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Opening your pool in Spring

Opening your pool in Spring

There is no set way to open a swimming pool for the season, different people do it in different ways but here is our way of opening a pool.

The first thing to do it to take the winter cover off , let it dry out fully and pack it away when it is dry.

If the water level has dropped below the skimmer then top it up until the level is half way up the skimmer. If the water level is correct put your skimmer baskets back in and then re-connect the pipework that you disconnected last year. It is a good idea to smear a bit of vaseline on any rubber O rings. Set the multi port valve on your swimming pool filter to 'recirculate' and prime your swimming pool pump and get the water circulating. If you have a bypass on your swimming pool heater then let the flow by pass it for now. Once your system is full of water your should backwash your filter for a good 5 minutes.

Blow the dust off your test kit and test the water for pH level. If the level is between 7.0 and 7.6 then that is OK for now. If it is higher or lower then add Soda Ash or Dry Acid to get it to the correct level. Try to aim for about 7.2.

What to do next depends on whether you can see the bottom of the pool at the deep end or not. If you were a good person and put winterising chemicals in last year and kept an eye on the pool as the weather warmed up then read on. If you cant see the bottom of your pool then jump over the next section.

So you can see the bottom of your pool.


While you are waiting for the pH to get to the right level you start getting any leaves up from the bottom of the pool. Use your deep leaf net to get as many as you can up and then when there is not too many left you can get your automatic pool cleaner going if you have one. If you don’t have an auto cleaner then put your vacuum head on your telescopic pole and connect the vacuum hose up. Switch off the valve from the sump to give the vacuum maximum suck and vacuum up the rest of the leaves and debris. You must set the multiport valve to either 'filter' or 'waste' when you vacuum. Set it to waste if there is a lot or rubbish on the bottom otherwise filter will do. Keep checking the strainer basket of your pump and empty it if it fills up.

Once you have got the bottom somewhere near clean and you have the pH right you can set the multiport valve on your swimming pool filter to 'filter' and add some shock chlorine. Even if you are planning to use non-chlorine alternatives, still use chlorine shock his time. Adding shock will make the water go cloudy so now is the time to add clarifier. We think the best clarifier is Perfectly Clear natural clarier.

Over the next few days keep an eye on your swimming pool filter and backwash when necessary. Check the pH and chlorine level after a day or so. If you had a lot of algae in the pool it may have used up all the chlorine you put in so add more if you have to.

Once the chlorine is down to a reasonable level you can put your solar cover on and take the bypass off your heater and start heating the water and your are on your way to another season of swimming.

So you cant see the bottom of your pool!

This is when the pool dealer sucks his teeth and shakes his head at you. Don’t worry every pool owner has at some stage had a pool so green he can’t see the bottom. You have to decide whether it is so bad that you will dump the whole lot and refill or persevere and get the water in there clean. If you go for dump and refill then when it is full just add a small shock dose and away you go.

If you decide to persevere then the first thing to do is kill everything in the pool. Add a big shock dose of chlorine and come back tomorrow.

After a day the pool should have gone from green to grey. You have two ways of clearing the water to see the bottom, the quick way and the slow way.

The quick way.

The quick way is to add granular floc. Follow the dosage on the tub and let it circulate for half a day then switch the pump off. After a day or two the water will clear and it will look like it has snowed in your pool. The bottom will be coated in a layer of white dust. Top the water level up as high as you can and get your vacuum out. Switch your swimming pool pump back on and set the multiport valve to waste and vacuum up all the 'snow'. You have to work quickly enough to not let the water level go below your skimmer but not to fast that you disperse all the 'snow'. Top the level back up to half way up your skimmer if it went below. Your water is still probably grey in colour with tiny flecks in it. You just have to wait for the water to clarify. You should add some liquid clarifier or floc tabs and back wash the filter regularly. Eventually the water will clear. Even though this is the quick way it still takes at least a week.


The slow way.

The slow way is to let your swimming pool filter do all the work. There is an example, with photos, of this method in our 'Green to Clean' article in this help section.

Set the multiport valve to 'filter' and keep adding Perfectly Clear or floc tabs and backwashing every two days. It may take up to 6 or 7 two day cycles for the water to start looking clear. It could take over two weeks using this method to get the water clear. As soon as you can see the bottom of the pool you should get any leaves up with the leaf net and once most of them are up you can get your automatic cleaner going if you have one. If you don’t have an auto cleaner then put your vacuum head on your telescopic pole and connect the vacuum hose up. Switch off the valve from the sump to give the vacuum maximum suck and vacuum up the rest of the leaves and debris. You must set the multiport valve to either 'filter' or 'waste' when you vacuum. Set it to waste if there is a lot or rubbish on the bottom otherwise filter will do. Keep checking the strainer basket of your pump and empty it if it fills up.

Check the pH and chlorine level after a day or so. If you had a lot of algae in the pool it may have used up all the chlorine you put in so add more if you have to.

Once the chlorine is down to a reasonable level you can put your solar cover on and take the bypass off your heater and start heating the water and your are on your way to another season of swimming.

Products needed for Spring Opening

Chlorine Shock Perfectly Clear Clarifier Granular Floc Sand fliter cleaner