How to Open and Close an Outdoor Pool
If you have never opened or closed your outdoor pool before, and you are in any doubt as to your ability to do so, you would be better off calling your local pool center to do the job for you. However, if you are somewhat familiar with pool care and are willing to undertake the work yourself, the following guidelines should be provide adequate information to help you along the way.
First, we will begin with opening your outdoor pool. Begin by removing any surface water and debris from the winter cover before taking it off. Clean and dry the cover before storing it. Using a leaf net, remove as much rubbish and debris from the pool as possible and clean any tide marks on the pool walls. Use a mix of sulfuric acid and water and a wire brush to scrub the marks off of the wall. Next, make sure all electrical connections are free from dampness. You may need to call an electrician if you are unsure about what you are doing. Open any valves beneath the water line, which may have been closed when winterizing. Check that there are no obstructions to drains, outlets and the pump strainer.
Now you are ready to fill the pool. Top off the water level so that it can be drawn in through the skimmers. Next, turn on the pump and check that the filter, skimmers, and drains are all working. Do not be too concerned if the water from the circulation is
discolored initially. Run the filter for several hours and vacuum out any remaining debris as necessary. Backwash the filter and top up with fresh water.
Next, you are ready to add the chemicals. Check the ph level and get it as near as possible to 7.4. Super chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine to kill any algae that may be present. If you are going to use unstabilised chlorine such as calcium hypochlorite, add stabilizer or cyanuric acid to prevent loss of chlorine to sunlight. Last but not least, add a long-life algaecide to keep the green away.
Now that the warm weather has passed, it is time to winterize your pool. First, thoroughly backwash the filter and clean the strainer. Check the ph level and get it as close to 7.4 as possible. Super chlorinate with unstabilised chlorine to kill any algae that may be present. Add a proprietary winterizing fluid such as Winterclear, Winterclean, or Wintertop in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. These are designed to inhibit algae growth and minimize the risk of mineral staining. Turn on the circulation long enough to mix the solution throughout the pool.
Now lower the water level so that it is below the skimmers. This allows pressure to be applied against the pool walls as the frozen ground attempts to push inward during the winter. Drain water from the filter, pump, heater and pipe work. Leave valves above water level open. Those below the water level should be closed and protected against frost damage. Remove ladders, diving boards, and summer covers and store them away from extremes of temperature.
Finally, switch off the electrical supply. Float one or two weighted and sealed polythene bottles, perhaps used chemical containers, on the pool surface to absorb the expansion of ice. Cover the pool with a heavy-duty pool cover. You may want to check
the appearance of the water during winter, especially as spring approaches or if the winter is mild.
We have discussed everything you need to open and close an outdoor swimming pool. You now possess the knowledge to maintain an outdoor pool throughout the year. Both winterizing and opening a pool can be tricky at times, but once you get the hang of it you will do everything from memory. Good luck with your pool maintenance.