How To Open And Start Up A Pool

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Opening and starting up a pool doesn’t need to be difficult. Here at DiscountPoolSuppliesNow we want to make it easier for you to open your pool. Keep reading to discover some pool tips that should help.

If the pool was closed down properly, the water balanced and maintained through out the winter months, it should not be hard at all. However, if the pool was not properly winterized, forgotten and neglected, it can take awhile.

If your pool has a solid cover, you will need to remove any standing water, leaves and debris. You don’t want any of it to get into your pool as you remove the cover. I have found using a tele-pole and wall brush; you can push the leaves to one side. If you have an aluminum back wall brush you can work the leaves up on the deck. Be careful not to apply too much pressure using the wall brush. It can still break but not as easily as the cheaper plastic brushes.

Commercial leaf rake

Commercial leaf rake

We also used a type of net often referred to as a leaf rake. It has an oval opening with a leaf bag attached. You want to be sure to use a commercial grade made with a metal frame because once again, the plastic one’s don’t stand a chance. The metal leaf rake works great to remove any amount of leaves. It just takes some elbow grease and time.

We recommend  removing the leaves and draining off the cover as needed during the winter months. It would take you less time in the spring. For me, it’s easier to stay on top of it. It’s like preventative maintenance. Why make it much harder than it needs to be?

Using a cover pump or if you are fortunate have a drop or slope of at least 2′-3′, you can use your vacuum hose to siphon the water off. If own a vinyl pool and your solid cover has holes, make sure to remove all debris first before using a cover pump. This is make sure you are not pumping water out of your pool.

When removing a solid cover, it helps to have 2 people, otherwise you need to be really quick or the cover will submerge itself in the water.  Even a safety mesh cover will sink.

Watch the video to see how to open a pool.

After removing the cover, lay it out, clean it and let it dry before you fold it up and store it for the summer. The same thing can be done if you have a safety mesh cover. It is not good for either one to be put away wet for the summer.

If your pool was winterized by blowing the water out of the suction and return lines with air and then plugged off, you can remove the plugs at this time. Be aware if your pool equipment is below the water level, you should wait until the plugs are re-installed in the pump and filter system first.

Starting with the pump, re-install the drain plugs that should have been removed when winterized. Hopefully, they were put in a safe place. One place to check is the pump basket. This is where we put items from the equipment when we winterize pools. Most pumps have two drain plugs.

Located on the bottom of the filter, you will either install a plug or drain cap. Re-install the pressure gauge if it was removed and sight glass if you have one. If you have a sand filter, move the handle on the multi-port valve to backwash. Speaking from experience, it’s easier because the pool pump seems to prime quicker.

If you have a cartridge filter, re-install the filter elements and don’t forget to re-install the drain plugs. For DE filters re-install the plugs and after the system has been started you will need to recharge the filter with DE powder. This is done by measuring and slowly pouring the proper amount into the skimmer with the system running.

Make sure the pool has plenty of water before starting up the system. Firs,t we need to prime the pump. This is done by using a garden hose or getting a bucket of water and slowly filling the pot at the front of the pump. Allow the water to flow into the suction lines. This can eliminate some of the air in the lines.

After filling up the pot, quickly put the pump lid on and tighten.

Now you are ready to start the pump system. I mentioned earlier that if you have a sand filter to start it up on backwash. Let it run until a good water flow is coming out the backwash line. This is to loosen up the sand that has been sitting there for many months. Cartridge filters don’t have this function but DE filters do. Start this system up on filter.

*Pool Tip #1

If you use a mesh cover and there’s lots of dirt and debris. you can get it out really quick if you have a sand filter because it has a multi-port valve. You can vacuum your pool on the waste function and totally remove dirt and debris from your pool.This way, dirt and debris are completely bypassing the filter and running out the backwash line.

Just note, you’re also draining your pool down, so you have to work quickly to get the majority of dirt and algae. It’s possible you will need to add more water in order for the system to filter properly. This will get your pool cleaned faster and you should backwash often as needed after start up.

How much will depend on how bad the pool water is. If you can’t see the bottom and the pool has algae, backwashing several times will be required. You can watch the pressure gauge on the filter and when it increases 7 – 10 psi, the filter needs be back-washed. It can only hold so much dirt, algae and debris before it needs to be cleaned.

Finish vacuuming the remaining debris. Keep in mind, it might take a few times cleaning before you get out all the debris and the pool is clean. After vacuuming your pool, it is time to test the water chemistry.

Let the pool run for a few hours and then test to see what chemicals will need to be added. If you don’t have a professional test kit, you can purchase one through our website or we recommend taking a water sample into your local pool store for reliable testing. Depending on how bad the water is, it could take a few chemical treatment to get the pool clear and clean.

*Pool Tip #2

The pool needs to filter (run) 24 hours a day until it has cleared up. The water will not clear up or get any better unless the pool is filtering. If the water is extremely bad, we recommend back-washing the sand filter often. This one thing alone can make a huge difference in how long it will take to clear up.

Cartridge filters can go longer before cleaning and DE filters even longer before needing to be back-washed and recharged.

You now have your pool opened and soon the great times poolside will begin. If you have any problems, give us a shout and we will help in anyway we can. If you need chemicals, you can get start up chemicals here.

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