Soon spring will be here and so will the annual chore of opening your swimming pool. Planning ahead can make the job much easier. There’s nothing worse than realizing your short one bag of shock when you’re in the middle of prepping the pool. So let’s first make a list of chemicals that you might need.
There will be different needs depending on the type of pool you own, so this list is general. Refer to your pool and pump instructions for additional information.
- Liquid or powdered Shock
- Chlorine powder or tablets
- pH increase or pH decrease
- Sanitizing cartridge for cartridge filters
- A test kit or bottle of test strips to test pH and chlorine levels
Before you run off to your local pool supply store for chemicals, now would be the time to check all of your hoses, clamps, skimmer baskets, gaskets and o-rings. If any of the parts look like they need replacing, take them with you to the pool supply store. It’s a lot easier to match replacement parts if you have the old part with you.
Now that you have the easy part finished, it’s time to get to work. The first thing required is to get the cover off. Enlist some help for this, as you want to avoid getting any top water into the pool water. If you have an above ground pool, siphon the water off with a hose. If you have an in-ground pool you will need to use a sump pump to remove the top water.
To get a good siphon started, hook up the hose to the spigot and put the other end of the hose into the top water. Turn the hose on for a minute or so to fill it. Next crimp the hose a foot or two away from the faucet, and with your other hand, disconnect the hose from the spigot. Position the hose at a downspout drain to discharge then let go of the crimp. The water will reverse and start to drain.
Once you have the water cleared, use a leaf rake to remove as many leaves and twigs as possible. Next, remove your cover weights or springs. At this time a few people positioned around the pool will help to keep the cover out of the water. Try to fold your cover like a blanket keeping the crud in the middle then remove the cover. You need to scrub the cover thoroughly and properly dry for summer storage.
Now it’s time to attach all the pump hoses. Remember to lube plugs, fittings, valves and o-rings with petroleum jelly. Also be sure to remove any freeze plugs that were used to cover the hose openings. You will most likely need to add water to the pool. It should be filled to the skimmer half way point.
At this point you should start re-circulating the water and check for any leaks around the pump and hoses. Once your pool is leak and drip free, skim off as much floating debris as you can with your skimmer net. Open all your valves to flood the hoses and prime the pool pump. Most manufacturers recommend constantly recirculating the pool water for at least three days. Any crud and debris on the sides and bottom of the pool will need to be scrubbed off. Use the broom attachment of your pool vacuum for this.
After all debris has been removed and the pool has been scrubbed, check your filter for cleaning. Some pumps have removable filters; others are back-flushed, so clean as directed. Once the filter is cleaned, you can now super shock the water as per your manufacturer’s instructions. If you start with green water, you will need a lot more shock. It may take a few days of recirculation to clear the water. Once the water has cleared, test your water or take a sample to your pool supply store and have it analyzed. Adjust the water as required and keep recirculating. All that is left to do now is to wait for the water to warm up so you can start enjoying your pool.