WE are OPEN for business!

thetekgeek

Bronze Supporter
Jun 8, 2018
272
Nebraska
I like to open early, so I went ahead and opened my pool last night after work.

My area has received a lot of rain over the past few weeks, the 10 day forecast shows no low temps below freezing and high temps consistently in the 60's-70's. That is my trigger to open because I want to be open before the water is warm enough for algae to grow and late enough that my equipment is not in danger of a freeze.

Pulled off my cover, water level was 4 inches below mid-skimmer. That means nearly 18 inches were added from rainfall and snow melt. Water was reasonably clear, some debris on the bottom but mostly dirt.

Step 1. Grab the leaf rake and pull out all the large debris.
Step 2. Toss my dolphin in to start the clean up process.
Step 3. Remove plugs from the returns.
Step 4. Reinstall plugs in heater and pump.
Step 5. Open Main Drain valve, prime MD line, fill pump pot, install pot lid, set multi-port to recirculate and fire up pump. Once primed and pot full, turn pump to 1500 RPM and let circulate while the pool finishes filling.
Step 6. Stop pump, remove Gizmos and prime each skimmer line.
Step 7. Start pump back up, run on recirculate until initial testing and dosing is completed.
Step 8. Take water sample and run tests.

FC - 3.5
CC - 1.0
PH - 7.5
TA - 100
CH - 250
CYA - 40
SALT - Didn't test because I will be managing pool as chlorine pool until water naturally warms up enough to use SWG.

At this point, I cleaned the dolphin, lots of dirt and some worms inside, but nothing surprising. Started by adding MA to bring PH to 7.2, let circulate for 20 minutes with pump on 3000 rpm. Added enough bleach to bring FC to 16. Let circulate for another 30 minutes. By this time, I was about out of sunlight so I needed to hurry a little bit to get my filter charged (DE).

Step 9. Stop pump, move multi-port to filter, turn on pump, open relief valve on filter and let air bleed out.
Step 10. Charge DE filter.
Step 11. Set pump to run 24/7 at low RPM for the foreseeable future.
Step 12. Retest FC - 17, over shot a little bit but not a big deal.

I ran into one issue, my easytouch was reporting an error for water temp. I traced the wire and found it broken right next to where it is mounted in the pipe. There was enough slack in the cable that I was able to repair the wire using quick connectors and then wrapping it in electrical tape, then heat shrink tubing. Water temp 47 degrees.

At this point, I cleaned the dolphin again and tossed her back in for another round and decided to call it a night. Water was slightly cloudy but hard to tell because it was getting pretty dark. Using a flashlight, I was able to see the dolphin in the deep end (8 ft), but not even close to TFP water clarity.

Still to do - Reinstall ladder, entry rail and basketball hoop. Tighten loop-loc bolts into concrete. Re-install return eyeballs.

This morning, tested water as soon as I got up, sun was starting to peak over the horizon but was not on the pool yet. FC - 16, CC - 0.5. Did not dose with any bleach this morning, will test again at lunch time. Water clarity is nearly perfect after filtering over night. I can see the screw heads on my main drains, but cannot quite make out that they are phillips head (too bad I already know).

Sorry for the long post, but I thought it might be good to get feedback on my opening process. This is my second time opening my pool after winter. If there are any suggestions as to how I can do it better, fire away. If not, this might serve to answer other people's questions on how and when to open their own pools.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,929
Evans, Georgia
Sounds like you did a great job ! My only questions are about steps #5 & #6, as I personally would have removed all the obstructing gizmos before turning everything on.

Come'on Summer!!

Maddie :flower:
 

thetekgeek

Bronze Supporter
Jun 8, 2018
272
Nebraska
@YippeeSkippy

I did that because the pool wasn't completely full and I wanted to have circulation going for a longer period of time before I ran my first set of tests. By priming the pump and pulling water only off of the main drain, I was able to have water circulating for about 30 minutes longer than I would have if I had waited while the pool filled to the skimmers and primed everything at once. Since I started the process late in the day and I wanted to beat the sun, this seemed like the most efficient way to approach it.

As an update to the opening, I kept the water at SLAM level all day yesterday and performed an OCLT last night. At sun down, FC 16.5, 6AM this morning FC 16.5, CC 0. The pool passed the OCLT, water clarity is perfect. So, I'll keep the CYA at 40 for the next few weeks and manage the pool as a chlorine pool until the water warms up enough to turn on my SWG. I am so happy to have it open again, if nothing else just to look at it. Winter in Nebraska isn't terribly bad, but it is a little depressing looking outside and only being able to see a cover knowing there is a beautiful pool underneath it.
 
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YippeeSkippy

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 17, 2012
15,929
Evans, Georgia
Ok, makes sense. My only concern is sometimes people forget to remove a lone gizmo. Then they're struggling to figure out the problem.
Now, aren't you glad you saved the money so many folks pay others to open for them? I've read folks pay like $200... I find that outrageous!

Maddie :flower:
 

wwerdna

Well-known member
Jun 23, 2017
53
Sparta, NJ
Now, aren't you glad you saved the money so many folks pay others to open for them? I've read folks pay like $200... I find that outrageous!
I wish it had only been $200. Last year I paid $400 at opening (and $430 the previous year at closing). After closing by myself last fall, I'll be opening for the first time by myself this May.
 

bmoreswim

Mod Squad
Gold Supporter
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 16, 2012
6,813
Central MD
Pool Size
27000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Hayward Aqua Rite (T-15)
Your right Maddie. Opening is so easy with just a little knowledge of how things work. I so enjoy opening ours. It’s like the drive going to vacation. All spirits are high.