Specialty Pool Products - Swimming Pool SuppliesCall Our POol Experts - 1-800-983-7665
Specialty Pool Products Shopping CartLog In or Register SPP Account
Source Code: (edit)

Enter it here:

Chemicals Equipment Liners Pools Covers Accessories Maintenance Spa & Sauna CLEARANCE

FREE SHIPPING: every order, any size!*

One Day Delivery: Hundreds of products available the next day!


Pool Opening Tips


This time of year, pool owners across the country are preparing to open their swimming pools for the season. Specialty Pool Products would like to give you a few tips on how to open your aboveground or inground pool, quickly, easily and cost-effectively.


The information below provides the opening and preparation basics. If you have any questions about opening your particular pool or need additional information beyond what's presented here, send an email to the poolman for a prompt, expert reply or give our friendly Pool Experts a call at 1-800-983-7665.


Opening your Aboveground Pool

Step #1 - Order Your Spring Chemicals & Test Strips / Kits
We suggest a Spring Opening Chemical Kit to make the opening process easier and help you save money. Our Kits are sized to your pool's water capacity and offer a complete range of commonly-required chemicals for opening your pool. Also remember to check your supply of test strips / kits to make sure you have what you need before you start the opening process. If you use a test kit with liquid reagent, remember to replace them too, as readings may not be accurate with last year's reagent. And remember, SPP offers fast FREE shipping and delivery in as little as one-day on our most popular chemicals. Shop with us now, and save!


Spring Start-Up Chemical Kits


Step #2 - Remove your Pool Cover
SOLID COVERS: If you have a solid pool cover, the first step is to use a cover pump to remove as much standing water as possible. Take your time, and remove as much water and debris as possible, as this will significantly simplify the opening process! Make sure you do not place the cover pump near or over a seam or any holes in your solid cover, or you will be draining water from underneath the cover out of the pool!


MESH COVERS: For mesh covers, simply allow the snowmelt and water to permeate through the surface of the cover, into the pool water before opening your pool for the season. With mesh covers, we suggest adding pool shock to the water about 2 weeks before you plan to open your pool. Simply pull back a corner of the cover, pour the shock into the water & re-cover the pool. This one easy step will make your spring clean up much quicker!!


Step #3 - Store your Pool Cover

After the cover is removed, it should be cleaned with a cover cleaner, dried and inspected for any rips or tears. If you find that repairs are needed, a simple patch kit may be all you need. Large tears or holes may mean your winter cover needs replacing. Our Pool Experts can help you determine that. Carefully fold the cover before you store it away. Place the cover in a large bag or sack that will prevent rodents & insects from getting to it. Store it safely away for the season in a clean, dry location that's off the floor (if possible) and protected from the elements.


Solid AG Pool Covers

Mesh AG Pool Covers

Step #4 - Fill Your Pool with Water

First remove all winter plugs from the inlet or skimmer, as well as skimmer guards. Then, add fresh water to your pool, filling to a level that is two-thirds of the way up the skimmer faceplate / opening. Inspect the skimmer for any possible cracks or leaks.


Step #5 - Get the Filter & Pump Ready

Put all in-season drain plugs back into your equipment. Make sure the basket strainers are in place and are in good condition (no cracks). Before you start the pump & filter system, be sure that all lines are open and that pump & skimmer baskets are in place, free of debris and in good condition. Following manufacturers' instructions, start the pump & filter system. Check the filter media, and for water leaks at the equipment connections. Backwash your filter if necessary.


Step #6 - Remove Debris from Pool Floor

If twigs, leaves or other particulates are prevalent on the pool bottom, our Leaf Rake or Leaf Gulper offer the perfect clean-up solutions! These innovative products save you time and aggravation as you open your pool, and utilize a simple garden hose to pick up debris into an attached filter bag. Thorough & complete debris removal is an important part of the pool opening process, and is especially critical if debris is so prevalent that you cannot see the bottom of the pool. This is because chlorine will seek out any contaminants in the water to oxidize - including leaves & twigs. If the pool bottom is not properly cleaned, all of the chlorine you add will be consumed at the bottom of the pool! A pool that is free of debris may still have cloudy water, but this is a much easier and less expensive problem to deal with. NOTE: DO NOT use your automatic pool cleaner to vacuum heavy or large debris and particulates.

Leaf Rake


Step #7 - Start the Filtration System & Vacuum the Pool

It is now time to filter and circulate your pool water. First add a clarifier or one of our Spring Start-up Kits to help your filter system remove small particulates. Next, hook up your automatic pool cleaner and vacuum the entire pool, making sure to also clean the pool walls with a wall brush.



