Opening

Also Known As: Summerization

In climates with a swimming season, spring is usually the time for bringing the pool out of hibernation. This is called the opening process. Of course, if the pool has been properly closed in the fall, this process is much simpler. Still, there is lots to do to be sure that the pool is in top-notch condition and ready for swimming.

Before removing the cover, clear it of all debris and pump off any excess water. This can help minimize the amount of rainwater and debris that falls into the pool when the cover is removed. Then remove the cover, clean it and store it in a clean, dry location.

If a solid cover was used, empty all water tubes and unplug all piping in the pool and at the pump. Reattach deck equipment, including ladders, rails and diving boards. Be sure to reconnect grounding wires and straps. This is a great time to lubricate bolts that attach this equipment. Reinstall clean skimmer baskets and return jet eyeball fittings.

Now it’s time to address the circulation system — the pump, filter, heater and other equipment. Turn on the power to the pool system, and check for leaks or drips. Be sure that the grounding wires and straps are properly connected. Make sure the pump primes correctly and check for the proper flow. Backwash the filter, and if using a DE filter, add more DE.

Next shock the pool, getting the chlorine level to at least 3.0 parts per million (ppm). If the pool water is green, it may be necessary to take additional steps. If the water is relatively clear, you can test it for chlorine, pH, alkalinity and stabilizer. Make adjustments and retest. If necessary, add an algaecide to the water. The pump should be run for at least 24 hours. Then vacuum the bottom and retest the water.

Don’t forget to check other elements, including chairs, outside lighting and bathroom facilities. These may also need attention, especially in facilities that have not been visited at all since the previous fall.