If the first hint of warm weather gets you thinking how to open your pool for the summer, you'll need to remember some basic steps to make sure everything operates properly throughout pool season.
Clean Cover and Deck
First, clean off the cover before removing it from your pool. Use a long handled broom or plastic rack to get debris off. Be careful not to damage the pool cover. If any standing water has accumulated on the pool cover, pump off any standing water. Use a cover pump, or you can rent a submersible pump.
But don't stop there. Clean up the pool deck, nearby planting areas, anything that could potentially add debris to your pool. Look for any overhanging branches that might need to be trimmed. Now's also the time to do any repairs to your pool deck.
Removing the cover itself can be a lot of work. It's a good idea to have extra help available. Trade them pool time for helping you open your pool for the summer.
After removing the cover, take it to a hard-surfaced area that has a slant or slope. If you don't have a slope, make sure you have a squeegee or stiff broom handy. Hose the cover down, sweep off any excess water and allow it to dry thoroughly. The last thing you want to pull out at the end of pool season is a musty, moldy, wrinkled pool cover.
Remove Freeze Plugs
Remove anything installed to protect the pool from freezing, such as expansion or freeze plugs for the skimmers (gizmos) and return jets. Reattach the directional fittings. Empty water from the water tubes. If you removed light fixtures, reattach them. Inspect for any possible damage.
Check the filter and pump for any damaged or worn parts. Now's the time to make sure your pump and filter system works properly, not the middle of July. Replace drainage plugs, valves and pressure gauges as necessary.
Check for cracks in fiberglass and concrete pools, as well as the tile. Look for chips and indentations on the coping. Repair any minor problems, remove calcium scale and stains from the tile. Do not use abrasive household cleaners. Baking soda and a sponge should do the trick. Now's the time to get everything cleaned up.
Reinstall any equipment you've removed, such as ladders, safety rails, diving boards, etc. Clean them up as you reinstall them. Car wax will help prevent future corrosion.
Fill the Pool
Fill the pool to the midpoint on the waterline tile or the middle of the skimmer weirs. Use a wall and floor brush to clean leaves, twigs and other debris from the pool's bottom. Use an algae brush and pool vacuum to get all the gunk off and out.
Once the valves are open, the pump is primed, and air purged, turn on the power. With the system running, look for leaks, cracked hoses and other problems.
Once the pool has water in it, run the filter 12 - 24 hours. Then, test the water, give pool a super chlorination, and add other treatments to your water. If you're not completely familiar with pool chemistry, it's best to consult with a professional on this step.