5 Tips to Remember When Opening Your Swimming Pool

Refreshing swimming pool and shaded lounge chairs

Opening a Swimming Pool the Right Way

If you’re in charge of maintaining your pool, you know how much of a chore it can be to open your pool for the season. If you closed your pool for the winter or just ignored it since last fall (hey, it happens to all of us), there’s a whole list of tasks to jump into before you can jump into your pool. Whether you’re trying to prep for a big party or just for summer fun, make sure you follow these swimming pool tips and tricks for an easy opening.

The Importance of Opening a Pool Correctly

If your pool has been closed for the winter or has just been out of use for a few weeks, you’ll want to ensure you properly open it, even if the temptation is to dive right in. When chemical levels aren’t where they should be, you risk skin irritations and other problems that could be avoided with proper testing and patience. Pools are one of the ultimate ways to have fun, but they can also be dangerous when not taken care of properly.

Beyond safety, though, you could end up saving yourself money. By thoroughly inspecting your pump before running it, you reduce the risk of an avoidable malfunction.

How To Open Your Pool

Pool openings aren’t always as simple as taking the winter cover off and yelling “cannonball.” We’ve compiled a list of the essential chores you need to accomplish before you and your family are ready for swimming.

  • 1. Remove and inspect the winter cover: Before removing, inspect the cover for tears or holes. If there are issues with the cover, you’ll probably need to take additional steps to open your pool.

    If your cover is undamaged, wash it down and let it dry before storing it for the summer, as moisture and debris can lead to mold, mildew, and damage to your winter cover. This is also an excellent time to evaluate if your current pool cover is the best option for your needs; you might be surprised how many types of covers are available.

  • 2. Check the pool water color: Look at the water once the cover has been removed. What color is it? The answer to this question can help you determine if you will be able to swim within a few days or in a few weeks. The water color will reflect the quality of the pool closing.

    When the pool is closed and correctly winterized in the fall, and reopened before the temperature is consistently in the 70s each day, you should expect the pool water to be relatively clear. If you uncover the pool and see green or black water, it may be a couple of weeks (and a Green-to-Clean service) before your pool is swim-ready.

  • 3. Assess which type of chemicals to use: Start by reading your pool’s chemical levels. Not sure where to start? The most important readings are chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness. If you have a saltwater pool, check the salt ppm (parts per million) level, too.

    With these baseline readings, you can then adjust chemicals as needed to make sure your water is safe and clean. Handle pool chemicals cautiously, as many can lead to problems when they come into contact with your skin or grass.

  • 4. Check your pump and filter: Chemicals are essential to your pool’s safety, but if your filter and pump aren’t working, they won’t be circulated like they need to be. Pumps are designed to run, so being off for extended periods, such as the winter season, can cause damage to your system, which is why it is so important to winterize your pump properly.

    Opening your pool for the season is an excellent time to evaluate how long it’s been since certain pump elements have been updated. An average pool pump will last about 8 to 12 years, depending on factors such as usage and maintenance. If you have a sand filter, the sand should be replaced every five years. Sometimes the most troubling issues around your pool pump aren’t inside of it. Look for visible leaks or wiring issues that could cause safety problems, such as loose ground wires. Insects and other pests may call your pool pump their winter home, so clear out any nests before running your pump to avoid clogs and mechanical malfunctions.

  • 5. Perform a poolside safety check: Proper chemical levels and a working filter can keep you and your family safe in the water, but what about the surrounding area? If you’ve closed your pool for the winter, you probably took out the ladder if your pool doesn’t have steps. Make sure the ladders are firmly reinstalled before letting anyone swim to avoid accidents. If your pool has a slide or diving board, tighten any bolts that could have loosened during the winter; the minutes you take to check your poolside fixtures could help prevent injury.

The Easiest Way to Open Your Pool? Hire Us

There are plenty of variables and things to keep in mind when it comes to pool openings. This easy-to-follow list will help make sure you don’t forget any of the most essential tasks. Contacting your local America’s Swimming Pool Company is even easier than following this list. Our team can handle everything from cleaning and removing your cover to checking your water chemistry levels. Don’t wait until you want to swim; schedule your pool opening and inspection now. Request your service online or call (866) 253-0455 today.