How to Open a Pool After Winter

a swimming pool with a fire place in the middle of it.

It is still winter but we know everyone is already thinking of warm weather. You may have an in-ground vinyl liner pool that you are anxious to open up after winter has passed. Before you can enjoy your pool this spring, you will need to be sure that it is safe and clean. At Prestige Pools, we can walk you through the steps to take before you open a pool.

Check Your Supply of Chemicals

Check on your chemicals before opening the pool. Be aware of expiration dates and replace any that are past their prime. You will also need to dispose of and replace chemicals that weren’t sealed properly before they were stored.

Here is a checklist for the chemicals you need to open your pool:

  • a test kit or test strips for checking the pool’s pH, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and chlorine levels
  • chlorine granules or tablets
  • shock treatment
  • increaser/decreaser chemicals for alkalinity, calcium, and pH
  • algaecide
  • stain treatment

Clean Up Debris Around the Pool

Look at the area around your pool to check for wear and tear on the deck and furniture. Trim overgrown trees and hedges. Address any issues that need to be repaired and cleaned before you open the pool for the season. Be sure your deck and deck furniture is safe for use. Also check pool equipment like safety rails, slides, rescue equipment, and diving boards.

Clean the Debris Off and Remove the Cover

First, you will need to clean the cover that has been on the pool. Take a soft broom and sweep the leaves and large debris from the winter cover. Use a pool cover pump to remove any standing water from the cover. Find someone who can help you remove the cover from the pool by folding the cover back and forth on itself like an accordion. Then, pull the cover onto a flat surface so you can clean it without getting the cover cleaner into the pool water. Spray it with water or cleaner and let it dry. After the cover dries, sprinkle each side with talcum powder or an alkaline solution in order to prevent mold and mildew. Store it in a cool, dry place.

Inspect the Pool

Here are some things you should do to make sure the pool is in good shape:

  • Remove drain plugs from the surface skimmers and wall returns, and restore directional fittings.
  • Inspect the filter, return lines, and pump for possible damaged or worn parts and buy a replacement if necessary.
  • If you removed the underwater pool lights, reattach them.
  • Check the sides and remove calcium scale and stains with a household cleaner or baking soda and a tile brush.
  • Inspect the interior of your pool for damage and make repairs as needed.

Fill and Skim the Pool

Even if you didn’t drain the pool before winter, some water is lost from evaporation. Use the garden hose to fill the pool back to its normal water level, typically at about the middle of the skimmer opening or halfway up the tile. After you have the water level just right, you can now clean leaves, twigs, and debris from the bottom of the pool by using a wall and floor brush. Also, clean off your algae brush and pool vacuum, and be sure to remove any debris from the leaf basket.

Test the Pool Chemistry

Let the circulation system run for a few hours and then test the pool water for pH, Total Alkalinity (TA), and chlorine levels. The ideal levels should be:

  • pH: 7.4 to 7.6
  • Total Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
  • Free Available Chlorine: 2.0 to 4.0 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 200-400 ppm

Balance the Water

It is necessary to balance the pool water for safe and healthy swimming. First, adjust the Total Alkalinity. when the TA is back to an ideal range, test the pH and adjust it if needed. The last step is adjusting the calcium hardness.

Shock the Pool

When you shock the pool, you eliminate any remaining germs and contaminants in the water. Follow the label instructions for a chlorine shock. The instructions tell you how much of the shock to add to your pool.

Contact Prestige Pools of NC for your Vinyl Liner Pool Installation Project

Prestige Pools of NC is  here and ready to build the in-ground pool of your dreams! We offer vinyl liner, inground pool installation the Raleigh area, including Clayton, Benson, and the surrounding communities of Johnston County Call our pool builders in Raleigh at 919-586-8556 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation and quote.