool cover), to avoid more dirt and debris from entering.
- Vacuum the leaves and debris that may be in your pool. Also take a brush and clean the sides. Pressure-wash the pool deck and trim back any trees that may be dropping leaves into the water. Clean off any deck furniture.
- Check that your fences are secured and self-closing, self-latching gates are functioning properly.
- Once your pool is clear, remove your winter cover, clean it off, and store it away. Make sure you’re fully stocked with chemicals for the season. Continue to test and maintain your pool regularly throughout the season.
If you have any questions or concerns, always call your pool technician for assistance.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published May 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.