How to Open an Inground Swimming Pool
What is my secret to crystal clear pool water in the spring?
What is my secret to clear pool water when opening my inground pool in the spring? When the cover comes off, the pool water is crystal clear and all the debris has settled to the bottom. Most pool owners ask “How is this possible?” The most common sight when opening a pool is green water and bugs swimming around. If you want to make opening your pool easy, you need to close it properly, the secret is in the winterizing kit.
When purchasing a winterizing kit for your pool, make sure it has a floating non chlorine sanitizer dispenser; it will slowly release sanitizer throughout the winter into your pool water to help keep it clean and clear. If you close your pool correctly and follow the directions on the winterizing kit, your pool water will stay clean and clear, making it much easier to set your chemicals to their proper levels in the spring.
You hear the buzz, people talking about how hard it is to maintain a swimming pool. From my personal experience, I happen to think it is very easy, especially with the new technology for pools. I have owned above ground and inground pools for over 30 years and maintaining a pool gets easier every year. You basically set you chemicals to their proper levels, throw in some stabilizer, fill you chlorinator and you're done messing with your pool for the next month. But let’s not get off track here.
Opening a pool
First thing you should do is remove the cover. If you have done your homework, you would know that having a safety cover is the best type of cover to have on your pool. Not only does it save adults and kids from drowning, but it also keeps out most of the flying debris while your pool is closed. If you have a cover that sits in your pool water and collects debris throughout the winter, your pool water turns into swamp water and it is a long process clearing it up in the spring.
Having a safety cover on your pool makes pool ownership very easy. Just take out your leaf blower and clean it off, it’s that easy (It’s nice that you don’t have to use a sub pump to remove the water from the cover). Remove the cover and hang it to dry. Never put your pool cover away wet, not only does it get moldy, it may also attract carpenter ants, and they will destroy your cover.
If your water level is low fill it to the proper level which is between the two middle screws on the skimmer or half way up the skimmer. You may want to add extra water to the pool because when you’re vacuuming the pool for the first time, its best to vacuum it with the diverter handle in the waste position so the debris is discharged without sending it through the filter.
Remove your plugs from your return lines and install the directional nozzles, take the gizmo out of the skimmer and install the basket, turn the handle on the return lines at the pump to receive water from the pool again and install the basket at the pump. Prime the pump with a bucket of water (fill the return lines with water at the basket on your filter, just dump a 5 gallon bucket of water in the basket assembly slowly and the return lines will fill up, make sure all your plugs are in the pump before filling) Set the handle on the diverter valve to waste and turn on your pump to discharge the antifreeze.
It is important to set the diverter handle to waste when first running your pump because if you live in a climate that freezes, most likely you have pool antifreeze in your lines so they don’t freeze. Flush out the lines for about 30 seconds and turn off your filter. Set the diverter handle to filter and turn the pump back on. If everything seems to be working properly, then it’s time to clean your pool.
Algae in the pool
If your pool is green and you can’t see the bottom, do not shock the pool first with chlorine. First use an algaecide to kill the algae. Wait a day, vacuum up the dead algae and then shock the pool. If your water is clear but you can see algae on the bottom, use algaecide first to kill the algae and vacuum it the following day. If you were to shock it first, the invisible algae in the water would turn green and your pool water will turn green. If your water is clear and there is no sign of algae, you have closed your pool properly (congratulations) you can now test the chemical levels in your pool and adjust them as necessary.
Setting swimming pool chemicals to their proper levels
When adjusting the PH (soda ash), alkalinity, hardness and chlorine levels, I like to first set the hardness, then the alkalinity, I find my pool water doesn't have much PH bounce when adjusting the chemicals in this order. Setting the PH last seems to work best for me. If you set the PH first, the PH seems to skyrocket when adjusting the alkalinity. Last, set the sanitiser level, chlorine or bromine, I use chlorine in my pool but bromine in my hot tub, the reason is Bromine seems to be more stable in hot water.
Setting the hardness is very important, after you set the hardness in the spring, you usually don’t have to touch it for the rest of the season. Hardness protects the plumbing of the pool from corrosion. Most test strips do not have hardness, so look for test strips with hardness on them. I prefer to use liquid test kits because they seem to be more accurate, it’s a bit more work but it’s worth it. Most test kits will have the desired level each chemical should be set at.
When adjusting the chemical levels in your swimming pool, don’t expect them to adjust quickly, you need to give them time to acclimate, at least a few hours between tests. Adjusting the chemicals in your pool may take a few days, so don’t rush the process, getting it right the first time will save you time and money. Once you have the chemicals right you can add water stabilizer, this helps maintain the chemicals at their proper levels.
How to Clean Your Pool Steps When Opening Your Pool
Recap on how to open a pool
If opening your pool is a pain every spring, you’re closing it the wrong way. Buying yourself the proper winterizing kit can save you time and money, it can also add time to your swimming season if closed properly in the fall. Each winterizing kit is labeled for the size pool you have or by how many gallons your pool is, it is important to buy the right kit for your size pool. If you happen to buy a kit for a 15000 gallon pool and yours is 25000 gallon, there will not be enough chemicals to treat the water properly and your pool will be green in the spring and you will have wasted $150. Don’t try to save money by buying the smaller kit, because it will cost you big time in the long run.
Not having a pool cover on you pool will shorten the life of your liner, the sun is very damaging to an exposed liner because the water is not there to protect it and the liner looses all its polymers. Your pool should be drained below the return lines, thus leaving the upper half of the liner exposed to the elements. Also keep in mind the flying debris between fall and spring that will enter your pool water while your pool is closed. Springtime is the worst for debris; all the buds are dropping from the trees and blowing in your pool. Having a safety cover makes spring clean up a snap, just bust out the leaf blower and in ten minutes you’re done, sometimes Mother Nature takes care of it for you.
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More Articles About Swimming Pools by Eddie Carrara
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
In spite of shocking, using algaecide and filtration, my pool is still green and cloudy. What else should I do?
Did you try the Banish yet? This will kill the algae in less then 24 hours and will start the cleaning process. See my other article on "I Had The Worst Algae This Spring"Helpful 10