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    National Pool Opening Day is Here!

    April 27, 2017
    mattspencer

    national pool opening day is the last saturday in April

    There’s a national holiday for every date on the calendar and for every topic under the sun, but National Pool Opening Day, observed on the last Saturday of April, is a holiday we can all rally around.

    The National Pool Opening Day holiday is meant to awaken pool owners from their water-less slumber, rub the filter sand from their eyes, stand atop their diving board and shout to the family, “Thy pool will be open today - prepare for summer fun!”

    As a pool owner, you know there’s a lot of things that goes into opening the pool, and National Pool Opening Day is a great reminder to look at and care for the many moving parts of your pool, to prepare for a happy, safe season of swimming.

    Test the Water First. Once you peel back the winter cover and see the challenge before you, start by checking your pool chemical levels. A good water test kit with fresh reagents is important for accurate home water analysis. For best results, use the highly regarded Taylor Complete FAS-DPD test kit. You can also use Test Strips, may be less accurate, possibly off by 10-20%, but can be helpful for quick water checks. Like test kit reagents, expired test strips will produce false water test readings. If over 2 pool seasons old, strips and reagents should be replaced.

    SPP one day delivery mapSPP pool chemicals are delivered in only 1-2 days, and in just one day to most parts of the country. We stock the most common pool chemicals (and 1000's of other best sellers) in 9 warehouses around the U.S. - for super fast one-day Delivery, for those lucky enough to live in the 1-Day zone.

    When stocking up for the summer on pool shock and tablets, remember to order water balance chemicals for pH, alk, and calcium, and don't forget to check cyanuric acid (stabilizer) levels, and adjust to 25-50 ppm. You may also need an algaecide and water clarifier to control algae and help your filter remove finer particles from the water.

    pool equipmentCheck the pool equipment, mainly the pump and filter, but also other pool equipment such as pool valves, chlorinators, heaters, cleaners, skimmers, ladders, slides and diving boards. Look for any damage and pull back any soil or mulch and trim nearby plants or trees. Pool equipment does better in a dry sunny location, not buried in bushes.

    Pool cleaners have wearable parts, and usually need more frequent repairs than other pool equipment. Inspect closely for the cleaner parts that contact the surface, or debris bags or hose parts that are worn.

    Pool filters, either sand, DE or cartridge will need the filter media replaced at one point. Sand lasts about 5 years, DE grids about 10 years, and filter cartridges 2-3 years for a good sized filter. You can extend the life and improve filtration by using a Pool Filter Cleaner before or after spring clean-up.

    Pool pumps, have electric motors which will fail at some point in time, usually at spring start-up, or at the hottest part of the summer. When your motor trips the breaker or won't turn on, it may be a loose wire, tripped GFCI, blown capacitor, or it could be a fried motor. Pumping problems are different than motor problems, and could be air leaking into the pump, or a clogged impeller, or low water level.

    Pool Heaters: If you have a pool heater, the best spring maintenance you can do is clean out the bottom of the unit to remove any leaves, cobwebs, ant hills. Make sure the air vents and drain holes are not blocked in the cabinet. If leaves have collected inside a heat pump, or on top of a gas heater exchanger, remove the heater top to clean them out.

    Pool Ladders, Slides & Diving Boards have lots of bolts that should be checked for tightness. Especially the step treads, which can work loose over time and lead to injury. Clean any oily stains on pool slides and diving board surfaces and hand rails.

    Chlorinators are normally easy care items, but the chlorinator lid o-ring needs to be lubed regularly to make a good seal, protect the o-ring from the chlorine, and keep the lid easy to remove. Remove and clean the o-ring and mating surfaces first with a rag to remove dirty grease, and then apply a 1" long bead of Teflon pool lube evenly to the o-ring surface.

    Above ground pools will connect the pipes or hoses from the wall skimmer to the pool filter and then to the pool pump, and back to the pool wall return. Open the filter air bleeder, and then open the valves to flood the lines and fill the pump with water. Plug the pump into a grounded electrical outlet after being sure that the suction and return valves are open, and the pool skimmer and wall return are not plugged.

    Inground pools equipment reassembly is a bit more complicated, but it starts the same way, by screwing the drain plugs back into the pump, filter, heater. With the water level up, pool plugs can be pulled from the skimmer and wall returns to flood the lines. Unlike Above ground pools, inground pumps sit above the water level. Fill the pump with water from a hose or bucket, and seal the pump lid tightly. Open the filter air bleeder, open the suction and return valves, and turn on the pump. Start-Up with a multiport valve on the 'Waste' position is a good way to flush out the skimmer and drain, and it has much less resistance as well, good for pumps that have difficulty 'catching prime'.

    Vinyl Pools - check your pool liner condition, look closely for tears, fading, stains, and decide if you need to replace the liner this spring. If you even think you might need a new liner, do it. If you wait to replace the liner and you have a liner failure mid-season, that's a summer bummer. It could even abruptly put an end to summer. You don’t want that, so inspect the liner closely and play it safe. Plus, if you get a new pool liner now, you can worry start with clear, fresh water which is always nice.

    National Pool Opening Day is upon us, Saturday, April 30 (2017), or the last Saturday in April - make it your annual tradition to join us in welcoming spring - by opening your pool!

    If the last Saturday is too soon to open your pool, then join the celebration by getting out there and cleaning off the cover, and closely inspect the pool and pool equipment. If you normally open the pool in May, it's the perfect time to pull back the cover, test the water, and add another quart of algaecide, refill winter floaters, or shock the pool.

    summer is comingEven if you only stare out your window at your pool and do nothing else, you can still celebrate National Pool Opening Day as the symbolic gateway from a cold, dead winter landscape to splashing fun in the summer sun.

    Embrace the day, revel in it and rejoice, for summer is near!

     

    Blog Author
    mattspencer
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