Automatic
Pool Cleaners


Step # 8 - Shock (Super-Chlorinate) your Pool Water

Now that your pool water is free of debris, this is the best time to super-chlorinate (or "shock"). When first opening your pool, it is a good idea to use twice the normal dosage for your pool's capacity or automatic feeder. Read and follow the instructions and dosage requirements of your selected water-treatment products. Allow the pool water to circulate overnight. If you have questions about which pool shock is best for you, give us a call. And remember - we now offer one-day delivery on many of our most popular chemicals - at no additional charge! You may need to backwash the filter, and clean or replace filter cartridges / change DE if the water condition is poor. However, if your water is clear, you will now need to take a water sample (to test your water for balance) before adding anything to your pool.


Step #9 - Test Your Water / Water Chemistry

After your pool has been cleaned, you are ready to test your water to determine what you may need in the way of balancing chemicals. If you use chlorine tablets, check the chlorine level in the water. If you use a chlorine-salt generator (salt system), check the salt level. If you use a test kit with liquid reagent, remember to test using new reagent, as readings may not be accurate with last year's supply. Below are ideal levels for various water balance measures, or read more about chlorine and balancing your pool water in our chemicals section.

Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid): 40 ppm

Total Alkalinity: 90-120 ppm

Calcium hardness: 225-275 ppm

Salt (for salt/chlorine systems): 2,500 - 3,500 ppm

Test Kit Replacement
Reagents


Step #10 - Stabilize (Condition) your Pool Water

Swimming pool water needs to be stabilized (or "conditioned") to prevent the rapid loss of chlorine due to the sun's ultra violet rays, and to help reduce the need for chlorine throughout the season. This is also known as "conditioner". Add the recommended dosage based on your pool size. The stabilizer should be dissolved in a bucket of hot water before adding it to the pool. Your ideal level is between 30-50 ppm (parts per million).


Step #11 - Preventative Maintenance

Use a top-quality algaecide to not only kill any existing algae in the water, but also help prevent it from forming in the pool during the season.


Step #12 - Take Inventory

Now is a great time to take inventory of all your equipment, maintenance items & supplies, accessories, toys & games, safety products and patio or deck accessories. Check that all items are in good working order and clean them for swim season. Consider replacing any old, outdated or broken items now, so you're stocked-up when warmer weather arrives.


Step #13 - Replace / Re-Install Accessories
Re-install ladders, steps, entry systems and other accessories that were removed for the off-season.


Opening your Inground Pool


Step #1 - Order Your Spring Chemicals & Test Strips / Kits

We suggest a Spring Opening Kit to make the process easier and help you save money. They are sized to your pool's water capacity and offer a complete range of commonly-required chemicals for opening your pool. Also remember to check your supply of test strips / kits to make sure you have what you need before you start the opening process. If you use a test kit with liquid reagent, remember to replace them too, as readings may not be accurate with last year's reagent. And remember, SPP offers fast FREE shipping, and delivery in as little as one-day on our most popular chemicals. Shop with us now, and save!


Spring Start-Up Kit

Step #2 - Remove Your Pool Cover

This information applies to both standard lay-on-the-water Covers & Safety Covers.
SOLID COVERS: If you have a solid pool cover, the first step is to use a cover pump to remove as much standing water as possible. Take your time, and remove as much water and debris as possible, as this will significantly simplify the opening process! Make sure you do not place the cover pump near or over a seam or any holes in your solid cover, or you will be draining water from underneath the cover out of the pool!


MESH COVERS: For mesh covers, simply allow the snowmelt and water to permeate through the surface of the cover, into the pool water before opening your pool for the season. With mesh covers, we suggest adding pool shock to the water about 2 weeks before you plan to open your pool. Simply pull back a corner of the cover in both the deep and shallow ends of the pool, pour the shock into the water, then re-cover the pool. This one easy step will make your spring clean up much quicker!!


Helpful Hint: If you find when you remove your cover that your water level is considerably lower than when you closed the pool, chances are you may have a leak. If you have a mesh cover and your level is low, you most definitely have a leak. Any leak will need to dealt with before going further with the pool opening process.

Solid IG Pool Covers

Mesh IG Pool Covers

Step #3 - Store your Pool Cover

After the cover is removed, it should be cleaned with a cover cleaner, dried and inspected for any rips or tears. If you find that repairs are needed, a simple patch kit may be all you need. Large tears or holes may mean your cover needs replacing. Our Pool Experts can help you determine that. Carefully fold the cover before you store it away. Place the cover in a large bag or sack that will prevent rodents & insects from getting to it. Store it safely away for the season in a clean, dry location that's off the floor (if possible) and protected from the elements.


Step #4 - Fill Your Pool with Water

First remove all winter plugs & skimmer guards. Then add fresh water to your pool, filling to a level that is two-thirds of the way up the skimmer faceplate / opening.


Step #5 - Get Your Pool Equipment Ready

Reattach the pump, filter and heater plugs you removed during your winterizing process. We suggest using a quality lubricant on any O-Rings used on pump lids, chlorinator tops, etc. to reduce cracking / drying, make for a better seal and help extend the life of your O-Rings. Make sure the basket strainers are in place and are in good condition (no cracks). Before you start the pump & filter system, be sure that all lines are open. If you blew the pool water from the plumbing lines and put in non-toxic pool line anti-freeze for the off-season, simply remove the drain plug and allow the anti-freeze to flow into your pool water. Then, following manufacturers' instructions, start the pump & filter system. Check the filter media, and for water leaks at the equipment connections. Backwash your filter if necessary.

