2017 Pool Opening Guide
It’s that time of year again when we’re finally seeing the last of the winter weather, spring is well under way and the summer sun seems to be just around the corner. April’s weather has been somewhat changeable, but we seem to be in for an alright few weeks in May. When we do get dry days though, this time of year is perfect for getting the pool open.
The Met Office are predicting that summer 2017 will be another good one so don’t miss out on having your pool in tip top condition.
As ever, remembering everything that needs checking from chemical balances to cleaning techniques can be a relative minefield to make sure your pool is clean and safe to use. UK Pool Store have your back, with another comprehensive guide to pool opening.
No one wants to be accompanied by leaves, algae and dirt on their first swim of the season. Even if your pool has been covered and kept clear, sitting water can still provide health dangers, so it’s important to follow these simple tips and cleaning advice to make sure your water is crystal clear, sparkling and healthy.
Carefully Remove the Winter Cover
The winter months can be hard on your pool and the surrounding area, and no doubt there will be leaves, twigs and other sorts of garden debris collected on your pool cover and around the edges. It’s well worth having a look around, sweeping about with a small brush and collecting up what is possible before attempting to remove the cover to avoid anything unwanted dropping into the water.
Remember, collected water can be heavy, so unless you have a cover like the Monaco Premiem Geared 5 Spoke Reel System, removing the cover is generally a two person job; try to find some help before attempting this job on your own.
Skim the Pool
Even with a cover on over winter, it is likely that once removed you will still find some debris floating on the water. You don’t want this to get stuck in the circulation system so now is the best time to skim the water. Using your skimmer or leaf net, gently sweep through the water and remove any visible debris. Don’t forget to check your strainer baskets, and clear away anything that has fallen in.
If you don’t yet have one, we have a great range of surface skimmers and leaf nets available here.
Clean the Surfaces
It’s not just your water that will need a clean, it’s a good idea to get your surfaces sparkling too. For an above ground pool, a vinyl liner cleaner will get your surfaces shining, whilst also helping to protect against damage from elements such as ultra violet light, pool chemicals and other organic materials.
For an in-ground pool, your best bet is an automatic pool cleaner. The automatic pool cleaner is like the sea snail of the machine world. These wonderful little devices zip about your pool, cleaning away every surface it comes in contact with; your very own robot butler!
Check and Reconnect the Equipment
Whatever your particular installation and setup may be, it’s always good practice to give your equipment a check over before reconnecting (if applicable). If you have an above ground pool, this may mean reconnecting the pump and the other various components of the circulation system. If any of your equipment looks worse for wear, give us a call and discuss the best options for replacements; it’s better to do it now, than have a problem later in the season.
It may be worth considering switching to a Smart Pump, which have variable speeds and work to your pools needs; this saves on your energy over time. For pumps needing a complete replacement, we recommend Pentair’s Sta-Rite Variable Speed Pump, which will save you money and has a long life.
For those with newer pumps, fear not, you can still achieve the same goal by installing a pool pump inverter, making your old pump smart. The Clever-Pool Swimming Pool Pump Inverter will have the same desired effect and pay for itself in savings in two or three years.
Clean the Filter
Using a sand filter is a great way to keep your water clean, but it’s a good idea to give your sand an annual clean as well; this is done with a ‘filter rinse’. There’s no better time to do this than right now, at pool opening. If instead, you use a cartridge filter, then we recommend that you give the elements a soak in a cleaning solution. Have a look at the link below for the options available.
Maintain Your Heater
It’s not just your filters that need an annual clean; heaters also fall into that category. It’s not unheard of for pesky rodents and bugs to make a winter hideaway of them. If you have a gas heater, this will need the attention of a fully qualified engineer which sadly means extra cost. However, being gas, this is an expense that is absolutely necessary for the safety of your pool, not to mention your family.
Secure the Circulation System & Fill the Pool
The first step here is to make sure that all of your hoses and connections are secure and the drain plugs tight. Put water in the pump, cover the basket and reinstall the pump lid.
It’s quite likely that your water level will have dropped somewhat over the winter months so it will need filling back up until the water reaches the skimmer opening. This allows for some water to be lost during the vacuuming process.
Vacuum the Pool
The first vacuum is best done manually, as automatic cleaners tend to disrupt dirt, making things worse. Once the vacuuming is complete, you will need to backwash your filters.
Test the water Chemistry
After a harsh winter, your water is going to need some careful attention, as it doesn’t take much for it to become green and cloudy. This is not good news and you certainly don’t want your family swimming in it.
The most important thing is that your bathers are comfortable, so the alkalinity of the pool needs to be close to neutral. A pH testing kit is required and a stabiliser used to adjust the pH level to around 7.5. Your water will then need to be ‘shocked’ to cleanse it of the organic materials that may have built up over the winter, before finally adding an algaecide to remove any discolouring.
For a splash of technology, why not have a look at the eXact iDip Smart Photometer which has bluetooth connectivity to your smart phone!
Not quite yet! Opening a pool can take up to a week and if your current water is exceptionally poor quality, multiple shocks may be required. There’s no time like the present to get cracking to get the pool ready, don’t miss out on those warm spring weekend swimming opportunities!
For anymore help, advice or product information, give us a call and let us help!
0800 9172 229