Lloyd Brown installed an SPP Inground Pool Kit last year, and just opened his pool this weekend. It's an 18’ x 36’, rectangle with 2’ radius corners. His complete DIY pool installation went very well with only one particular problem; there was a period of time where the rain was so heavy, he couldn’t get past the excavation phase. When the rain stopped, he needed to let the hole dry in order to continue with the pool installation.
We communicated many times during the pool construction week. With the installation completed, Lloyd and his family had a great summer, enjoying their new pool. At the end of the season, he winterized the pool by cleaning it, chemically treating it and covering the pool with a safety cover. He used a Cyclone Blower, to blow air through all the pipes and equipment, to prevent freeze damage.
And now, with springtime warming the Mid-Atlantic, Lloyd opened his pool this weekend, and he once again relied on the SPP Pool Experts. Here's the process or method we used, as I walked him through his pool opening.
Pool Cover: The first thing Lloyd did was to remove any leaves and debris from his solid safety cover. This ensured that nothing would fall into the pool, upon removing the cover. No matter what type of pool cover you have, it is important to clear any water and debris before trying to remove it. After this initial cleaning, it was time to unhook the safety straps on the safety cover. He started in the deep end and after the straps were unhooked, he pulled the cover towards the shallow end and folded it.
Lloyd did have a helper to assist him with removing the safety cover, it is always easier to have two sets of hands. Once the cover was removed, he spread out on his large concrete deck, washed it and let it dry. While the cover was drying, he then went around the pool, and recessed the safety anchors that held the safety cover, back down flush with the cement.
Reassembly: The next step was to remove the winterizing plugs from the returns and step jets, and the Gizzmo from the skimmer. Replaced the eyeball fittings on the returns and step jets, and put the skimmer basket back in the skimmer. Started filling the pool with water until it was half-way up to the opening of the skimmer mouth. Lloyd then replaced the pump basket was put back in the pump and filter drain plugs, making sure that he used some Teflon tape on the plug threads.
The filter valve handle was moved back to the proper flow position, or the Filter position. Lloyd has two 3-way valves, (Jandy valves) in front of the pump and one on the return line. All of these valves were opened. While the pool was still filling with water, he brought up all his pool cleaning equipment, pool cleaner, chemicals and chemical test kit.
Start-Up: Once the water reached the proper level (half-way up the skimmer mouth), it was time to start up the equipment. One problem that he encountered, was the pump was not holding it is prime. I instructed him to fill the pump basket and resecure the pump lid. This took care of the problem and the returns started working as well as the step jets.
Always fill the pump basket with water before starting, and for some systems, you may need to do it several times. Lubricating the pump lid o-ring (with proper pool lube) would have been my next suggestion, as well as opening the air bleeder on the filter tank (near the pressure gauge).
Water Testing: With the equipment now running, it was time to test and chemically balance the pool water. Upon removing the pool cover, the water was a little cloudy but very little debris had fallen to the bottom of the pool. He tested the pool water with the SPP test strips that came with his pool kit, and found that the water had no chlorine present, and the pH was at 6.2 instead of being at the 7.2-7.6 range.
Such a low pH reading can be harmful to the pool liner, so next year, Lloyd vowed to test it during the winter, and adjust if needed. The alkalinity tested fine and the calcium hardness was also at the proper level. Stabilizer level was a bit low, so I had Lloyd order some chlorine stabilizer.
Chemical Adjustments: The first step to chemically treat the pool was to first adjust the pH level, which was too low. This was accomplished by using our SPP pH increaser. Five lbs. of pH increaser was used and it brought the pH level reading up to 7.2. This was verified by testing the pH level again with test strips.
With the proper pH, he was now ready to shock the pool with chlorine in order to clarify and sanitize the water. He used 4 - 1 lb. bags of pool shock, dissolving it first in a bucket, and pouring it in around the edge. When the chlorine stabilizer arrives this week, Lloyd will add it to the pool, to protect the chlorine from the sun.
Clean the Pool: In about 24 hours, the water was clearing up, and now it was time to vacuum the bottom of the pool of any residue or sediment. Lloyd put in the Hayward automatic vacuum that came with his pool kit, filling the hose with water, and connecting it into the vacuum line that he added during construction.
Vacuuming with the suction cleaner took a day to complete. Each time the cleaner had stopped working, the filter needed to be backwashed of the dirt and debris that had been picked up by the vacuum. After 3 backwashes, the pool looked really good. I advised Lloyd to give the pool a thorough brushing with his new pool brush, first the walls and steps, and then from shallow towards the deep end. Now the pool was almost ready to swim.
Miscellaneous: The ladder in the deep end, and the safety rail on the step had to be reinstalled. The dry safety cover, was folded and stored away. Finally, the safety rope was hooked up; separating the shallow end from the deep end, and everything was now in place.
All in all, the pool opening went extremely smooth and once the water warms up, it will be time to enjoy another swimming season. All of our SPP pool kit customers enjoy having a full service support team with unlimited support available to them.
If you're thinking about building your own inground pool, consider the importance of our world class support - which doesn't end when we ship the inground pool kit! Even long after construction, SPP pool kit customers continue to rely on us for help with any pool maintenance concerns.
Call me, or any of the SPP Pool Experts today, at 800-983-POOL to talk about your SPP inground pool, and the unlimited support that comes along with it.
SPP Pool Expert