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Thread: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

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    Lizbethmcq's Avatar
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    First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    Hello All, so glad to be back and thinking about enjoying our pool. We have been inundated with phone calls from our pool builder trying to schedule our pool opening (we are not interested in using them) and I was getting ready to call the local pool store who installed and closed our pool last year to get on their schedule to open when I reviewed their "service" offerings. This stuff all looks fairly basic and I'm thinking we can save ourselves some money and do this ourselves. Especially since it doesn't look like they do any chemical balancing or cleaning.

    I've read through and printed out the Pool Opening sticky, all straight forward looking. My concerns are....

    1. How do I remove the safety cover and how many people am I going to need to help me? What is meant by "fan fold"?
    2. I don't believe they did anything at closing to the equipment besides blow the lines out and plug the returns. If I just unplug the returns and turn the pump on I'm not going to damage anything am I? Where would plugs be in the filter system area?
    3. Lubricating the bolts - anything special that should be used? Do I need to lube the cover anchors?
    4. Hook up pump, filter, etc. - as far as I can tell nothing was disconnected, what should I look for? How do I ensure the pump "primes properly"?
    5. If I understand everything I have read, we should leave our SWG off until we have achieved proper water balance, correct?
    6. Here in Pennsylvania we have had spells of 70 degree weather interspersed with lower temps and several nights of freeze warnings. Do you think its okay to open as long as I leave the pumps running overnight? Should I wait a little longer?

    Thanks in advance for all your help, looking forward to getting the pool open and testing the water - I think I've become a bit of a chemistry geek, family is threatening to get me a white lab coat.

    Liz
    Liz

    17,500 gal, IG Trilogy fiberglass sport pool 43'8"x16', Jandy Cart CS Ser filter, Jandy Pro Ser+ 1.5 HP pump, Nature 2 Fusion Soft SWG (mineral removed), TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Dolphin Oasis Z5 robotic cleaner. Maax Spa 481 (455 gal)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    Well, I am not sure how much of this I can address, being that I never close

    2. Just make sure that your skimmer is open and the water is higher enough, the returns are open and any valves are open. You can then fire up the pump with hurting anything. There might be a drain plug removed on the bottom of the filter.
    4. If the pump does not start pulling in water in less than a minute or 2 shut it off and time for more troubleshooting.
    5. Generally that is a good idea to leave the SWG off until at least the salt levels, pH, CYA and chlorine are in range.
    6. As long as the pump runs some at night night during the coldest hours, no worry about freezing. Opening earlier will reduce the chance of starting with algae.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    Read up on this sticky:

    Pool Openings

    1. Check out youtube videos. If the cover gets wets, let it dry out on the lawn before you fold it up like an accordion. Be careful as the springs have a lot of tension. I wear hiking boots when removing the springs from the bolts.
    2. Generally, each piece of equipment has one or more plugs (pump, booster pump, filter, nature 2, heater, etc.) My pump has two plugs. Apply pool lube to plug gaskets and the other gaskets on your equipment.
    3. Use silicone spray... may need to spray some with a hose if there is a lot dirt. Let the silicone spray soak. Use a hex key to lower the anchors.
    4. Add water to the pump with hose before you start up. It might take a few minutes for the pump to get primed.
    5. Leave SWG off until you pass the OCLT. You might need to SLAM your pool when you open... the mild winter could have caused algae to grow and if you are like me, your CYA may have gotten converted to ammonia. Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    6. The forecast for me has some hard freezes (20s) this week, so you might wait for the hard freezes to be over.

    Make sure all plugs are removed from returns (the holes in the pool wall where the water comes out) and skimmers.

    Make sure that you have removed as much debris from the pool, so vacuum to waste if you have worms/dirt on the bottom of the pool (common in our area if you have a mesh cover and crazy temp swings between closing and opening). I vacuum to waste first and then I do a filtered vacuum. You pool conditions may be good if you have a solid cover.

