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How to open a swimming pool for the summer the right way

Swimming pool cover reel

Summer will soon be upon us bringing with it blue skies and longer, warmer days – just perfect for a dip in the pool. But, frustratingly, before you get your hair wet there are few things you’ll need to take care of to ensure your pool is running as efficiently as possible, as well as making sure that it’s safe for you, family and friends to enjoy.

We provide professional swimming pool maintenance services including a ‘two visit recommissioning service’ throughout Surrey, Sussex and the South East. Simply give us a call today on 01444 236578 to schedule a date for your pool opening.

How to open your pool for the summer

Whether you choose to have your pool opened professionally or not, there are a few things to take care of before you can officially open your pool for the summer!

In this handy guide we’ll cover all of the steps required to open your pool this summer, from the removal of your winter cover all the way through to the chlorine shock, as well as some handy tips for your ongoing pool maintenance.

Removal, cleaning and storage of your swimming pool cover

Having been sat for the duration of the winter months your winter pool cover is likely to have collected a considerable amount of dirt and debris. Once removed, give it a thorough clean and dry before packing it away for the summer. You can also (re)-install your summer cover at this point if you intend to use one.

Cleaning of debris

Although your pool cover should have helped to keep your pool clean for the most part, there is always an amount of detritus that manages to sneak in during the off season – so you’ll need to give your pool a thorough clean of all leaves, twigs and other debris.

You’ll need:

  • Telescopic pole
  • Skimmer net(s)
  • Pool brush
  • Vacuum head and hose

At this point it is worth taking the time to carry out some visual inspections of your pool, checking for:

  • Any build up of pool algae
  • Discolouration or mineral staining (scaling)
  • Chipped or damaged pool tiles
  • Cracks or damage to the pool lining
  • Broken steps

Removal of winterising plugs

You’ll need to remove the ice compensator (if applicable) as well as all winterising plugs (also known as expansion plugs, or freeze plugs) from pool returns, cleaner lines and skimmer baskets, before replacing the drain plugs for pool heaters and heat pumps.

Make sure you remove all winterising plugs before starting your system – if you don’t, you risk over-pressurising it.

Inspection and cleaning of pool filter (and other relevant equipment)

Regardless of whether or not this was done at the end of the last season it’s always recommended that pool filters are inspected to ensure that they’re clean and free of any debris.

Your filter inspection checklist should include:

  • Visual inspection of media cartridges
  • Visual inspection of cartridge filter, sand filter and / or diatomaceous earth (DE) filter
  • Visual inspection of O-rings
  • Visual inspection of filter gauge

Priming of swimming pool pump and filter

Before beginning any maintenance work to your pool filter pump it must be switched off. To prime your swimming pool pump you’ll need to:

  • Switch it over to it’s recirculating setting to ensure that there is water in the pump
  • Release any excess air that may be trapped within the system by opening the air relief valve if your filter has one
  • Refill the pump basket
  • Power up the pump with the air relief valve in the open position
  • Once the water is flowing properly (within 30 seconds or so) the air relief valve is closed

Top up of pool water level

Your pool may need to be topped up to bring it up to the appropriate water level. To begin with, top it up to the midway level of your skimmer openings and tile line. Monitor your pool for the next few days to ensure that the water is at the correct level; add water if necessary. If installed, autofill systems should also be monitored to ensure that they are in working order.

You can set an alarm, or position the hose so that you can hear the water splashing to help avoid overfilling your pool, and be sure to use a garden hose filter to keep out any impurities.

Testing and balancing of pool water

Using a test kit, or test strips you’ll need to check the chemical levels in your swimming pool, ensuring that they are properly balanced. You’ll be checking for:

  • Total alkalinity, the ideal range is between 80-120 ppm
  • pH levels, which will ideally be between 7.4 – 7.6
  • Water hardness, with levels ideally between 200 – 400 ppm
  • Cyanuric Acid (CYA) levels of between 30 – 50 ppm
  • Free available chlorine levels in the 2.0 – 4.0 range

If you find that your chemicals are imbalanced you’ll need to take the appropriate steps to rebalance them before moving on to the pool ‘shock’.

‘Shocking’ of pool water

Once you’ve correctly balanced your pool chemicals you can use a chlorine shock (or non-chlorine shock product) to ‘shock’ your pool. This will help to kill algae, bacteria and other harmful pathogens while breaking down chloramines.

UV rays from the sun can adversely affect the shocking process, so it’s best to carry it out after the sun has done down. And remember, it’s advisable to wait at least 24 hours before using your pool again.

We stock all the pool chemicals you’ll need to get your swimming pool ready for the summer. Simply visit our Sheffield Park store or give us a call on 01444 236578 to order your pool chemicals and equipment.

Book your pool reopening

As a pool owner there are a number of steps required when it comes to reopening your pool after winter. It is of course possible to carry these out on your own, but why waste the time? Our professional recommissioning service will have your pool up and running, ready for use in no time – without any time required on your behalf. Simply set a date, wait, and dive in!

To find out more about any of our services, or to schedule a date for your swimming pool recommissioning call us today on 01444 236578.