Now that the warm weather is starting to wash across Ontario more consistently, it’s time to turn your attention to pulling that tarp off your pool and opening it up again.
Yes, those perfect, lazy summer days when all that’s on your mind is a mellow and refreshing dip are on their way, but before you can dive right in, there’s a little more work to be done.
The right time to open your pool
It seems that every year we get a sneak preview of spring and summer before a few more storms drop some flurries or icy cold rain on the landscape. During those times of false hope, many homeowners simply can’t wait and wonder if it’s okay to open their pools.
There’s no concrete answer to this question, as it depends entirely on the region in which you live before you can know for sure if swimming season is here to stay. Here in Oakville, real summer weather generally doesn’t start until mid-May or so, and even then it might be a bit too soon to see the surface of your pool – maybe wait until the end of May or beginning of June, just in case Mother Nature has a few more blasts of cold in store.
How to open up the pool properly and what to look for once the tarp is off
Once summer is in full swing and you’re ready to start swimming, it might be tempting to remove the tarp and jump right in, but there are some steps you need to take before you’ll be able to test the waters for the first time. Note that there are some differences in this process between above ground and in-ground pools.
First, you’ll want to remove any water and debris from the cover before you store it – and when you do store it, inspect it for rips and tears and make sure it’s in a clean and dry place. Don’t let any debris fall in the pool when you take it off, either.
You’ll want to take out any winter plugs and start filling up the pool with fresh water. In above ground pools make sure you inspect the skimmer for any cracks or leaks.
Next, you’ll need to put any equipment you took out for the winter back in, making sure there are no cracks on the basket strainers, then start the pump and filter system. Clear the pool floor of any debris, then add a clarifier and start the filtration system to filter and circulate the water. Brush the walls using a wall brash and vacuum the pool thoroughly.
“Shock” the pool by adding the right amount of chlorine, based on the instructions of your water-treatment products. Once that’s done, using your test kit, chlorine tablets or chlorine-salt generator, test the water and water chemistry of your pool. Next comes the stabilizer: dissolve that in hot water and add the recommended dosage. This will vary depending on the size of your pool. Then kill any algae and make sure it doesn’t come back by using a good algaecide.
Finally, re-install any equipment that was taken out for winter, like ladders or steps for above ground pools and diving boards and slides for in-ground pools.
Opening up your pool after winter is a lot of work, but it’s worth it for those scorching summer days, so follow these steps and dive right back in for another season of swimming.