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Pool Tip #14-16: Pool Opening Checklist

  • Step 1 – Before you take the winter or safety pool cover off of your swimming pool, make sure that all leaves, debris, and excess water have been removed. For solid pool covers, be sure that all of the water is removed to prevent tearing the pool cover material. Do not set an automatic pump on a pool cover as this could tear a seam. Once this is done, you are ready to fill the pool to a level that is even with the skimmer and return line.
  • Step 2 - Checking your swimming pool’s equipment before use is imperative. Debris such as dried sand, twigs, or leaves should be flushed out of your pool equipment. Be sure to check skimmer baskets, pumps and filters, and the main drain and inlets. Even if you cleaned all equipment before you closed your pool last season, recheck to be sure you did not miss anything.
  • Step 3 – Once your equipment is clean, it is time to test your water. Before you take a pool water sample, let your pool equipment run for a 24 hours. After letting it run, use a pool water testing strip to find out where your chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels are at. Be sure to test at least one foot below the water’s surface. Your pH and sanitizer levels should be as follows:
    • Free Chlorine: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm
    • pH: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm
    • Total Alkalinity: 80 – 150 ppm
    • Calcium Hardness: 125 – 300 ppm