Among the secrets to managing your swimming pool is to close your pool at the end of the season the right way and if you do, then it makes the job of opening it much easier and less expensive. Use this format when you decide it’s time to start. Using these proven techniques in the right sequence, you can open an Inground Pool fast, in as little as 2 days. How to open an Inground pool?
- Prepare for your Inground Pool opening while closing in the previous season.
- Keep equipment clean & protected in a secure dry place
- Use quality Pool Chemicals
- Brush & scrub before you super-chlorinate now & all season
- Bump the pH a little higher- 7.8
- Use a flocculant
- Wait overnight
- Vacuum debris to waste
Through the years there have been some good chemicals and products that have come up through the American Water Works Association after a while, some are sold to public consumers. One of them was an (early 80’s prototype) of today’s Home Water Filter used in every home and chemicals used in the Pool Industry like Copper or Polymer Flocculants used in polishers and Algae prevention that work fast and well. But nothing works quite as well as a good ole fashion hand-cleaning used in conjunction with these fine pool products. This may be a tiny bit different but I have used this sequence for more than 30 years on my huge Inground pool with great success. Pay attention to pH adjusting before adding Flocculants.
Pool Start-up Chemicals
- Cleaning up the Pool Area- Once the winter is over you need to peel back the cover over your swimming pool and take a peek. If you cleaned the area that is under the cover along with the pool, then you will have less to do. Any organic matter that was trapped underneath usually can stain concrete or the filtering system that was exposed to the elements. So if you read my post 10 Easy Steps to Winterizing an Inground Pool you’ll see we started off with Cleaning up the Pool Area. There is no magic in a bottle that substitutes keeping poolside along with the Filtering and any storage area that is exposed to the elements clean and manageable. This not only makes things easier but protects valuable equipment that keeps the Pool in tip-top shape and ready to go.
- Remove and Clean Cover- However, your cover is attached to the pool, you will need the same equipment that holds the cover on the pool at the end of this upcoming season. So if your pool uses water backs or straps keep everything together then clean the cover and equipment stretch it out and dry it best you can. Fold up the cover-up after it dries and store it properly in a Storage Box or Shed that you use at the Pool to store equipment and Chemicals.
- Re-assemble the Filtering system- Before the winter you hopefully blew out the pool lines to prevent freezing and drained the filter and heater. Add the baskets, plugs for the pump and pressure gauges. Attach the Backwash Hose back to the filter. Attach the Vacum. Power on the breakers and prime the pump through the vacuum.
- Clean the Inside of The Pool- Before adding any chemicals and vacuuming the Pool you will need to remove any organic and inorganic material that may have gotten the pool during the winter. The less material in the pool the better and faster the Pool will respond to the chemicals you add in the few days. Try and use a skimmer or leave a basket for as much material as possible. The more you physically remove the less amount you have to try to vacuum out of the inside of the Pool which will only be harder, longer and waste more energy. Organic material absorbs and wastes chemicals. Leaves and twigs inside the pool or debris on the pool walls and floor sucks up and waste chemicals. Get it Out!
- Re-circulate the Filtering System- Once the inside of the Pool is clean, turn the Filtering system on and set the filter to Recirculate.
- Add a quality Algaeside like In The Swim Swimming Pool Algaecide 60 Plus – 1/2 Gallon while adding more water to the pool, that was drained when you dropped the pool’s water level down in the Fall and put the cover on. There is a reason to use a quality Algaeside now and when you close your pool in the Fall. If you try and buy it at a discount you will just need more. With something like this product you will get a better result and won’t have to buy and waste more time. This Algaeside only takes around 16 oz. per 10,000 gallons. You won’t use all of it even if you are scrubbing and cleaning the floors and walls of the pool for the first time since last season. It’s not affected by pH and since your pool won’t be stabilized yet, well then it’s one thing left to worry about. Use your appropriate amount of Algaecide initially and save the rest for regular maintenance either once a week or every other week according to the manufacturer’s directions as a preventative before Algae blooms appear in your pool or if you mess up and need to start from scratch. Make sure to brush your pool’s walls and floors top and sides of the steps if there are some.
