One of the biggest chores in the pool owners diary is the spring opening. Most people will either employ a company to do this for them or put aside an afternoon on a warmer weekend to get this job out of the way. The realisation when you take off the winter cover and find the pea green water makes you realise that this is not going to be a quick job and your will need some chemical and a lot of elbow grease to get it to a swimmable state.
But fear not, we offer our top 7 tips to help you be prepared for the spring opening and a brilliant pool season.
1/ Enlist a friend or neighbour!
Although opening a swimming pool can be done by one man (or woman for that matter) it is definitely a lot quicker and easier with an extra pair of hands. A bribe such as dinner or a bottle of wine is always a good way to incentivise people!
2/ Open your pool early.
We mentioned this in our last blog but opening your pool early may seem counter-intuitive if you aren’t going to be using it for another month but in reality it will actually pay you dividends in the future as the cost or cleaning a heavy algae bloom in your pool will certainly cost more than running your pump for a few hours a day.
3/ Make sure you have all the equipment needed.
We’ve all done it, something breaks and needs replacing and you think to yourself “I’ll get that for next year”. Next year rolls round and guess what, you forgot! Make sure you have all the equipment (and chemicals) you need to keep your poo in tip-top condition.
- Telescopic Pole
- Vacuum head
- Vacuum hose
- Pool Brush
- Test kit or test strips
- Chlorine (stabilised and unstabilised)
- pH increaser and reducer
- Total Alkalinity
4/ Once the pool is open, keep it open.
Many people, once their pool is open and clear will switch off the pump to save on running costs. We highly recommend keeping your pump running as long as possible. Best would be to keep it on 24 hours a day. The electricity cost of running a typical pool pump 24hrs a day would be between 20p-30p a day. This cost will pay you back with a constant filtration of your pool water meaning you will have a better chance of a perfect pool whenever you need it.
5/ Brush up on your water chemistry
After a long winter you may have gotten a little rusty on your knowledge of pool chemistry. What’s the difference between stabilised chlorine and unstabilised chlorine? What pH is my pool supposed to be? Take a look at our pool school section of our website and brush up on your knowledge. You may even learn something new.
6/ Don’t be afraid of shocking your pool.
Many people only use shock to kill algae when it is visible. Instead try to shock your pool once a week (evenings are best) to oxidise combined chlorine and kill any invisible contaminants in your pool. Just remember to do this at a time when no one will be using the pool for at least 12 hours and test the level of your chlorine before entering. The pool water will be safe once levels get below 4ppm on your test strip or test kit.
7/ Clean your winter cover before storing it.
This might not be the nicest job in the world but cleaning your winter cover and letting it dry off before storing it will make life a lot easier for you when it comes to closing your pool at the end of the season. It will also stop any smells of moulding algae and bacteria in your garage or wherever you store the cover during the summer. It’s best to use a pressure washer or garden hose to rinse off the debris then leave it to dry on the lawn or patio for a day or two then carefully fold it up and store in a dry place.
From all of us at XL Pools we hope you have a fantastic pool season. If you need any help or advise, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.