FINALLY our favourite time of the year in Canada is back – POOL SEASON!
Here are some helpful reminders on how to “prep” your pool for opening.

1. Drain the water and remove any debris off the top of your pool cover.
Instructions will varydepending on whether you have a flexible solid winter cover with water bags or a Safety Cover that allows the water to drain into your pool.
On pools with safety covers you may have to monitor the water level so that Spring rains don’t overfill the pool. Drain it back a bit if it has reached the top of the liner, but not too much since you can use this high water to clean your pool later.
On the solid covers drain as much water off the top as you can using a small utility or cover pump.  Remove all the debris and leaves off the cover before attempting removal so it does not fall back into your pool. If there is debris in the pool, place your pump near the steps of the pool in a place where the pump suction will not become blocked. Pump the water to a location approved by your local municipal bylaws.

2. Remove the pool cover and clean it for storage
Remove the cover from your pool.  Best done with two people.  Don’t worry if you get a bit of debris in the pool as you can vacuum it out later. Clean the cover by laying it flat on the driveway or lawn, brush off the remaining debris, cleaning it on both sides with Gib-San Cover Care (available in our store). Finally, hose it off and let dry before storing.  Please drop in the store and let’s discuss this and the full line of our Gib-San Pool Products to make your opening as easy as it can be!

3. Inspect the Filter and Pump for worn parts and reconnect your pool equipment
Before you start up your equipment ensure all the lines are open and the pump and filter baskets are in good condition and free of dirt and leaves. Follow your manufacturers’ guidelines for equipment start up. Important:Ensure you flush any antifreeze to waste BEFORE removing the skimmer and return line plugs if you have a Sand Filter. If you didn’t do it in the fall, clean your cartridge filter or sand filter with Gib-San Filter Cleaner.  Cleaning your sand filter every two to three years ensures you remove the oils and minerals which can adhere to your sand and degrade the sand’s ability to properly filter the pool water.

4. Reconnect your pool equipment, remove winter plugs and re-attach drain plugs.
Reconnect your filter, pump, heater etc. if plumbing was removed or loosened in the fall.  Tighten or reinsert pump and heater drain plugs. Remove your skimmer and return line winter plugs and install the return-line eye-ball plugs.

5. Turn your equipment back on
Prime your pump by adding water into the open basket, quickly closing it, and start the pump. If there is an air relief valve on your filter be sure to open it to bleed the air out.

6. Cleaning your pool
If you have a solid flexible winter cover, your water should be quite clean when you open it.  The water level will need to be raised to mid-skimmer opening level if for winterizing it was lowered below the returns.
If you have a safety cover that allows the water to drain into the pool, your water will be high and there will most likely be a layer of silt on the pool bottom. ideally you want to remove this silt with minimal disturbance and by pumping it direct to drain rather than through your filter.  Use your manual pole cleaner head and do it quickly so you don’t over-drain the pool in the process.  You will be amazed how clear the water will become after the silt is removed and it is allowed to sit for a day.

7. Once the initial cleaning is done
Circulate the pool for two or three days, vacuum as required and then bring a water sample in for analysis.  If you have a cartridge filter it is handy to use an old set of cartridge filters for the early-filtration stage to avoid plugging up your main filters.

Have some stories to share about your pool opening experiences?  Email retail@gsplc.ca and we will relate it in another blog post for all to benefit from!

Have a great pool season!! Remember you can extend it with a pool heater!