Temperatures are rising, schools are getting out and the pool opening season is finally here!
But before you dive in, here are some steps you can take to make sure that your pool is clean, clear and healthy all summer long.
1. Create a plan
First, it’s important to have a plan for regularly maintaining and cleaning your pool. A few proactive steps could you time, money and trouble later on.
2. Have the right materials handy
Before you open your pool, make sure you have the proper set of tools to maintain and clean it. Here are some of the items you’ll need:
- 1. Tools: Your pool opening tool list can include the following:
- Telescopic pole
- Skimmer net
- Vacuum head and hose
- Leaf vacuum (if needed)
- Nylon and wire brush
- Vacuum plate
- 2. A pool water test kit: You’ll want to have a test kit in order to make sure your pool water chemistry is balanced appropriately. Maintaining the proper balance is crucial to keeping a healthy pool. There are various types of pool test kits you can choose from, including:
- Test strips
- Liquid kits
- Digital testers
- 3. Pool chemicals: Make sure you have the chemicals you need to keep your pool disinfected, balanced and algae free. Some chemicals you might consider are:
- Cal Hypo shock
- Muriatic acid/sodium bisulfate (dry acid)
- Sodium Bicarbonate
- Soda Ash
- Calcium Chloride
3. Remove, Clean and Store Your Pool Cover
Pool covers can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime over the winter months, so make sure it is clean and properly stored away for when you need it again.
4. Clean Leaves and Other Winter Debris From Your Pool
Leaves and other debris can sneak into your pool during the off-season, so you’ll want to remove anything that might have gotten into the water when your pool was not in use.
5. Bring Your Pool to the Correct Water Level
Even with a pool cover, your pool water will evaporate over time. Add extra pool water as necessary to maintain the right water levels. In addition, be sure you inspect your auto-fill and make sure it is still working properly.
6. Inspect and Clean Your Pool Filter
Over time your filter may become clogged and dirty. Before opening your pool you’ll want to do some of the following things to make sure your pool filter is still doing its job:
- Check the media cartridges or grids for cracks or holes
- Change sand (if you have a sand filter) – recommended every 5 years
- Add new D.E. (after backwashing and before filter startup)
- Inspect all O-rings to ensure they are properly sealed
- Inspect the filter gauge to make sure it is still working
7. Check Your Pool Cleaner for Worn Parts
Whichever type of pool cleaner you use, whether it is a floor cleaner, suction, pressure or robotic, check to make sure everything is working properly. Worn out parts or broken cleaners will need to be replaced.
8. Reinstall All Your Pool Plugs, Filters, Pumps, Heaters, etc.
Next, it is time to reinstall all of the plugs for applicable pool equipment. Open all suction and return lines, utilize the multi-port valve and clean out any debris in the line by discarding to the waste position. Remember to return the multi-port valve to the filter position prior to operating the pool.
9. Inspect Your Pool Skimmer Lids and Baskets
Check all your lids and baskets for any loose coping or tile and make sure the weirs move freely. Also, inspect and reinstall the ladders, diving boards or any other deck fittings
In addition, check for any loose coping or tile
10. Power Up Your Pool Filter and Pump
Get your pool filter and pump ready with the following:
- Make sure to add water to the suction lines with a garden hose in order to eliminate any air in the lines.
- Open the filter gauge pressure relief. Once primed, close the relief valve and inspect all the equipment and PVC plumbing for any leaks. Mark or document your starting PSI.
- Inspect your controller for the correct time, hours of operation and programs for variable speed or variable flow pumps.
11. Balance Your Pool Water Chemistry
- Chlorine: pH, 7.2 – 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
- Calcium Harness: 200 – 400 ppm
- Cyanuric Acid: 20 ppm or less
- Total Dissolved Solids: 1500 ppm or less
- Phosphates 100 ppb or less
12. Use Algaecides if You have a Non-Chlorine Pool
To prevent and eliminate algae in a non-chlorine pool, you will need to use an algaecide. We recommend Pool Rx. Some alternative brands include:
- Metallic (copper)
- Quat ( the most economical option)
- Polymer (non-foaming, non-staining)
13. Shock Your Pool Water
Use a chlorine or non-chlorine shock (MPS) to thoroughly disinfect and reset your pool for the spring. If algae are present, use chlorine to eradicate it. Be sure to brush the algae from the pool walls prior to shocking.
14. Plan and Schedule Your Weekly Pool Servicing
Find a recommended pool service company and schedule weekly service. This should include water balancing, cleanings and a regular filter cleaning schedule.
15. Get Your Clear Comfort Pool System Ready
If you are using a Clear Comfort system for additional sanitation, check the blue tubing and the one-way green and white check valve. The Clear Comfort system is designed to be powered on when the pump is operational and powered down when the pump is off.
When the system is operating, check that the Clear Comfort system’s green LED light is illuminated. That means your system is working properly. If the system’s light is yellow or red, it may be time to replace your cartridge. Call Clear Comfort support or go online to request a replacement cartridge.
Finally, use the flow meter provided with the install kit to inspect the air flow to your Clear Comfort system and adjust it 5 to 7 LPM.
Your family and friends will thank you for executing your plan early in the spring. Enjoy your swimming season!
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