Waiting to Open Your Swimming Pool Can Be a Costly Mistake

by Pool Builders on 03-02-2011 in Articles

Spring is such a great time of year but it does bring a few seasonal "chores" and for many of us that includes the task of bringing a dormant pool back to life. Depending upon your local climate, this can be a big deal or a non-event. For the warm-weather folks that run their pumps all year long, I'll just remind you to crank up your run times as the water gets warmer. That plus the usual advice to keep the pH in line and your filter clean. If you are lucky enough to have a salt water pool, check your salinity to see if the winter rains have diluted your salt content and add salt as required.

For the pool owners in cold climate areas, opening the pool is more involved and a great deal will depend on whether or not the pool has been covered and if the proper steps were taken at shut down time in the fall.

If your pool was nice and clean at the time of shut down, and you kept it covered over the winter, your job should be easy. My best advice has to do with the timing. Open your pool while the water is still very cool; sixty degrees or less. And most important, don't remove the cover until you get some sanitizer in the water. It may look pretty good when you peak under the cover but there are probably a lot of microscopic algae plants just waiting for 'ole sol to green them up. Fill your pool to the proper level, set your filter valve to "re-circulate" or "bypass" and turn on your pump. Ensure that your skimmers are free and clear and that you are getting good circulation. If you have one, turn your salt system control to 100% or hit the Super-Chlor button. After five or six hours, check your pH and balance as necessary. If you do not have a salt system, now is the time to add some chlorine. For this purpose, I like the granular Di-chlor. It is a little pricey but it will not drive you crazy trying to fix the pH. It also contains Cy-Acid, the stabilizer that will protect your chlorine from the sun when you do remove the cover. If you can feel slime on the side of your pool, I also recommend using a high-quality algaecide but only after the Di-Chlor has been in the water for eight to twelve hours.

Allow your pump to run continuously for 48 hours. Now you can remove your pool cover and turn your filter valve to the "filter" position. Continue to run your pump for another 48 hours, keeping an eye on the pressure gauge and clean the filter medium as necessary. When everything looks good, return to your normal filtration times and get ready to enjoy your pool!

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