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Opening the Above Ground Pool for the Summer

by Felicia A. Williams

This weekend I’m sure most folks in America have opened their pool. This post is for folks like me who did a less than perfect job of closing their pool last year. If you read my last post, you’d know that I didn’t follow the “recommended procedure” for closing a pool.

I had good intentions. I went to the pool store and purchased all of the necessary chemicals for preserving the water over the winter. But, unfortunately, because I had spent so much time raising and lowering my pool water level in an attempt to find the pool leak, by the time I was ready to close the pool, the leaves were already falling in.

I threw a couple of bottles of shock into the water, raised the chlorine level a bit and that was it. I did, however, make sure that I took the time to dismantle and clean my Hayward DE pool filter. That piece of equipment is a workhorse and goodness knows I didn’t want to do anything to speed up its demise.

Pre-Pool Opening Procedure

Before opening the pool, the biggest issue I had was removing the excess water and leaves that had accumulated on the cover over the fall/winter. I spent a good portion of the day siphoning the water off the top and removing the dead leaves. After removing as much as possible, we took the cover off the pool. Next year I’m thinking of using a pool cover pump to minimize the water accumulation.

As would have it, some of the water and leaves fell into the pool while removing the cover but it was nothing major. Here’s a picture of the pool with the cover off.

Removal of Pool Cover

I did note the water was a little green, but green is easy to get rid of. A few bottles of shock and running the filter overnight were all it took to get the green out. The following morning I vacuumed the pool, balanced the water and the pool was ready for swimming.

A Comment about Closing a Pool

After improperly closing the pool last year, I was interested to see the water’s condition when we opened it. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, since the previous year we had not closed the pool at all (no, we didn’t even cover it), I know how to bring a pool back from the brink of disaster.

It’s my opinion (and only my opinion) that people create too much of a mystery surrounding opening and closing a pool. Yes, you must take care of the filter and yes, covering the pool is a good thing. Tossing in a bottle or two of shock when you close it is nice or even some kind of conditioner to preserve your vinyl lining (don’t know if it exists, just thinking out of the box), but too many people stress themselves out with the proper chemical application for pool closing.

Oh, and the Main Drain

Wanda the Whale

In my last post, I mentioned that there was a leak in the main drain. I weighed the cost/convenience of repairing the main drain versus not using it. I decided to forgo using the main drain. Instead, I ordered Wanda the Whale. Wanda the Whale is an above ground pool cleaner. I think the money spent on Wanda is a better investment than the hundreds of dollars it would take to fix the main drain.

In the meanwhile, the main drain is forever plugged, not to be used again. I’ll let you know how well Wanda works once I get her.

About the Author: Felicia Williams is a wife, mother and grandmother who likes to write about a host of topics.

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Last Modified: 24 March 2020

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