How to open an inground fiberglass swimming pool
Opening your swimming pool this year on your own? Have no fear, it’s easier than it sounds! Follow these step-by-step instructions and you will be up and running in no time.
What you will need
- Pool cover pump or submersible pump
- Cover cleaner
- Start-up chemical kit
- Skimmer net and brush
What you will do
- Remove any water from on top of your winter cover with the pool cover pump or submersible pump. Using both yourself and your friend, grab 2 corners of the cover on the same side and start to walk it over to the other side of the pool. Careful not to let any debris fall in the water. If this happens, not to worry, you will just have to remove thisTIP: if removing the debris on the cover is becoming a hassle, remove all water off the cover and wait a day or 2 for it to dry, then blow the debris off with a leaf blower.
- Clean your winter cover using the ‘Natural Chemistry: Purge’ or ‘Natural Chemistry: Spray on Cover Cleaner’. You want to remove all of the chemical residue that will harm your cover if not removed right away. If you are using water bags to hold your cover, make sure to drain them completely and let them dry before storing them away for the summer. This will prevent mould and mildew from forming
TIP: Use a heavy duty plastic container with a snap-on lid to store away your safety cover. This will extend the life of your safety cover by preventing rodents or insects creating nests and eating it over the off season.
- Remove any plugs that are in your lines; return jets, waterfall lines, stair jets, etc. and remove the Gizzmo or skimmer plug. You may see bubbles coming out from the pipes when you remove the plugs, this just means the winterizing of the pool was done properly. Don’t forget to replace each plug with the proper jet and to put your skimmer basket back in its place. Do another walk around the pool and double check that all lines are completely open and ready to go, before moving on.
- Now, it’s time to re-install any deck equipment. This includes your; ladder, slide, step rails, and diving board. To prevent rusting throughout the Summer, grease up each bolt as you’re installing.
- Check the water level in the pool and if it’s needing to be filled, now’s the time to do so. Using your garden hose, fill the pool so that the water level reaches halfway up the skimmer opening.
- Pool equipment time. Replace the drain plugs and other parts, including your pressure gauge on your filter. Replace the drain plugs on your pump and check the pump lid o-ring for cracks. Using your forefingers and thumbs, run the o-ring through your hand, giving it a slight bend to check for any cracks in the material. Dried, cracked o-ring will have your pump sucking in air, not allowing it to prime fully. If your o-ring seems to have no issue, use Magic Lube to lubricate, and then install. On your filter, you likely have a multiport valve handle, it’s important to turn it to “Filter” before moving on.
- Turn on the power to your pump and filter and watch that it starts up properly. You need to make sure that the pump primes fully and that the filter has no blockage. The pump will take some time to prime, but it should at least be pulling water. If your pump is not pulling water, shut off your system, remove the pump lid, and fill the pump housing will the hose. You can use your garden hose to do this, or just fill a bucket of water and pour it in. Place the lid back on the pump and lock it. Turn the power back on and watch to see if the pump has primed.
TIP: If your filter pressure gauge is showing a psi over 15, it may be wise for you to backwash your sand filter or replace your cartridge filters. After backwashing, return your valve to the “filter” position.
- Now that the pool is hooked up and running, it’s time to clean up. Using a deep leaf net, remove any large debris from the water. Try to remove as much debris from the water as possible. Attach a pool brush to your telescopic pole and brush down the walls, steps and floor, to get the dirt that has settled moving around in the water to get filtered out.
- Time to balance the water. Add in your Pool Opening Kit and wait 48 hours before taking a sample of water in to AquaPRO Pools & Hot Tubs to get professionally analyzed. Once you have completed the recommended steps to balance your water, you can walk away and let the magic happen. Let your pool run for at least 24 hours and then vacuum out debris if necessary using your manual vacuum. Test the water at home with your DIY kit and if everything checks out, it’s time for safe swimming!