Here are some tips to help you effectively open your pool and prepare it for a summer of family fun! If you need help, or if this is your first time, consider getting your Dazzle/Pristiva Certified Professional to open your pool or to provide more detailed advice.
Step #1: Remove the Cover:
- If a solid pool cover is in use, drain any water from the top of the pool cover with a submersible pump and remove as many leaves and other debris as possible. A leaf rake is a handy tool to have if there is an abundance of leaves and debris on the top of the cover. The more water and debris you remove, the easier it will be to pull the cover off.
TIP: To make cover removal easier, you can start filling the pool by placing your garden hose under the cover. This will effectively raise the level of the cover and make the removal of the last remaining amount of water and debris a lot easier.
- Remove the cover from the pool. Try to minimize the water and/or debris that is allowed to slip back into the pool water. It is inevitable that some dirty water will manage to get back in so don’t worry about that. Using one of Dazzle’s or Pristiva’s Pool Opening Kits and Dazzle™ Prep Cleanse to detoxify and deep cleanse your pool will deal with that in no time.
- For solid covers with water bags, select the area of the pool you wish to pull the cover off.
- Remove the water bags from the opposite side/end and work the cover down to the area you wish to remove it.
- Leave the water bags secured at the general area you are going to pull the cover off.
- Use a bucket or submersible to remove the last of the water and debris.
- Pull the cover off the pool.
- If a safety or mesh cover has been used, simply unhook at the connections and pull off the pool.
- Regardless of the type of cover used, once removed from the pool, spread out on a clean flat surface and clean with Dazzle™ Cover Cleanse.
- Use ½ the bottle to mix with water and use to clean both sides of the cover. Your pool brush is an effective tool to help spread across the cover and loosen stubborn growths and stains.
- Don’t worry about the product getting on your lawn. It won’t harm the grass. If using on a driveway, test a small amount in an inconspicuous area.
- Once the cover has been cleaned, use the remaining ½ bottle as a preservative. Using at full strength by periodically pouring a small amount onto the cover with each fold. This will coat and preserve the cover and prevent it from sticking when you are ready to use it again. Mold, mildew, insects and rodents will be prevented from infesting the cover, shortening its life.
- After cleaning and preserving with Dazzle™ Cover Cleanse, store the cover in a safe, secure place. One handy tip for storing covers is to roll the cover and place in a large plastic garbage bin. This keeps it up off the floor/ground.
- Water bags should be emptied, cleaned and preserved with Dazzle™ Cover Cleanse as well and then rolled or folded for storage.
Step #2: Prepare the Pool:
- Once the cover has been removed;
- Prepare the skimmer for use by removing any winterizing devices such as plugs, foam rope and Gizzmos. Reconnect the pump and return lines and tighten any clamps or unions (if applicable).
- Don’t worry about removing any Dazzle Premium Antifreeze that was used at closing. It is non-toxic and will readily break down if any gets into the pool water. If Dazzle Premium Antifreeze wasn’t used and you are not sure of the type that was, a shop vac should be used to remove as much antifreeze as possible and dispose of in a safe manner.
- Reinstall any parts to the skimmer to make it functional including the skimmer basket and weir (a.k.a. flapper door). Check to see if any parts are broken or missing and require replacement (make a list).
- Remove the plugs from the return lines and reinstall the fittings (jets). When reinstalling the return fittings, do not overtighten and always position the directional eyeball downward at a 45° angle. If possible, direct the eyeballs in a circular motion to maximize circulation (ie. point them all down and slightly to the right or left). If you do not overtighten the returns, you are free to easily change the direction throughout the season.
- Remove the drain plugs from any of the pieces of pool equipment where antifreeze was used and allow the antifreeze to drain. Lubricate the plugs/o-rings with a silicon lubricant like Jack’s Magic Lube and put back in place.
- Put the pump strainer basket back in place and lubricate the o-ring around the lid.
- Replace the pressure gauge(s) and site glass on the filter. Reconnect the backwash line if it was disconnected. If a cartridge or DE filter, reinstall the elements/cartridges.
- Reconnect the chlorinator/brominator if it was disconnected at closing. Tighten any connections. Do not use a lubricant on any plugs or o-rings.
- If a salt pool, the chlorinator cell was likely disconnected and stored indoors. Reattach the cell but do not turn the chlorinator on at the control panel. A salt pool chlorinator cell will not start producing chlorine until the pool water has warmed to approx. 20° C. It is also important that the salt level in the water be tested and adjusted to the correct level before using. With the draining and refilling of water through the Open/Close process, it is likely the salt level will need some adjustment before the chlorinator can be turned on.
- Perform a final check of all equipment and lines to make sure they are connected properly, the correct parts are back in place and nothing is missing or forgotten.
TIP: Lubricate the pump “O” ring with a silicone lubricant like Jack’s Magic Lube. This will ensure a proper seal.
- Re-attach any deck equipment you have such as ladders, handrails, diving boards, etc. Make sure to reconnect any grounding wires or straps that may have been attached to the metal parts.
TIP: Lubricate all bolts on the diving board, ladders and/or handrails. This will prevent them from rusting over the summer, making it easier on you for pool closing.
- Prime the pump as required with water. Turn on the power to the pool system. Always start a sand filter with the dial valve in the ‘Drain/Waste’ position. Start the pump and check the system for leaks or drips. After a few moments, shut off the pump and move the dial valve to the ‘Rinse’ position. After a few moments, move to the ‘Backwash’ position and then, finally, the filter position. Check for proper flow through each of these positions and for leaks.
- If the filter was not deep cleansed with Dazzle™ Rapid Action Filter Cleanse just prior to closing, now is the time to properly clean your filter.
- The pool can be vacuumed and brushed at this time.
- If you have a Dazzle or Pristiva Opening Kit ready to go, you can follow the instructions to begin the preparation of your water.
- A typical Dazzle Opening Kit will recommend the following;
- Prevent stains and scale formation with Dazzle™ Stain & Scale Cleanse. Apply directly to the pool, pouring around the edges. Brush immediately after application. 1 bottle treats up to 80,000 litres.
- Remove any organic wastes that accumulated over winter with Dazzle™ Amaze Plus (1 pouch per 40,000 litres) or Dazzle™ Ultra Shock. If the pump and filter are operating, apply slowly and sparingly, into the clean skimmer. If the system is not in operation, sprinkle across the deep end and brush immediately after to ensure proper dissolving and mixing.
- Deep cleanse water with Dazzle™ Prep Cleanse. Shake well and add product through the skimmer, once the pump and filter are in operation. 1 bottle treats up to 80,000 litres. Or, use Dazzle™ Algae Resist 50 (60 ml per 10,000 litres) or Algae Clear 60 (100 ml per 10,000 litres) by pouring directly into the pool water to start your algae prevention program.
- For Salt Pools with a Pristiva™ Salt Pool Opening Kit, refer to the instructions inside the kit or refer to the specific Opening Instructions for Salt Pools Checklist.
TIP: run the system continuously for at least 8 hrs but preferably 24 hrs before you collect a sample and bring your water in for the 1st test of the season. Pool water can settle over the winter months and proper mixing is needed before an accurate test can be performed and analyzed by your Dazzle/Pristiva Professional.
- Once your water has been tested and analyzed, be sure to follow the recommendations of your Dazzle Professional. They will make recommendations to ensure;
- Your pool water is properly balanced to begin the season on the right foot. Proper water balance is essential to ensuring the surfaces of your pool, your equipment and your bathers, are properly protected. There is a good reason for doing this – it ensures safety, saves you money and prevents future problems. This applies equally to salt water pools.