If you’re bouncing on your feet, giggling and rubbing your hands together, then you may be almost as excited at the approach of summer as we are. Why? Because summer means it’s time to don the swimwear and jump into the water. What better way to start the season than to throw a big Memorial Day pool party?
Of course, you’ll first need to prepare your pool after a winter of hibernation. Be sure to work through your procedures early enough to have your pool up and running before Memorial Day (and to enjoy cooler days while you’re laboring outside). To help you keep on track, here’s a checklist for opening your pool for Memorial Day fun.
1. Gather Up Your Gear
Make sure you round up your kits and tools. You’ll need:
- Test kit or test strips
- Opening chemical kit
- Telescopic pole
- Shop Vac or sump pump for the cover
- Skimmer head
- Vacuum head
- Vacuum hose
- Pool brush
- Tools to check and maintain pump, filter and heater if you have one
- Lubricant for O-rings, valves and fittings
2. Remove the Cover
Unless you need a workout, grab a partner and remove the cover. Haul it to a suitable location for cleaning and drying. Use a little soap and water to scrub the cover, then rinse with hose water. If needed, use a wet vac to remove standing water. Let it dry before you fold it up and store in a place where the local fauna can’t make a home out of it.
3. Prime the Pump / Prepare the Filter
If you closed your pool well last year, you may discover nice, clear water when you remove the cover. And you may not. If your water appears like it’s breeding alligators, slowly walk backwards away from the pool to the pump room and get that baby ready for action. Be sure you’ve checked the electrical connections, O-rings, fittings and filters first and serviced or replaced the necessary parts. Backwash the filter only if needed, although, alligators do tend to clog it.
4. Top if Off
Add water as needed. Make sure to fill the pool so the level is at the halfway point in your skimmers.
5. Skim, Scrub and Vacuum
Using your telescopic pole and skimmer head, remove all the floating debris. Then use the brush to scrub the walls and floor to loosen up the dirt stuck there so it can make its way to the filter. Next, run your pool vacuum to collect the fine dirt on the bottom of the pool.
6. Test the water
Now that you’ve filled and filtered the water, do a test. To get water from below the surface, hold a cup upside down as you plunge it in the water. Once you’re past the surface, turn the cup right side up to fill. Naturally, use your testing kit, but you might also want to take a draught to a pool professional for a thorough analysis.
7. Inspect Everything
Give the whole pool and surrounding apron a good once-over. Look for cracks in the walls and floor. Make sure the jets are blowing properly, metal steps and handrails aren’t corroding and that the chemical dispenser is working properly.
8. Shock the Pool
No, don’t throw a connected toaster into the water. Please. Rather, apply a huge load of chlorine, or your preferred sanitizer, to overwhelm the bacteria, algae and chlorine that has already done its job. Since sunlight inhibits this process, do it at night. Besides, the filtration system needs about eight hours to complete its work, and you don’t want to waste good daylight hours on it.
9. Clear the Jungle
Cut back any shrubs and tree branches overhanging or too close to the pool. After all your hard work, you don’t need your landscape dropping their summer gifts into the water if you can avoid it.
10. Hold Your Horses for a Day
Give the pool at least 24 hours to settle into its routine. If you see clouds that aren’t reflections of the sky, add a clarifier.
Once you’ve opened the pool, you only need to keep on top of the basic maintenance. Of course, if you would rather spend your time issuing invitations to your first bash of the summer, give us a call. We’d be happy to take on the duty of opening your pool for you. Also, you may wish to sign up for our monthly maintenance plan so you can spend your time making like a fish, not cleaning the fish bowl. Make a big splash this Memorial Day with a pristine, beautiful swimming pool.