- Adjust pH and Superchlorinate- In order for the chlorine to work it’s best, the pH comes into play so adjust it accordingly 7.2-7.6 then add Superclorinate. Again try and get the best quality chemicals because if you try and save money and get a deal, you most probably got what was leftover from last year. Super chlorinate with a strong quality product. Check the back of the bag or container for the amount of Available Chlorine 70% is good and percent Sodium Hypochlorite aim for 70- 75% and also look for a fast-dissolving Shock that will dissolve before it has a chance to lay on the bottom of the pool. Broadcast the Shock Chlorine as you walk around the Pool and of coarse pay attention to Algae spots and the deep middle part of the pool. The Pool should be a cloudy white color.
- Adjust pH & Add a Flocculant-that is a quality chemical like this Floc Out Clarifier is a liquid flocculant that settles suspended particles by breaking the surface tension of the pool. Having these particles separate from the pool water and settle out on the bottom floor of your Pool. Allows it to be vacuumed into the filter or out to waste and working all while the Pool is circulating all night long. It works faster on the higher side of pH 7.4 7.8. You can bump it if you want to so that the Pool settles out more thoroughly at its optimum level. This is why I don’t adjust Alkalinity until afterward. Adjust the Ph a pinch and let the Flocculant work overnight. When you wake, your Pool will have a strange blue glow to it and all the particles of algae and anything else that was involved with the cloudy water will be settled out on the floor of the pool.
Balance Pool Water
- Vacuum the Pool- Now that the water clarity is maximum you’ll be able to see the settled out collection of floc and debris that you can vacuum directly off the bottom. You can take the biggest collection and vacuum the debris to waste then switch over to filter at your filtering system at continuing to vacuum the rest of the pool.
- Balance the Pool’s Water Chemistry- water chemistry dictates the health of the water in your pool. A proper pH level keeps makes the water comfortable and keeps it from losing it’s sanitizing capability. A person’s tears have a pH of about 7.5 pH. If the pH is to low it can bother a swimmer’s skin and eyes. If the pH is too high the water can destructive to the swimming pool. High pH creates cloudy water in your pool and more importantly if the pH is too high or low it will affect the chlorine from sanitizing capability. This the #1 reason that pH is tested throughout the week with the Chlorine residual. They are 2 test you need to run to keep your pool from turning green and becoming uncontrollable. Just like in most articles about keeping your Pool no matter what kind of pool you own, the most important test that you run at the beginning of the season is TA.
- Total Alkalinity or TA.-In swimming pool water or any kind of water Alkalinity is an important step in keeping stability and chemical working especially chlorine. Water contains ionic compounds that are Alkaline in nature. They act as a buffer for keeping the pH in your pool from slipping. Think of it as a muscle for pH. The stronger the muscle in the pH the less chance that it moves up or down leaving that ideal range in pH that is needed for the optimum level to keep your pool water sanitized properly
- Retest– Acceptable range for Total Alkalinity levels is between 90-140 ppm, however, the ideal range is between 100 to 120 ppm. You should check the total alkalinity levels once a week using a simple test kit. If your Total Alkalinity is outside of this range, then adjust the total alkalinity by adding sodium bicarbonate baking soda to raise it or sodium bisulfate dry acid o lower it. Be sure to replace the reagents in your test kit every season for the best results. Now that you adjusted Alkalinity wait about 4-6 hours and adjust the pH and chlorine along with-Total hardness in swimming pools is a measure of all the dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium. The recommended level for calcium hardness is 200 – 400 ppm and both high and low levels result in swimming pool problems.
How to Keep a Pool Clean Cheaply
All pool owners should have a maintenance plan where you can make time to put a few hours a week for the physical part of keeping swimming whether it’s an Inground or smaller Above ground Swimming Pool. Brush the inside area of the pool. This will allow the filter to pick up organic material that hides throughout an Inground Pool. Concrete, Plaster and Cement have crevices and dimples where material that can cloud your pool. Algae can hide in small places where they can colonize and develop. This affects Chlorine and pH then eventually the whole pool.
It’s very important that Scrubbing and Brushing be done at least once a week and part of that maintenance plan that you decide on. It will save you money over the course of the season. You can use what’s left of your Flocculant or a Clarifier to help any material to settle out to the bottom of the pool. This makes it easily accessible for vacuuming.
Pools are an investment for the future of your property so protect it and make it last and enjoyable without going broke. Like my old man used to say “there’s no substitute for hard work-it doesn’t come in a bottle or can” If you want your pool up and running in a few days, start at the end of the season. Use this sequence and with a little more work, testing and the proper use of chemicals not to mention the time to do it, you’ll have it up and running in a couple of days. It’s the fastest way!