Summer pool opening season is just around the corner, and you want to get your pool ready for parties, barbecues, and summertime fun. Read on to find out how to open in ground or above ground pools for summer.Remove the Winter Pool Cover
First, you need to make sure that there isn’t any dirt or debris on the pool cover.You will need to drain the water sleeves and remove them before you move on to the next step. Once the water sleeves are no longer in your way, you can untie and remove the tie-downs, and eventually the cover itself.
Now, you need to prepare your drain hose and skimmer. Place the drain hose on the bottom of the skimmer where it says ‘in’ on the sand filter. Your next step is to connect the sand filter to the ‘out’ portion of the filter and the ‘in’ portion of your pool pump. The return hose needs to be in the ‘out’ portal of the pump and the ‘return’ section that leads to the pool itself. You need to connect the hoses directly to the pool by either screwing or pushing them into the ports mentioned above. If the hoses push right in their sections, you can hold them together with hose clamps for added security.
Clean Filter & Pump
After everything is connected between the pool pump and the sand filter, you might want to clean out your skimmers thoroughly to be sure the main drain is free of both dirt and debris.
Rakes & Skimmers
If you find that the pool is dirtier than you imagined, don’t worry-just use your leaf skimmer and/or rake to remove any loose surface debris.
Fill the Pool
Now, you have removed your pool cover, cleaned the remaining debris out of the drain, and connected the pool pump to the sand filter. Here comes the most crucial part to your summer time fun- filling the pool. Get out your garden hose and turn it on, you need to be sure the water level is 3-4’’ above the skimmer bottom.
Filtration & Circulation
Turn the knob on towards the top of your sand filter to “circulate.” Turn the pool pump to “open” then turn it on. You’re almost there!
Test the pool chemicals
While the pool is filling up, you need to test the following chemicals before anyone can enter it:
Balance the pH levels:This will measure how acidic or basic your water really is. The pH scale is from 0-14. 7 is considered neutral. If you find anything below 7 it is dangerous and considered ‘acidic’ if you find that it is above 7- it is safe and considered ‘basic.’ Ideally, you want to keep your pH balance between: 7.2-7.6. It is a good idea to test the pH balance with test strips every two weeks to be sure everything is on track.
Total Alkalinity or (TA): This measures the quantity of alkaline materials in your water which can also help to control any significant pH changes. If you are using (cal hypo- calcium hypochlorite) sanitizers then the ideal range for TA in pool water is the following: 60-100ppm. However, if you are using ‘trichlor’ based sanitizers it differs slightly between: 100-120ppm. If at any time, your TA levels are below 60ppm the pH range might fluctuate thus resulting in corrosion to your pool equipment. TA that is above 120ppm might create cloudy water and no one wants to swim in that!
Calcium Hardness or (CH): Depending on geographical location, the levels of calcium and magnesium in your water will vary. You should test your CH on a regular basis. If you notice that the level is above 1,000ppm may leave you with dirty and cloudy looking water. If you notice that the CH level is below 200ppm this can damage your pool equipment.
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) : This measures the total amount of material dissolved in your pool water. These particular solids cannot be filtered out. Although TDS has little to do with water balance, it is still a good idea to test the levels periodically. If significant changes do occur, swimmers in your pool might experience issues with water clarity, the effectiveness of the chlorine, eye irritation, and overall taste of the water.
That's it! You have officially cleaned, filled, and tested your pool water.