Starting Up your pool After Winter
Starting up a swimming pool after Winter is quite simple. It does require some work and patience.
Follow these steps to get your pool ready for the hot weather...
- Remove the pool cover - Remove the leaves and debris from the pool cover with a leaf net and/or skimmer net. Remove cover. Try to minimize the amount of water and/or debris that gets into the pool water. Some dirty water will always manage to get in - don't worry about it. You will be adding shock to the water and filtering it soon, so a little dirty water will not hurt anyone! After removing the pool cover, lay it out and brush away the remaining debris. Once the cover has dried, sprinkle both sides with some Alkalinity Up or talcum powder to prevent mould and mildew buildup. Fold the cover loosely and store in a cool, dry place or if using a roller, ensure you use a protective overcover.
- Refill with water to correct level - Generally to around the centre of the skimmer opening is fine.
- Clean out any dirt and debris - Scoop out the leaves and clean both the skimmer and pump baskets.
- Super Chlorinate - 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. Shock the pool with any chlorine shock product. This is available in liquid or granular form. You want to add enough to raise the chlorine level of the pool to at least 3.0 ppm (darker yellow colour in most liquid test kits). If you use granular shock, do not throw it directly into the pool. You could bleach and stain the liner or pool surface. It is best to mix the granular shock chlorine in a bucket and then add that mixture into the skimmer while the system is running.
- Add algaecide - Add a good quality long life algaecide.
- Test the water - 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
- Clean the filter - Either backwash your sand filter or hose down the filter cartridge.
- Add Clarifier - Use a good quality clarifier to get that sparkle back into the water,
- Shock the Pool - Shocking the pool will eliminate nearly all the remaining bacteria and contaminants in your water after the winter offseason. Run your pool for a good 24 hours straight. Vacuum any debris out of the bottom. Retest water. Do not go into the pool until water is crystal clear and chlorine level is under 2.0 ppm (medium yellow colour on most test kits).
We have a great easy to use Summer Start-Up kit from Zodiac, which has all the products to get your pool ready for summer... Details here