An inground pool is a great investment – not only for your property value but in the enjoyment of your home. But like any good investment, it requires upkeep and maintenance. If you maintain a regular schedule in cleaning and checking chemical balances, your pool tasks will take a fairly short amount of time.
There are a few larger jobs that need to be done on an annual basis, such as closing and opening your pool. Living in Oklahoma, you’ll need to pay attention to seasonal maintenance tasks since our weather is not warm enough to use an outdoor pool year round.
If you’re installing your first pool, you won’t need to worry about the task of opening the pool this season, but you should keep the information handy for next year and the years to follow. You’ll need to know about the regular maintenance once your pool is open, so these tips will come in handy.
- Removing Your Winter Cover. The first step to opening up your pool consists of removing the winter cover. Once you’ve removed the debris from your cover, you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and dry before rolling it away for storage. If your cover is stored outdoors, it’s a good idea to keep it in a container to protect it from animal or insect damage.
- Decide Whether to Drain Water. Some people decide to change the water in their pool when they open it, and some decide to fill the remainder of the pool with fresh water and shock it to achieve the proper levels. You can do either, though many people prefer to completely drain and refill the pool every few years. If you drain the water, you can use this opportunity to check for cracks and damage.
- Reattach Filter, Ladders, and All Equipment.
- Fill the Pool. Whether you’ve drained the pool entirely or decided to use last year’s water, you’ll want to fill the pool up to the proper level and then treat with shock and chemicals per instructions to arrive at the right pH level.
- Regular Maintenance. Once the pool is open, and the pH levels are properly maintained, you’ll want to start a schedule of cleaning and care to keep your pool running smoothly. This includes vacuuming the pool at least once a week and skimming your pool about twice a week. However, your skimming regimen will depend partially on your surroundings. If you have nearby trees or foliage adding debris to your pool, you’ll want to skim more often.
- Shocking Your Pool. You should shock your pool about once a week. You’ll want to do this after swimming hours so the filtration system has a chance to run overnight before people will be swimming again.
- Check pH Levels. You should check the pool pH level a few times per week, more often if the levels fluctuate widely.
The care of your inground pool means attention in your regular weekly schedule, but it doesn’t need to be a large time commitment as long as it’s maintained regularly. Depending on the size of your pool, cleaning and vacuuming should be a minimal commitment when there’s little time for debris to accumulate. Checking pH levels regularly helps you avoid the situation where there’s a problem with the water or accumulation of algae.
The temperatures have started to cool, which means it’s time to close your pool for winter. If this task is handled correctly, it will save you time in the future when opening the pool.
- Shock the Pool. In preparation for closing your pool, you’ll want to shock the water to get it to the optimal level. Then you can add winterizing chemicals.
- Remove Filter and Accessories. You’ll want to backwash the filter and drain any water out of the lines to prevent it from stagnating and molding while it’s not in use. You’ll also want to remove any ladders or accessories and cap any jets.
- Pump Out Water. The water level should be about 4 inches below the filter.
- Cover. Use a sturdy winter cover to completely seal your pool to protect it from debris over the winter months.
There’s no doubt that having a pool requires a time commitment, especially when opening and closing it. However, that extra responsibility pays off in the many months of use and enjoyment your pool will offer you and your family.