How To Open Your Ground Pool?



Summer’s here, but is your pool ready?


Are you standing right now by your poolside and staring at the muck and debris collected on the cover, and just dreading the thought of what the situation could be under it?


The warm weather’s well and truly upon us and your family’s probably raring to get the pool up to speed for fun and games, while your friends are waiting to be invited to your famous poolside barbecues.


Opening up your ground pool is an annual chore that has to be done, and if you have family and friends to pitch in, it makes for a fun activity. But don’t forget that ultimately, it takes a lot of hard work, planning and time.


Safe Pool Opening


Pay close attention to the safety aspect, because statistics show that every year, ER rooms are filled with thousands of people who suffer injuries from pool chemicals.


The hazards include inhalation of vapors, fumes and gases from cleaning agents and chemicals, skin rashes and respiratory distress, chemical burns, accidental consuming/ingestion of chlorine, absorption of harmful chemicals through skin and eye irritation.


Make protective gear and the right tools and equipment a top priority before you begin operations.


Make A Checklist


Opening your pool has to be a systematic, well-planned and step-by-step operation.


1. Collect the Tools: If this is your first time at opening the pool, you will have to purchase the right equipment and tools. Otherwise, you may have the stuff left over from previous years. Give them a once-over and confirm that they’re all in working condition. You will need manual tools such as brooms, nets and mops.


2. Stock up on Products: If you have stuff sitting on your shelves, check the expiry date before using. If you’re throwing away old products, ensure that you dispose of them safely. You will need a start-up kit of chemicals, testing kit, clarifiers, algaecides, stain removers, pool shock, pH balancers, sanitizers and closing chemicals. Avail of attractive offers on discount pool supply deals and promos before the rush begins.


3. Planning: If you’re involving friends and family, hold a few meetings to figure out duties and responsibilities. It’s important to have someone in charge of children, seniors and pets while the pool opening operations are on. Locate a source of continuous fresh water supply as close as possible and make sure you have a good sturdy hose and spray attachment. Assign specific duties to people based on their age, physical condition and expertise. Have a timeline to complete the task. Paste emergency numbers in prominent places.


4. Pool Cover: Swimming pool covers collect debris, leaves and dust over the winter months. Snow accumulates and melts on the cover in spring. Never remove the cover immediately, or you’ll contaminate the pool water. Use a pump to remove the water and dirt and wait till it’s thoroughly dry before you take it off the pool. The first thing to do is to hose down the cover and use a special pool cover cleaner to get it perfectly clean. Ensure that it’s fully dry before you store it away for winter in a safe, dry and well-ventilated place away from pests and fungi.


4. Pool Inspection: Before you begin the cleaning process, take a good look at the entire pool and surrounding area. Go over the filter, return lines and pump and don’t forget to remove drain/winterizing-plugs, and replace the directional fittings. You may have removed the underwater lighting, and this can be replaced. This is also the right time to check the structure. Look for chips, and cracks on the sides/floor, and damaged tiles. Stains and mold should be located and marked.


5. Starting Off: Fill the pool to the half-way mark with fresh water via the hose, and let the leaves and debris from the bottom rise to the top or settle down. Use a skimmer/net to remove floating stuff, and a soft brush to clean the floor. Begin scrubbing algae and stains.


6. Filter: Ensure that the filter is clean and turn it on. Leave it on for between 12-24 hours. Prime the pump and allow the filtration to remove anti-freeze.


7. Testing: If you’re not confident about testing the water yourself, take a sample to pool cleaning professionals. Otherwise, testing includes, alkalinity, pH, calcium level, and chlorine content levels.


8. Add Chemicals: Generally, the chemical kits would include:


  • Dry acid
  • Soda ash and sodium bicarbonate
  • Sodium chloride shock
  • Anti-algae chemicals
  • Calcium chloride


Based on the test results, add the appropriate chemicals. Apart from pool shock, you’ll also have to add a stabilizer, anti-algae and conditioners. Keep the filter running and use a pool vacuum to clear debris that has settled on the floor of the pool. Metals may have accumulated over the winter and you can avoid metal staining by using a metal separator or sequestrant. Re-test to confirm that the levels are right. Once you’ve finished using the chemicals, ensure that what’s remaining is stored safely and correctly.


9. Keep Filtering: Once the process is over, leave the filter running for at least 24 hours. This gives the chemicals a chance to get thoroughly mixed and balanced. Test the air-flow and if you’re using an automated pool treatment system, make sure that the tubes and valve-connections are in perfect working order.


10. Accessorize: Thoroughly clean and dry your poolside accessories and furniture. Change the covers on chairs and loungers if they’re moldy and shabby. For kiddy pool-users, provide a well-ventilated container for toys, and organize other play items such as balls or floaters in their own separate storage. Provide anti-slip mats for seniors and children. Organize your pool-tidiness equipment where it can be easily accessed at the end of the day. Use a wet mop to dry the pool-side thoroughly and hang out towels and robes in the sun. Get a buy-in from all those who use the pool to help in cleaning up when the fun’s over.


It’s a great feeling to see the sun’s rays bouncing off the sparkling waters of your fresh, hygienic pool. When you follow a systematic process to open your pool for summer, this also means less effort in daily maintenance. Have fun!

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