Knowing how to open your pool after the colder winter months is an important step in making sure you have a healthy, safer swimming pool from day one of pool season. Pool opening may seem like it takes a little more work at the start of spring when compared to mid-season maintenance, but the extra effort and attention to detail now set the groundwork for trouble-free operation until Fall leads us into Winter again. Here’s how to make sure you’re setting yourself up for a safe, successful summer of swimming pool fun.
Take The Time To Do The Job Right
Whether it was dehydrated food or a silly toy from a carnival, we’ve all seen the phrase, “Just add water!” Sometimes it’s worked out. Other times, it’s been a disappointment, and that’s the risk you run when you use that as a guide to how to open a pool. Spring cleaning isn’t just confined inside your house’s walls, and now is the time to take on the extra care, cleaning, and maintenance tasks that you tend to put off in the middle of the summer when you’re just ready to beat the heat. It’s also a great time to make sure your removable mesh pool fence is in place and ready to keep your pool area safer all summer long.
Step-By-Step Pool Opening
Methodical attention to detail is how to open your pool properly after the Winter months. Move step by step, completing each task before moving on to the next. That’s how you ensure you stay focused, efficient, and likely to spot any areas of concern that need extra elbow grease to get clean, a little DIY repair to be back in shape, or professional attention to address more serious problems in your equipment, accessories, or the pool itself.
- If you use a pool cover over the winter months, remove dust, debris, and potential contaminants from its surface. – Many pool owners cover their pool when the temperatures drop to help protect it from frost-related damage and keep the water and pool cleaner when it isn’t getting regular use. Before opening your winterized pool, remove large debris and gently sweep or brush dust, dirt, and leaves away, taking care not to damage the cover.
- Make sure your pool safety net or winter pool cover isn’t damaged. – Carefully inspect your cover or net, looking for rips, tears, fraying twine, or signs of weathering. Anchor points should still be firmly placed in their support materials, clips should be strong and unbent, and springs should allow slight give before returning to their un-compressed position. Depending on the results of your inspection, DIY replacement parts may be available, or you can call your local Lifeguard on Duty professional for additional repair and replacement help.
- Remove your cover or net. – It’s time to get that water uncovered so you can get down to the pool opening work. Nets can be wound onto their roller, the same as how to open your pool for normal use, while winter covers can be removed to the side for a thorough cleaning with a light detergent, final inspection for damage, and to have a chance to dry fully before being stored away in their storage bag or a rubber trashcan with a lid.
- Inspect your pool, equipment, and accessories. – Now that your pool is accessible, carefully inspect it for signs of damage to the liner, plaster, or tiling. Install your ladders, boards, or slides and verify all the hardware is in good repair and tightened appropriately. Remove any winterization plugs, close drain valves, and attach hoses, inspecting them for any signs of leaks or weathering. This is how to open your pool with less risk of nasty surprises in a few months.
- Fill your swimming pool with water to the middle of the waterline tile or skimmer weirs. – Now that you’re sure you won’t be looking at a crack or tear allowing water to seep out and damage your pool, you can fill it and give it a good cleaning. Use a pool vacuum, skimmer net, and soft brushes to clean the bottom of the pool, the surface of the water, and the walls where algae or discoloration may be trying to set in. Next, turn on your filters and run them for 24-48 hours to circulate the water. This mixes the heavily treated winterized pool water and fresh, clean water to create a balance throughout the entire pool for more accurate testing and treatment to start the season.
- Protect your pool with safety barriers. – As your pool is filling with water, you want to install your safety barriers to help prevent accidental drowning injuries. Drowning takes approximately 3400 lives every year, on average, and a lack of barriers is a factor in the majority of these deaths. Protecting your loved ones is pool safety 101 and part of being a responsible pool owner.
A removable mesh pool fence gives you an ASTM-compliant fence that is durable, versatile, and resists climbing. Made from a strong mesh material stretched between poles anchored in your deck or ground, it can be used to create a stand-alone fence or to buttress against existing structures to provide the right deterrent to unsupervised pool access in any yard. Unlike more traditional pool fencing, however, it leaves you with the flexibility to use your full yard anytime you need by simply removing and storing it.
- Test your water and get it ready for fun. – After the filters and pumps have had a chance to do their jobs, it’s time to finish your pool opening procedure. Your initial chemical treatment is similar to your regular maintenance, but how you open your pool can differ in the way you shock the water. Start by balancing your alkalinity, pH, and hardness in that order. Next, double shock your pool. That means using a ratio of 2 pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons of water. The additional shock will help combat any lingering algae, bacteria, or other biologic contaminants left over from the previous season or winter contamination.
- Address any needs in your pool area that require repair, additional cleaning, or further protection. – Before your pool is filled with kids and your pool area is packed with friends there for sun, fun, and barbeque, inspect it for any electrical, tripping, or physical hazards. Now is the time to get a professional contractor involved if there are any serious repair needs or if you want to add additional layers of protection to your pool in the form of a swimming pool safety net or mesh pool safety cover. When used in conjunction with a removable mesh pool fence, they create a one-two safety combo that helps keep friends, family, and pets out of the area when the pool isn’t open and prevents water entry, even if someone gets past the fence or a gate is left ajar.
Your Neighborhood Pool Safety Experts
Our customers love knowing that when they choose to protect their pool with a Lifeguard on Duty fence, cover, or net, they’re supporting a local business. Our installers live and work in the communities they serve, which means when you need a pro, they’re right down the street, ready to help. We love protecting our neighbors and their families, and we’re ready to help you find affordable peace of mind with a no-cost, no-obligation estimate.
Contact your local installer, and they’ll take a look at the property, get some measurements, and put together an emailed quote that gives you actionable information–in writing–to help you make the best decision about protecting your pool and the loved ones who use it. Taking the first step to create a safer pool area is how to open your pool for the upcoming swimming season the right way. Schedule your free quote with Lifeguard on Duty today.