The weather is getting warmer, the snow is melting, and the sun seems to shine brighter with each day. Pretty soon it will be time to open up the pool for summer! Whether you are “summer-izing” your pool for the first time or you’d like a reminder of all the necessary steps, we have you covered – no pun intended! Here’s how to successfully prepare your pool for summer:
1. Remove Debris & Drain Water from Pool Cover
The first step in preparing your pool for summer fun is removing all the water and debris from your winter pool cover. Use a submersible pool cover pump for easy water removal. Once your pool cover is completely dry, you can use a large broom or leaf blower to clear off leaves and other debris so they don’t fall into the pool during the next step.
2. Remove Pool Cover
Now that water and debris have been removed from your winter cover, grab a friend and carefully peel the cover back and off of your pool.
3. Clean & Store Away Pool Cover
Pool covers can be easily cleaned with soap, water, and a soft brush. Be careful not to use anything too abrasive, as this may tear the material. For protection against bugs, rodents, and mildew, wait until the pool cover is completely dry then store in a heavy-duty plastic bin.
4. Remove All Winterizing Plugs & Re-Attach Drain Plugs
Make sure all winter plugs are removed from your pool equipment, including the filter, pump, heater, pool cleaners, etc., and replace them with your normal drain plugs. Ensure all antifreeze has been discharged before removing winterizing plugs from your pool skimmers and return lines.
5. Reconnect Pool Equipment
Reconnect your pool filter, pump, heater, and anything else that was disconnected when closing the pool. Above-ground swimming pools will need to have flexible plumbing lines reconnected to the pool equipment and skimmer.
6. Refill Your Pool
Using a garden hose, refill your pool back to its normal level (about halfway up the skimmer).
7. Clean Your Pool
Use a leaf rake net, pool brush, and/or pool vacuum to remove any remaining debris in the water.
8. Set up Your Pump & Pool Filter
Make sure to properly replace drain plugs (and any other parts that have been removed) to your pool pump and filter. Check the pump’s O-ring for any cracks or damage and replace if such blemishes are present. If the O-ring is in good shape, apply an O-ring lubricant to maintain a tight seal and provide easy removal later on.
9. Start the System Back Up
Turn on your pool filter and pump; check and make sure the system is running properly with no leaks or drips. If the pump fails to pull any water, prime the pump by turning off the filter system, removing the lid, and filling the pump housing with water. Replace the pump and turn the system back on again.
10. Test & Adjust
It is crucial to test the quality of your pool water before swimming. Once your pump and filtration system has been up and running for several hours, you will want to test levels of pH (ideal: 7.4 – 7.6), alkalinity (ideal: 80 to 120 ppm), and chlorine (ideal: 2.0 to 4.0 ppm). Using a pool testing kit is an inexpensive and easy way to ensure the safety of your water. Once you’ve established your pool water chemistry, you may need to balance your water by adjusting pH, adding chlorine, or removing phosphate.
11. Filter Overnight
Run your filtration system overnight to get rid of any remaining dirt, bacteria, algae, and debris still present in your pool water. Use algaecide to help remove stubborn or excessive algae.
12. Shock & Awe
The final step to cleaning and preparing your pool for summer is to apply a shock treatment to the water. This will eliminate nearly all the remaining contaminants and bacteria, providing you with a fresh, clean start to the summer season. Once you are all set, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy your pool!