Many areas of the country remain in a deep freeze and are still digging out of recent snowfalls. You may be asking yourself, “why would I be thinking about opening the pool now?” This is especially true if the snow is still falling and if the temperatures are in the single digits with windchills.
We get it. BUT if you talk with your swimming pool contractor and you coordinate a date for a spring pool opening — you will get a jump on the season. If you have your pool opened in the spring you may not be able to swim right away, but you will be ahead of the game when summer does come around.
Why You Should Consider A Spring Pool Opening
Compared to winter, spring is warmer than that. Summer is warmer and than spring, for the most part, right? If you have a swimming pool heater and depending on where you live you may even be able to use the pool once it’s been opened for the spring. Weather is so changeable that it could be sultry in the spring and if that happens, you certainly don’t want to miss out on any swim time.
Here are some advantages to a spring swimming pool opening that you may want to talk with your pool contractor about.
- Beat the summer rush. Once that first full week, or even full couple of days of summer-like weather hit, your pool contractor’s schedule will fill so quickly that you may be left waiting a week or more to get your pool open. You may spend more money to have your pool cleaned and maintained if you have a spring pool opening, and that is something you will need to determine if it’s worth it in terms of having a pool that is ready for use.
- When the pool is open, you may not be faced with algae. Even if your pool contractor put an algaecide into the pool water when he winterized it, there is still the potential for dormant algae to be woken up when warm sun beats down on the pool cover and heats the water beneath. If this happens and if the pool pump and filter aren’t running you run the risk of algae growth. You don’t want to have your pool contractor open the pool thinking it will be routine only to find that it’s full of algae.
- You might save money on overall pool maintenance for your pool cleaning contract. If your pool contractor opens the pool in the spring and if you sign up for a contract you may get an off-season special. It’s something to think about and something to ask your pool contractor about.
- Your pool season will be longer. Once the pool has been opened, you won’t have to wait to get on an opening schedule you can just jump in! You may have a pool season that could be a month or even two or three months longer than in the past when you had a summer pool opening.
What will your pool contractor do to open the pool?
- The pool cover will be cleaned off. Dirt, debris and standing water will be removed before the cover is taken off. Your pool contractor won’t want any of that to fall into the pool water. He will use a submersible pool cover pump to remove standing water. The cover will be cleaned, left out to dry then stored for the summer. You may want to take on the pool cover cleaning yourself as a way to save money. Don’t pack it away until you’re sure it’s dry. Mold and mildew can damage the integrity of the pool cover.
- The winter plugs will be removed. Your pool contractor will remove all the winter plugs and replace them with the regular drain plugs. There are winter plugs in the return jets, the bottom of the skimmer buckets, and the step jets. The ice compensator will be removed from the skimmer bucket and the regular skimmer basket will be replaced for the summer swim season.
- Deck items will be reinstalled. If your pool ladder and diving board or step rails were removed for the winter, they will be cleaned off, lubricated and put back in place.
- The pool water will be skimmed on both the surface and the bottom of the pool before it is brushed. Your pool contractor will want to assure no large items get sucked into the vacuum that could damage the hose.
- Once the pool has been skimmed. Your pool contractor will thoroughly brush the walls and floor. After that’s done he will vacuum the pool.
- The pool will be refilled to the proper levels.
- Your pool contractor will inspect the pool plumbing and equipment to assure it survived the winter without any cracks or leaks. He will check the pump housing and o-rings and replace them if necessary.
- The pump and filter will be turned on and tested. Once they’re running properly and the pool has been vacuumed, chemicals will be added and your pool contractor will likely leave and advise you to run the pool pump and filter for 24-48 hours.
- The water chemistry will be tested. The pool water may need to be shocked — in fact your pool contractor may recommend doing that as part of the pool opening process. After the pool has been closed, it may be best to just “start from scratch” with pool water that has been super-chlorinated. Once that’s done, the water will continue to be tested and chemicals added until the water chemistry is properly balanced.
At this point your swimming pool is ready for you to use (as long as the water is warm enough for swimming). If you’re planning a spring pool opening, you may also want to plan on having a swimming pool heater installed; if the pool’s open you may just want to use it, right?