Months ago we talked about how to close the pool for the winter, ensuring that it would be protected and maintained for the following months. Now, it’s finally time to talk about how to reopen the pool so that you can enjoy it throughout Spring and Summer!
But of course, after a few months of stagnation, a few steps need to be followed. We’re removing the cover, inspecting the system, cleaning the pool, and testing the water – all of which take time and attention to make sure it’s safe to take a dip.
All of these will inevitably take a few days though, so get the necessary tools and let’s work on reopening your pool this week!
Remove winter pool cover
The cover is probably the first thing you should do, as it’s the easiest and fastest step. This will change a little bit depending on what kind of cover you settled for, but the following steps should be similar.
After uncovering the pool, be sure to clean the cover itself as it’s been exposed to the weather for a while and is probably a bit grime-y. Once that’s done, store it away safely in the garage for next winter. Easy peasy – the first part of reopening the pool for spring is done!
Remove winterization hardware
If you used any winterization tools to protect your equipment, now is the time to remove them. This goes for your filter, the pump, water heater, etc. The drain plugs were probably replaced too and should be re-attached before we move on.
Remove any floating debris
With a proper tool, grab all the debris from the pool to start cleaning it. Even if you drain the water for a thorough clean later, we have to remove the debris from the water, since it could clog the drain pipes.
Most of these will be leaves and insects that got stuck under the cover, so it shouldn’t take too long. Just keep a good posture and don’t strain yourself!
Brush the pool
This will depend on how long the pool was out of commission. In most cases, you can brush it after balancing the chemicals in the water, and the filtration system will help you keep the water clean.
However, if your pool has been out of commission for way longer than last winter, you may need to completely remove the water and pressure wash it to remove algae, debris, and grime from the interior walls.
A swimming pool expert can help you determine the best course of action!
Raise the water level back to normal
The optimal pool water level is around a third or one-half over the pool’s skimmer box opening.
If the water level is above it, the skimmer won’t work properly and may not properly clear the water of debris. And if it’s too low, the pool drain will start to suck air, which causes it to dry and malfunction.
Run the filtration system
Assuming the previous steps have been completed, you will want to leave the filtration system running overnight. It’s your first line of defense against debris, algae, bacteria, and any dirt that might have been left in the water – especially after scrubbing the pool.
Shock the Pool
Shocking the pool is the process of using strong chemicals to eliminate any bacteria from the water, thus making it safe to swim.
You can purchase a shock kit at a local hardware store, and you will need to follow the instructions very carefully. Most kits come with the necessary safety gear, but just to be sure, you ought to at least get yourself some gloves and goggles. These chemicals should not touch your skin, let alone your eyes, so be careful.
It will take up to 48 hours before the pool is safe to use after a chemical shock.
Adjust the pool chemistry
Now we’re at the final step.
After allowing the shock chemicals to settle and the circulation system running for at least 24 hours, we can test the water’s chemistry to make the necessary adjustments. This will once again be done with the help of a pool test kit you can purchase locally or online.
You’re testing for the water’s pH level, Chlorine level, and Total Alkalinity:
- The pH should be between 7.4 to 7.6.
- The Chlorine should be between 2.0 and 4.0 ppm.
- The Total Alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm.
Start adjusting the Alkalinity first, and wait at least 4 hours before testing the water again. When the Alkalinity is done, check the pH level, and once again, adjust and wait 4 hours for another test.
When that’s done, it’s better to wait until the following day to conclude with the Chlorine and calcium hardness. When all of this is done, your pool will finally be safe, clean, and ready to use until next winter!
Remember that for these complicated tasks you can always rely on a swimming pool expert to guide and help you!