Follow These Steps To Open Your In-ground Swimming Pool
If you have any concerns about opening your in-ground pool then please feel free to contact us for free professional advice. If you’re unsure of trying this yourself after reading these steps then we recommend having your pool opened by trained professionals to ensure that it is done properly.
* KB Pools Tip:
If you’re concerned about opening your pool to cloudy water then here’s a pro tip from the Krossber Brothers. When you closed your pool you probably added chlorine or other closing chemicals back in the fall. Depending on what you added, the most popular chemical that kills and prevents algae (chlorine) is most likely depleted by now. What most pool owners don’t know is that algae growth slows down significantly once the water temperature drops below sixty degrees. By the time you’re ready to open your pool we usually have had a decent thaw or two in the months leading up to spring. What most pool owners don’t realize is that their pools turned green from algae growth back during those thaws. We recommend adding some liquid chlorine under your pool cover during a thaw to help carry your clean pool into spring with a much higher chance of opening it just as clean as you closed it. This can be done by opening a corner of your pool or through the skimmer with a funnel. Just make sure not to pour it all in one spot near your liner or this could cause premature wear and tear. Good luck!
Step 1) Removing Your Pool Cover
Whether you have a tarp style cover being held down by water bags or a safety cover secured with springs, you may have some debris on your cover. Using a pool deep leaf rake can make this job much easier. Just attach the leaf rake to your skimmer pole and start scooping.
Once the cover is free of debris go ahead and remove the water bags, or grab your safety cover removal tool to release tension on the springs if you have a safety cover. With one person on each side of the pool, grab the cover and fold it back over itself a 1/4 of the way down the pool. Repeat this process until you have completely removed the cover. We recommend spreading the cover out in your yard and using a cover conditioner to help clean and preserve the cover before you store it for the summer. For safety cover owners don’t forget to use your hex tool to lower your anchors back down. (We have long hex tools available at our store that will attach to a cordless drill so you do not have to bend over to put your anchors down.)
Step 2) Remove Your Winter Plugs
Remove the blowout extension from your skimmer and install your skimmer basket and weir door. Then go ahead and remove the winter plugs that are in your return lines and install your return directional eyeballs. (When installing your directional eyeballs be sure to point them down and to the right or in a similar direction depending on your pool shape to help encourage proper circulation of the water.) This is also a good time to install your ladders and/or hand rails. You will be going to the filter for the next step.
Step 3) Re-Connect Your Pump & Filter
Now that your cover is off, skimmer open, and returns in, it’s time to un-winterize your filter system and equipment. Re-connect your lines and tighten any unions that you might have. Be sure to lubricate any O-rings before connecting lines and unions. It’s also good to lubricate any threaded plugs, caps, and your pump lid as well but do not install your pump lid just yet. (Do not use petroleum based lubricants as they will prematurely wear out your O-rings. We use a Teflon based Magic Lube that works great and can be found on our website as well as in store.)
Step 5) Vacuum & Treat Your Pool
Well now your pool filter is running, the water is circulating, and you can almost hear the happy summer splashing. But first you have one last step. This is either the easiest, or most dreaded step depending on how you closed the pool. Be sure to scoop and vacuum all debris from the pool before adding your water care products. Adding a bunch of shock before getting the debris out will make things worse by turning all that debris into mush. Once you have successfully cleaned the pool, scoop a sample and come see us for your free computerized water analysis. If you live too far from our store then be sure to properly test and balance the pool before entering the water. After this final step is complete strap on the flippers, fasten on your goggles, and enjoy the fruit of your efforts. Congratulations, your pool is now open!
Step 4) Prime & Start Your Filter System
Now it’s time for that magic moment! You’re almost done. Your pump lid should be lubricated and ready to install but first fill your pump housing with water. This will help prime your pump. Once you have filled the pump with water you can install and tighten your pump lid. If you have a sand filter make sure that it is set to “backwash” to flush the sand. Next you can turn on the power to your pump. Depending on how the pool is plumbed, distance, and set up, it may take some time for your pump to prime. It’s not uncommon to have to shut the pump off, remove the lid, and fill the housing with water again repeating the start up process. Once your system is primed and you have successfully backwashed your filter, shut down the pump and set your filter to “rinse” and turn your pump back on. This will reset the sand and clear any left over debris from backwashing. You should only have to rinse for a minute or so. After rinsing the sand you can shut down the system and set the filter to the “filter” position. Turn your pump back on and you are good to go.( Never turn your filter vale with the pump on. This can cause damage to the valve and its diverter gasket.Check for small leaks but give it some time before disconnecting anything. Sometimes the O-rings just need time to “swell” and seal properly.)
We hope these steps make it easy for you to get your above ground pool up and running this season. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Feel free to leave us comments and feedback.