To make the removal of your swimming pool cover easier, be sure to drain as much water off the top of the swimming pool cover as possible. Swimming pool cover pumps are available in several sizes to quickly remove the water, or the water can be siphoned off of the top of an Above-Ground pool swimming pool cover. Once the water has been drained from the swimming pool cover, try to scoop off as much of the leaves and debris as you can. The more material you manage to remove from the top of the swimming pool cover the easier it will be to remove the swimming pool cover.
Slowly remove the Winter pool swimming pool cover so that any remaining debris or dirty water does not fall into the pool. To prevent the swimming pool cover from sticking or forming mildew when folded, thoroughly clean the swimming pool cover and let it dry completely before storing for next year. The dirt and grime can be cleaned off the Winter swimming pool cover with your garden hose and a stiff brush or broom.
If your swimming pool filter system was cleaned when the pool was closed, attach all hoses and all valves. If your pool filter system needs cleaning or the sand needs to be replaced, now is the time to do so. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to properly prepare your pump, filter & heater for the swimming season. Be sure to lubricate all o-rings with a water-based lubricant. Remove any debris from the skimmer basket and strainer basket on the pool pump. Remove the plugs or swimming pool covers from the skimmer and return line on the inside of the pool.
Add fresh water to the swimming pool until the ing of the skimmer is ¾ swimming pool covered, and start your filtration system. Once the pool filter system is running you can skim and vacuum out any debris in the pool. The first step to chemically treat your swimming pool water is a large dose of chlorine Pool Shock. This will oxidize (burn up and kill) any bacteria and organics in the pool water. You should add the larger algae control dose indicated on the Pool Shock packaging (not the maintenance dose).
When opening a swimming pool you need to immediately start adding chlorine tablets, or the sanitizer you have chosen, to the pool water. The Chlorine level must be brought up to 1-3 ppm.
Many times the swimming pool water will be cloudy, or dull looking when the pool is first opened. If this condition does not improve after the shock treatment, and 12 hours of filtration, a Clarifier may help. Clarifiers will help your pool filter system grab the fine particles of debris that are suspended in the pool water causing the cloudiness.
The next step to opening a swimming pool is to start testing the chemical levels of the pool water. One important chemical to be tested is the Stabilizer Level (also referred to as Cyanuric Acid). Stabilizer is an important part of swimming pool water chemistry because it protects the chlorine in pool water from quickly evaporating in the sun. If the pool has been filled with all new water, or this is the first time a new pool is being opened, there will be no need to test for stabilizer. Simply add stabilizer, closely following the instructions on the package.
Test kits are available to read the stabilizer level of pool water, however the stabilizer is typically only tested at the beginning of the swimming season so most pool owners bring a sample of the swimming pool water to a local pool store that offers free testing. In addition to stabilizer, the calcium hardness, TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) and concentration of metals must be tested and adjusted accordingly.
The pH level and Alkalinity level of the swimming pool water must also be tested and adjusted if necessary. It is very important that the pH of the pool water is at the correct level to avoid irritation to swimmer’s eyes and skin, and damage to the pool surface (vinyl liner) or pool equipment. The pH must be maintained at 7.2 - 7.6 ppm. The Alkalinity of your pool water acts as a buffer for the pH, and helps keep the pH level from drastically fluctuating with the weather and water conditions. The Alkalinity level must be maintained at 80-120 ppm. Click here to find pool opening chemicals and accessories with free shipping.