The Fastest Way To Clean Your Pool When You First Open It

One my favorite times of the year is spring. Do you know why? It is because pool season is about to start. There is nothing more exciting than gearing up for the upcoming swim season. But you want to make sure you are ready.

When the time comes for you to open your pool, you want to make sure you have what you need and do what you need to do to open it as fast as possible. While you should never take shortcuts, there are things you can do to open your pool as fast as you possibly can so you can start enjoying the refreshing water as the days and nights get warmer.

Be Realistic

First and foremost, you need to be realistic about opening your pool. Never think that you can open it one day and it will be ready for a swim only a day or two later. Realistically it will most likely take you about a week to get everything opened, cleaned and tested before it is swim ready. I know you were hoping for a magic formula to open your pool in a day. Trust me, if I had one, I would share it with you.

Prepare for Your Opening

While it will take you about a week to get ready, there are steps you can take to make sure you are ready when the time comes to open your pool.

  1. Set a date. Set a date and time when you want to have your pool ready for swimming ahead of time and plan your opening and pool maintenance schedule accordingly.
  2. Never drain your pool. Unless you don’t have a choice, never completely empty your pool. Leave water in there during the winter. Emptying your pool may cause damage to the pool preventing you from opening when you are ready.
  3. Purchase everything you need. Before you even take the cover off, head to the pool store and pick up all the chemicals you will need such as your acids and bases, chlorine and testing kits to properly test your water.
  4. Check your tools. Take an inventory of all your tools including skimmer net and vacuums and make sure everything is in working order before you begin.

Get Down to Business

Now that you have everything ready to go, it is time to start the opening process. This process, while involved, can easily be accomplished with just a little bit of work every day as you get ready for your official opening day.

The Pool Cover

Remove any debris from the top of your pool cover and then remove the cover, cleaning it thoroughly and storing it away for next winter. A pool cover that stays in good shape will do a much better job of protecting your pool making it easier for you to open it next year.

Top off the Water

Chances are the water level in your pool has dropped over the course of the winter. Take your hose and go ahead and fill it to your pool’s optimal level.

Clean the Water

Using your brushes and your vacuum, give your pool a good scrubbing removing all the dirt and debris that may have worked its way into the pool over the winter.

Prepare Your Equipment

Forgetting about the water for a moment, head over to your pool’s pump and filter system. Test the system to make sure that everything is in working order and go ahead and give the filter a good cleaning so you can start your pool off right.

Test the Water and Balance the Chemicals

Using a testing kit, check the pH, alkalinity and the calcium hardness levels of your pool. Remember, your target levels for pH are 7.2 to 7.4 and your alkalinity levels should be from 80 to 120 ppm. Based on your test results, add the proper acid or base to your pool. For this first test, you may want to take a water sample to a pool store and have them test it. Often the tests are free and will be even more thorough compared to many home tests.

Add Chlorine

Now that the water is properly balanced and ready, you can go ahead and add shock or chlorine to the pool. Remember, your goal is to reach a chlorine level from 1 ppm to 3 ppm. Follow the directions on your chlorine to determine how much you should add based on the size of your pool.

Check Your Pool Everyday

In the week before your official opening, check the water and your pool’s system every day. Regularly test the water to make sure the chemicals are coming into balance and adjust your chemicals accordingly if necessary.

Final Thoughts

While you have to be realistic when it comes time to open your pool, there are still steps you can take to speed up the process, at least by a little bit. When first opening your pool, never take shortcuts when it comes to your water. If you do, it could result in poor water quality that isn’t fit for swimming. In the long run, this could delay your first swim date even more while requiring you to work on your pool’s water and system far more than you originally planned.

Happy Swimming!

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