Opening Your Winterized Above Ground Pool
Digging out the pool equipment with spring in the air is one of the most rewarding times of the year. Your procedure may vary depending on your equipment but review the points below and use them as a checklist to get your pool in tip-top shape.
Prior to start up and spring tree pollen/debris drop, a leaf net may be installed to prevent debris build up on winter cover. Remove leaf net and accumulated debris prior to opening for the spring.
Remove debris and/or pump water from winter cover if one has been used, then remove cover, dry and store until winter.
Use a leaf rake or skimmer net to remove any leaves or other large debris in pool water that can be reached. Other debris, silt or sludge remaining on the bottom may be vacuumed or removed with a self-contained pool cleaner.
Inspect skimmer, return, hoses, fittings, pump, filter system and any other components for hairline cracks, defects or other signs of excessive wear or damage. Repair or replace damaged items.
If using a sand filter, inspect sand and top off with appropriate medium to correct level if needed. Cartridge and DE filters should be attached and furnished with appropriate refills or supplies.
Attach all hoses, fittings, components, including solar system if one is employed. If ball valves have not been installed at skimmer and return before, now would be a very good time to add them to the system as these can be invaluable for emergency water supply shut-off at intake and outlet sources if work is needed anywhere in between. If using a sand filter, carefully add water to filter prior to attaching muti-port gasket. Steps or ladders can be installed now or after pool is filled.
The pool should be filled to a minimum of mid-skimmer level prior to turning on filter system. Check for leaks at fittings and hoses prior to turning on equipment and again once equipment is turned on and pressure is in the system.
If filling from a source which may have metals in the water, the addition of a sequestering agent may be required and should be administered prior to the addition of chlorine products. Follow dosing instructions on the product
Test water chemistry with an appropriate drops based test kit. Chlorine levels would be at zero, however initial TA, PH, and CYA levels must be determined prior to adding chemicals to balance pool. Salt levels for owners of Salt Water Chlorine Generators (SWG) should also be determined with Salt Test Strips prior to the addition of chemicals and to establish the correct amount of replacement salt needed to properly operate the equipment.
Using the Pool-Calculator program, determine the correct amounts of chlorine, CYA, acid or other chemicals needed and dose as instructed. Initially, many pools will require "SLAMing" the pool with high doses of chlorine and running the pump 24/7 to kill any algae which may be present. Appropriate doses of chlorine to "SLAM" the pool can also be found using the Pool-Calculator program.
Use of a skimmer "sock" can be especially beneficial during spring start up as it will assist with clarifying the water while removing bugs, tree pollen and other small debris. Watch closely to avoid clogging the skimmer.
A few minutes a day of continued testing and adjusting chemistry levels as needed will get your water sparkling blue and you'll be ready for season of swimming fun for the whole family!
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