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Susquehanna Life

Swimming Pools Rule!

Apr 06, 2016 10:31AM ● By Erica Shames
These step-by-step instructions, provided by Clearwater Pools and Spas, are designed to help you open your pool for the summer. 

1. Drain the pool cover
Use a submersible pump, or if you have an above ground pool, you can use a simple siphon.

2. Remove the pool cover
A little water and debris will fall into the pool from the cover, and this is OK. You will be shocking and vacuuming the pool, so a small amount of water and debris won’t hurt anything.

3. Clean and store the pool cover
After removing the pool cover, lay it out and brush away the remaining debris. Once the cover has dried, sprinkle both sides with talcum powder to prevent mold and mildew buildup. Fold the cover up loosely and store in a cool, dry place.

4.  Raise the water level back to normal
Use a hose to fill the water level in your pool back to its normal level, typically about the middle of the skimmer opening or halfway up the tile.

5. Reconnect your pool equipment 
If you prepared your pool for freezing temperatures over the winter, you will want to reconnect all the equipment that was disconnected. This includes reconnecting your filter, pump, heater, and anything else.

6. Remove winter plugs and reattach drain plugs
Make sure to take out all the winterizing plugs from your pump, filter, heater, booster pump, pool cleaners, and everything else with a drain plug, and replace them with their normal drain plug.

7. Clear antifreeze from drain lines
If you used pool antifreeze to protect your plumbing during the winter, you will want to discharge it to waste.

8. Remove winterizing plugs from skimmer and return lines
Make sure to wait until after the antifreeze has been discharged to waste before removing the winterizing plugs from your skimmer and return lines.

9. Start turning your equipment back on
At this point, you will want to start turning most of your pool equipment back on. This includes priming the pump and turning on the circulation and filtration system. If you have an air relief valve on your filter, make sure to open it to bleed the air from the system.

10. Add Metal Free to prevent staining
After a long winter offseason, metals like copper and iron may have built up in your pool. In order to prevent these metals from causing stains or discoloration in your pool, add 1 liter of Metal Free for every 20,000 gallons of water. After adding, allow the circulation and filtration systems to run for at least 2 hours.

11. Test your pool chemistry
Once the circulation system has run for several hours, you will want to test your pool water for pH, Total Alkalinity, and chlorine levels using a good test kit. Ideal levels for these chemicals should be:
pH – 7.4 to 7.6
Total Alkalinity – 80 to 120 ppm
Chlorine – 2.0 to 4.0 ppm

12. Adjust your pool chemistry, starting with the Total Alkalinity
It is now time to begin adjusting your pool chemistry to safe, comfortable swimming levels. By starting with adjusting the Total Alkalinity, you will easily be able to control the pH and chlorine levels in your water.

13. Adjust your pool chemistry, starting with the Total Alkalinity
Once the Total Alkalinity is within its proper range, between 80-120 ppm, you can now easily adjust the pH balance in your pool. Bringing the Total Alkalinity back to the normal range should have pushed the pH level close to normal as well, but if the pH is not between 7.4 and 7.6, not to worry.

14. Test and adjust the Calcium Hardness if necessary
Your pool’s calcium hardness level should always be above 150 ppm. 

15. Brush and vacuum the pool
After your pool chemistry has been adjusted, there will still be some remaining dirt and debris from the winter. Now is the time to thoroughly brush and vacuum your pool, giving special attention to areas near pool steps, ladders, or other equipment.

16. Run the circulation and filtration systems overnight
This will allow all the dirt, debris, algae, and bacteria still floating in your pool after brushing and vacuuming to be filtered out.

17. Shock the pool
Shocking the pool will eliminate nearly all of the remaining bacteria and contaminants in your water after the winter offseason. 

18. Bring a sample of your pool water to Clearwater Pools and Spas for testing
Bring in an 8 ounce sample to ensure your pool is ready for swimming!

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