Section 1: Introduction
Smith Mountain Lake, VA is gorgeous everywhere you look this time of year! The days are getting warmer and even with the current economic challenges, the promise of summer cannot be dimmed! Many of us are looking forward to being outdoors again….fishing, boating, hiking and swimming. If you are fortunate enough to have a pool, you will want to get your pool ready for summer.
Opening your swimming pool for summer should not be stressful, considering it’s an event anticipated by the whole family. However it does need to be done correctly. Assuming you made proper winter preparations such as covering the pool and protecting the pump, this guide should get you through the process of getting your swimming pool ready for some fun at Smith Mountain Lake this summer.
Section 2: Basics
The majority of pool owners understand that opening a swimming pool for the summer requires more than filling it and jumping in. Larry Biscornet, the president of LBI, emphasizes the importance of opening the pool correctly, both for the health of the pool and swimmers. He says if it is prepared correctly, you can be sure it’s safe and enjoy it without worry.
Don’t empty your pool during preparation
Most homeowners start preparing the pool for summer by emptying it. However, this should not be the case even if you live in extremely cold areas. Emptying your pool should only be necessary if you have to do some structural work or if it was not covered during the winter. You should avoid emptying the pool if possible because an empty pool with a high water table tends to lift off the ground when there is no water holding it down. Most owners are not aware of this risk. Once a pool is completely emptied of water, there is a chance that it might pop out of the ground, causing a lot of work and expense.
Section 3: Techniques/ Tips to improve the Process
The whole process of getting your pool ready for summer can be a bit complicated, especially for first timers. There are many steps involved, and if you don’t understand something, it would be best to consult an expert.
With an expert by your side, it becomes much easier to open your pool up for the summer and to be certain you have all the details covered. To obtain the best results you will want to take care of the following Checklist:
- Remove Winter Debris
- Remove the pool cover
- Check the water level/Add water
- General Safety check
- Test the pump, filter and skimmer basket
- Get a water sample test
- Test pH and sanitizer chemicals levels
- Check Inventory
Section 4: Correcting common problems
Many pool owners may neglect important details when opening their pool for the summer. Here is a basic checklist to be sure your pool is properly ready for the family to enjoy.
Step 1- Remove winter debris and leaves
Winter residue leaves, dirt, and general weather debris around the pool; it is a common scene. Before you go ahead to remove the cover, make sure you blow leaves or debris off the pool cover. Also, make sure you clear the deck or patio of any leaves or debris. If there is water sitting on the cover, use a pump to remove the standing water as it causes trouble if it gets in the pool.
Step 2- Remove the pool cover
The next step should be removing the pool cover and drying it before storing it for future use. Spread it out in your backyard and spray it with a high-pressure hose to clean it. Leave the cover out in the open to dry after you clean it before storing it. Find a cool room to store it to avoid binding during storage.
Step 3- Check the water level
Your main focus here should be determining the skimmer water level. Make sure the water is in the middle of the skimmer opening to ensure your pump will function properly.
Step 4- General Safety check
Pool owners only concentrate on whether the pool is safe and operational and forget about the handrails, diving boards, and slides. Take time to check for any loose bolts and anything that could cause potential harm.
Step 5- Clean and prepare the pump
For the best results, you should make sure all equipment is clean and in the best working condition. Your main focus should be on the pump, hoses, and filters. To be sure they are in the best shape, make sure you consider the manufacturer’s guideline to try the circulation system for 8 to 12 hours to be sure it’s fully functional.
Step 6- Check the pH levels
Once you are certain the circulation system is fully functional, it’s now time to check the pH level, the alkalinity of the pool, and so forth. Make sure you test water 18 inches below the surface to get accurate results. Based on the results, you should use chemicals accordingly to balance the water.
Step 7- Obtain inventory of supplies and safety kits
This should be the final step, and you should check whether you have the needed safety items related to the pool. Check whether you have a fully stocked first aid kit within reach. If not, make sure you buy one before anyone swims, for safety reasons.
Section 6: Tools you can use
Pool opening can be strenuous exercise, but having the right tools at hand can make the process a lot easier. We prepared a list of tools you need for pool opening.
- Shock powder
- Stain remover
- Pool brush
- Garden hose
- Teflon lube & tape
- Skimmer net& leaf rake
- Algae brush
- Manual vacuum
- Telescoping pole
- Water test strips
Section 7: Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prepare my above ground pool for summer?
Preparing an above ground pool ground is simple as all you require to do is remove the cover and check the pool’s chemistry. Such pools are less likely to have winter leaves among other contamination.
How do you get a pool ready for swimming?
To get pool water ready for swimming, you should check the water’s pH and alkalinity. If there is a problem, add appropriate chemicals to correct the situation to have the pool water ready for swimming.
How much shock powder do I need to open my pool?
The amount of shock required to open a pool depends on the condition of the water. 4 lbs of pool shock should be enough to open any pool.
How do you open an above ground pool for the first time?
Above-ground pools are difficult to open and we highly recommend you hire an expert to help you out.
If the above information is confusing or unclear, simply consult an expert. The experts should help you step by step to make sure you obtain the desired results. Remember not to prepare your pool to early. Begin the process at the onset of summer and not before, to avoid re-contamination.
The above steps and checklists should enable you to get your pool running for a full summer season of fun. Perform regular maintenance and cleaning and your pool will provide endless hours of enjoyment!