    I strongly suggest that you remove the balls from the Nature 2 because it will add metal to the pool... not sure why you have a Nature 2 when your SWG is all you need.
    How to Remove Metal Balls from Nature 2 Fusion
    Last edited by kcindc; 04-05-2016 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Typos
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    The weather folks have changed the forecast over the last day or so... you have a really cold Saturday night forecast (26), so if your forecast next week holds out you might be okay to open Sunday.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Lizbethmcq's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    Thanks kcindc (and jblizzle)! All good details to pay attention too. I to was concerned about the hard freezes - given I don't want to be outside when its cold I probably won't get to it until next weekend, but the main point is we don't need to pay someone else to do some very basic stuff.

    And we have never used the mineral cartridge for the Nature 2, based on the info on these boards. We just left the starter cartridge out and never considered purchasing a regular one - any reason why one would need to pull it apart to remove the balls and put the empty cartridge back in? The Nature2 Fusion Soft is a combo SWG and mineral system, seems to work fine without the cartridge in.
    Liz

    17,500 gal, IG Trilogy fiberglass sport pool 43'8"x16', Jandy Cart CS Ser filter, Jandy Pro Ser+ 1.5 HP pump, Nature 2 Fusion Soft SWG (mineral removed), TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Dolphin Oasis Z5 robotic cleaner. Maax Spa 481 (455 gal)

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    Hi there.
    Do you have one of these: Amazon.com : Water Warden IRMS-15 Steel Installation Rod : Patio, Lawn Garden

    -- It makes it easier to get winter cover with springs off. Just thought I'd mention it

    Another tip -- look at the closing bill to see if they used antifreeze in your lines. If they did, try to pump that off to waste by setting your diverter handle to waste for the first few minutes of operation after you've opened everything and primed the pump.

    Pool antifreeze is safe and chlorine will break it down, so its not a huge deal but it can create a higher chlorine demand if it all goes back into the water
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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lizbethmcq View Post
    any reason why one would need to pull it apart to remove the balls and put the empty cartridge back in? The Nature2 Fusion Soft is a combo SWG and mineral system, seems to work fine without the cartridge in.
    Well, I learned something new... Nature 2 now makes a SWG combo!

    Yes, you should remove the balls since they can add staining. I have staining from mine and other uses have reported blonde hair turning green. Check out the link from my original post to see how to remove the metal balls.
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Lizbethmcq's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    Well I did it, got everything opened up and running properly. Besides the worms the pool looked fairly good, and my Dolphin is doing an awesome job of sucking them all up.

    So initial test readings are as follows (water temp is 48)
    FC 0
    CC 0
    pH 7.2
    TA 60
    CH 300
    CYA 45
    Salt 2000

    In what order should I focus on getting to the optimal readings?
    Liz

    17,500 gal, IG Trilogy fiberglass sport pool 43'8"x16', Jandy Cart CS Ser filter, Jandy Pro Ser+ 1.5 HP pump, Nature 2 Fusion Soft SWG (mineral removed), TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Dolphin Oasis Z5 robotic cleaner. Maax Spa 481 (455 gal)

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    The only thing that must be done it so get some chlorine in the water.

    When the water gets warmer (60?) then you will need to raise the salt back up so the SWG can start working. We also may want to bump the CYA up a little too.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Lizbethmcq's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    So far so good, readings as of last night

    FC 3.0
    CC 0
    pH 7.5
    TA 70
    CH 300
    CYA 30
    Salt 2700
    Water temp 62

    So based on the above I'm thinking add some more stabilizer, add salt (btw none was added but the level raised somehow), turn on the SWG and see where we are in a few days for FC. Or do you suggest I get the FC up first with chlorine and then get the salt system running?

    I also want to add Borate this year, should I wait until everything else is in line first or go ahead and add now?
    Liz

    17,500 gal, IG Trilogy fiberglass sport pool 43'8"x16', Jandy Cart CS Ser filter, Jandy Pro Ser+ 1.5 HP pump, Nature 2 Fusion Soft SWG (mineral removed), TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir, Dolphin Oasis Z5 robotic cleaner. Maax Spa 481 (455 gal)

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    If the water is clear and algae free then you can add CYA. If it is not then you should Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain first.

    Get everything balanced and running before adding borates. Then lower your TA to 60, here's how, Pool School - Lower Total Alkalinity and then add borates.
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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: First time opening pool - can I do this myself?

    I would wait to turn on the swg. I don't think your water is really warm enough for it to act efficiently. You can go ahead and add the salt but I just wouldn't turn it on.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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