Tips on How to Properly Open Your Pool

The beginning of spring is an exciting time for pool owners. Winter has passed, and swimming season is just around the corner.

But you can’t just throw on your swimsuit and dive in without some preparation. You’ll need to open your swimming pool for the season, and do so properly, or you may be dealing with all kinds of headaches straight through the summer and into Labor Day.

To make sure your pool opening is a total success, we’ve created this list of pool opening tips. Be sure to read all of them carefully, and to reach out to us if you run into any trouble along the way.

Tip #1: Clear Off the Pool Cover

Unless you’ve been diligently cleaning it off since last fall, your pool cover has most likely collected water and debris. You’ll want to get rid of all that before you open for the season.

Grab a sump pump and your skimmer and clear off as much as you can, but don’t fret if there’s still some water or debris leftover, as it can be handled in the next steps.

Tip #2: Removing the Cover

Once your cover has been cleared off sufficiently, it’s ready to be removed. This should be done with help from someone else. Once you’ve got the cover off the pool, lay it out so you can clean and dry it. To protect it for future use, apply BioGuard Stow-Away.

BioGuard Stow-Away

This product not only cleans and deodorizes your pool cover, but it also helps prevent mildew from forming on your cover. Once that has been applied, fold the cover up loosely and store it somewhere cool and dry for the swimming season.

Tip #3: Reconnect and De-Winterize

After the pool is uncovered, it’s time to reconnect the equipment that keeps it clean, safe, and swimmable all season. This includes your pool filter, pumps, heater, ladders, handrails, and any other equipment your pool uses.

You may want to use a lubricant when reattaching everything, so when it comes time to close, nothing gets jammed. You’ll also want to make sure you pull out the winterizing plugs and insert your drain plugs.

Tip #4: Refilling the Pool

Now is the time to get your water levels back to their ideal spot. Pools aren’t all that fun when they’re half filled. Grab a garden hose, drop it in, and turn it on. Let it fill until it’s about halfway up the opening of the skimmer.

Tip #5: Pool Chemical Checklist

Your next step is to balance the water chemistry. You want your pool water to be suitable for swimming and not for substances like algae growth. Whether you’re working with an in-ground or above-ground pool, Aqua Quip has everything you need to keep your pool maintained, including:

  • Pool water test strips or test kit
  • Chlorine (tablets or granules)
  • Increasers/decreasers (pH, calcium, alkalinity)
  • Algaecide
  • Shock

It’s also important to make sure that none of your pool chemicals have expired. Check the dates on them before use.

Tip #6: Balancing Your Water Chemistry

Drop a test strip into your pool water and use the chart on the back of the bottle to determine what your pool needs more of and what it needs less of. Start with alkalinity, which should be somewhere between 80 and 120 parts per million, then move forward from there.

If you find that you’re having trouble striking the right balance, take a water sample to your local Aqua Quip for a full water analysis. We can also provide you with a step-by-step instructional printout you can use to help balance your pool’s water.

Tip #7: Cleaning Your Pool

It’s inevitable that your pool will be a bit dirty when you pull the cover off, so bust out the brush and the vacuum and get to work. BioGuard Pool Opening Complete™ is the perfect solution for pool openings. This 3-1 concentrated formula turns your water amazingly clear, removes filth quickly, and works in all pool types. Simply apply the product while walking around the deep end of the pool. Then allow the pump and filter to operate for at least 12 hours.

If you’re draining your pool first, we highly recommend BioGuard Off the Wall®. This swimming pool and spa surface cleaner is designed to remove tough grime and scale from your pool walls for easier cleaning. You’ll want to apply the product with a damp cloth or brush, leave it for a few minutes, and then scrub it. Once you’re complete, rinse well before refilling your pool.

Tip #8: Shock and Algaecide

To put the finishing touches on your pool opening, shock the water with BioGuard Oxysheen® to eliminate odors and destroy perspiration, sun tan oils, and other contaminants that may otherwise put a damper on your swimming season. 

After shocking, we also recommend using BioGuard SilkGuard® Complete™ 3” Chlorinating Tablets to kill algae, make your water softer, and help prevent corrosion, scale, and staining.

Use one more test strip to see how your levels are looking. If the test strip says you’re in the clear, it’s time to dive into your beautiful pool!

Need Help Opening Your Pool?

Keep in mind, every pool is different. There is no one-size-fits-all solution so if you have any questions, please contact us or stop by one of our convenient locations. Aqua Quip is your local one-stop shop for everything pool-related and we’d love to help!