Skimmer Guard


Step #6 - Remove Debris from Pool Floor

If twigs, leaves or other particulates are prevalent on the pool bottom, our Leaf Rake or Leaf Gulper offer the perfect clean-up solutions! These innovative products save you time and aggravation as you open your pool, and utilize a simple garden hose to pick up debris into an attached filter bag. Thorough & complete debris removal is an important part of the pool opening process, and is especially critical if debris is so prevalent that you cannot see the bottom of the pool. This is because chlorine will seek out any contaminants in the water to oxidize - including leaves & twigs. If the pool bottom is not properly cleaned, all of the chlorine you add will be consumed at the bottom of the pool! A pool that is free of debris may still have cloudy water, but this is a much easier and less expensive problem to deal with. NOTE: DO NOT use your automatic pool cleaner to vacuum heavy or large debris and particulates.


Step #7 - Start the Filtration System & Vacuum the Pool

It is now time to filter and circulate your pool water. First add a clarifier or one of our Spring Startup Kits to help your filter system remove small particulates. Next, hook up your automatic pool cleaner and vacuum the entire pool, making sure to also clean the pool walls with a wall brush.

Automatic
Pool Cleaners

Step #8 - Shock (Super-Chlorinate) your Pool Water

Now that your pool water is free of debris, this is the best time to super-chlorinate (or "shock"). When first opening your pool, it is a good idea to use twice the normal dosage for your pool's capacity or automatic feeder. Read and follow the instructions and dosage requirements of your selected water-treatment products. Allow the pool water to circulate overnight. If you have questions about which pool shock is best for you, give us a call. And remember - we now offer one-day delivery on many of our most popular chemicals - at no additional charge! You may need to backwash the filter, and clean or replace filter cartridges / change DE if the water condition is poor. However, if your water is clear, you will now need to take a water sample (to test your water for balance) before adding anything to your pool.


Step #9 - Test Your Water / Water Chemistry

After your pool has been cleaned, you are ready to test your water to determine what you may need in the way of balancing chemicals. If you use chlorine tablets, check the chlorine level in the water. If you use a chlorine-salt generator (salt system), check the salt level. If you use a test kit with liquid reagent, remember to test using new reagent, as readings may not be accurate with last year's supply. Below are ideal levels for various water balance measures, or read more about chlorine and balancing your pool water in our chemicals section.


Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid): 40 ppm

Total Alkalinity: 90-120 ppm

Calcium hardness: 225-275 ppm

Salt (for salt/chlorine systems): 2,500 - 3,500 ppm

Step #10 - Stabilize (Condition) your Pool Water
Swimming pool water needs to be stabilized (also known as "conditioned") to prevent the rapid loss of chlorine due to the sun's ultra violet rays, and to help reduce the need for chlorine throughout the season. This is also known as "conditioner". Add the recommended dosage based on your pool size. The stabilizer should be dissolved in a bucket of hot water before adding it to the pool. Your ideal level is between 30-50 ppm (parts per million).

Step #11 - Preventative Maintenance
Use a top-quality algaecide to not only kill any existing algae in the water, but also help prevent it from forming in the pool during the season.

Step #12 - Take Inventory
Now is a great time to take inventory of all your equipment, maintenance items & supplies, accessories, toys & games, safety products and patio or deck accessories. Check that all items are in good working order and clean them for swim season. Consider replacing any old, outdated or broken items now, so you're stocked-up when warmer weather arrives.

Step #13 - Replace / Re-Install Accessories

Re-attach diving boards, hand-rails, ladders and other items that were removed for the off-season. Check your ladder bumpers before putting your ladder into the pool, as loose or cracked bumpers can end up causing a tear in your pool liner. Spray on a little WD-40 at ends of ladders and rails little before installing them in the anchor sockets, for easier placement and removal in the fall. If you have a safety cover with deck anchors, put a small amount of marine grade lubricant on the screw portion of the anchor, so they can be more easily removed next fall. Affix deck anchor covers to prevent stubbed toes and provide a more finished look during swim season.


Hand-Rails

Enjoy your Sparkling, Clean Pool!

Everyone at Specialty Pool Products wishes you a fun-filled swim season! If you need help, advice or information on any pool or spa-related items, don't hesitate to call our team of friendly Pool Experts for assistance, at 1-800-983-7665.


Specialty Pool Products is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Internet Shopping in East Windsor CT The Association of Pool and Spa Professional Member Secure Data Encrypted Transactions McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Specialty Pool Products
54 Newberry Road East Windsor, CT 06088

To Place an Order

Customer Service

1-800-983-7665

1-800-721-0998

2013 Specialty Pool Products. All Rights Reserved