Here we are, nearly at the start of a new swimming season, and it's time to re-open your pool. No need to panic, we will explain step by step the various stages involved in getting your watter back into shape!
Good to know: the water must be below 12°C, or 15°C for salt chlorination.
Did you completely turn off the water filtration system and stop all other pool maintenance this winter? No doubt about it, this means you opted for passive wintering. To start it up again, it's really quite simple...
Begin by removing the winter cover, and avoid pouring stagnant water and debris into the pool as you do so. It's easier if there are two of you! Make sure you let it dry out completely before folding it up. Otherwise, you will be treated to some nice mould next autumn... Then, remove the other anti-ice equipment if you used any. Take out the wintering floats (the rectangular buoys floating in the pool, used to prevent ice damage). Detach the wintering caps with butterfly screws from the return fittings. Lastly, remove the skimmer plugs (plastic tubes placed in the skimmers to protect them from ice).
Leaves, dust, algae: it wouldn't be the first time this sort of debris was found in a pool! With a net, scoop out all debris that is too big to go through the filtration system. Also empty out and rinse your skimmer strainers, as these are likely to be very clogged up. Lastly, clean the coping and the pool surround.
Start by topping up the pool so the water sits 3/4 of the way up the skimmers. Before starting up the filtration and pump, you will need to clean out the filtration system. If you have a cartridge filter, check if it is clean, and rinse it if necessary. For a sand filter, you must clean it and switch the valve to the filtration position before starting it up. Lastly, make sure the pipes are full of water before you start the system, and remember to monitor the pressure gauge over the next few days; if the pressure is higher than usual this gives an indication of the degree of build-up and whether a backwash is necessary.
Analyse your water as usual and monitor the pH, knowing that it will tend to increase in the first few days. If the water seems very dirty, you can do a shock treatment.
Vacuum brush then automatic pool cleaner: these are the perfect tools to help you achieve an impeccable pool basin. Also consider scrubbing the waterline and the steps by hand as the finishing touch!
Good news! If you left your pool equipment ticking over during the winter, the process of re-opening the pool will be very quick.
If the pH of the water is not between 7 and 7.4, correct it. When it is too acidic, it may be necessary to change your water.
Walls, floor and waterline: nothing must be forgotten! Use the net, your sweeper brush and your pool cleaner.
Initially, let the filtration run continuously (24h, 48h or more) until you obtain clean water. Remind yourself that the number of hours of filtration required in summer is an easy calculation: divide the water temperature by two. For water at 16°C for example, set the filtration time to 8 hours.
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