March is here and lets hope the worst of winter is behend us! Freezing cold temperatures, shrilling windswet snow Well, that's all behind us now and we can try and flip the coin and be rewarded with a great spring, with the hopes of a long hot summer.
If you own a pool, you can look forward to clear sunny days, with no wind with the sun and heat just enticing you to jump in and cooling off. Personally I love the days where I have no commitments, when maybe some friends or family planning to pop over, bbq is fired up and the pool is all vacuumed, cleaned and ready for action. Other times, I enjoy those lazy days, when I’ve just finished cutting the lawn and I throw on some tunes and enjoy just laying by the pool with a nice cold beverage :)
Either way, first things first....have to get the pool opened up, water circulating, water treated and balanced and finally vacuumed and backwashed. If you’re planning to do this yourself here's a few steps listed in order. Following these steps will make things happen quicker with things going a little smoother.
First, clean cover. In most cases it's easier to clean the cover right on the pool. We recommend using the IPG cover cleaning solution to get the cover thoroughly clean. Once this is done, fold the cover dragging it to one end by having one person on each side. Pull it about 6 feet onto the deck and then go back about 12 feet dragging it over what you just pulled up. Continue to drag 6 foot portions on top of each other. This often is called an accordion style. Once the whole cover is on the deck roll it like rolling a tent, nice and tight and as even as possible. Stand the cover to the side and allow the water drain and the cover to dry. We often leave the cover for a day or two to completely drain. Once it is dry, store somewhere free of rodents. We recommend hanging the cover or elevate it in a garage or shed. This will eliminate any possibility of mice burrowing holes into it.
Once the cover is off, install all the related plugs into the pump, filter, heater and any related equipment. Remove any foam rope, gizmos or plugs from the skimmer and returns lines. Thread in the return eye balls, try and direct them all pointing down and to the right. It's important that you direct the flow of water to circulate in a circular motion around the pool and that the jets aren't pointing and fighting each other. Once this has been done you are ready to fire up the system. Prime the pump and get things rolling.
With the system now running, use a wall brush and brush the walls and floor of the entire pool. Try and brush every square inch as this will suspend all the debris. Now you want to add the IPG opening kit and once the sun goes down that evening, add a double or even a triple shock. Depending on the water’s condition and the size of your pool, this amount may vary. Please call or come into the store for more direction. It is imperative you do not vacuum at this point, allow the pool to filter and backwash 24 hours later. Test the chlorine level, If the chlorine has dropped back down and the pool has not cleared, add another double dose and brusher up again. Once the water has cleared, all the debris will settle to the bottom. What may have once been green, should be brown and your now clear to vacuum. Always vacuum after all has settled. Never put in the auto cleaner if the pool is still green or cloudy. You always want to vacuum up dead brown debris. If it's still green, that's a sign of living algae or bacteria that needs to be killed prior to vacuuming. After vacuuming, give the system a good backwash and you’re good to go.
2 or 3 days after the pool has been shocked is the perfect time to bring in a water sample to your favorite pool store (Aqua-Blue Pools of course). This is where we analyze the water so it can be balanced. This is very important as with every pool .....chlorine, bromine or salt, it is crucial to add all the balancing chemicals. With water there are many properties and variables such as alkalinity, ph, calcium, copper, iron and many more. When these are in a balanced state, the water is easier to sanitize and is actually cheaper to maintain because the sanitizer works more efficiently. It also keeps the water safe for the family lessening the chance of algae or bacteria to form. This we can go over in more detail in future articles. For best results throughout the summer it is suggested to test and balance the pool water once a month.