How to Open Above-Ground Swimming Pool for Summer

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Above-ground swimming pools give homeowners the convenience of having a pool in their backyard, without the cost of building an in-ground pool. While maintaining the pool throughout the season doesn't take a lot of time, preparing the pool for summer involves more than simply removing the cover. However, once you complete the work, you have months to enjoy the water.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric pool pump
  • Frisbee
  • Water hose
  • Water test kit
  • pH increaser
  • pH decreaser
  • TA increaser
  • TA decreaser
  • CalTreat
  • Calcium chloride
  • Shock kit
  • Algaecide
  • Pool vacuum
  • Use an electric pump to siphon off the water and debris on top of the pool cover. To avoid damage to the cover, place a Frisbee between the pool cover and the electric pump.

  • Remove the cover. Make sure that any water or debris that wasn't siphoned off doesn't end up in the pool as you remove the cover. Spread the cover out on the ground with the top up.

  • Use soapy water to clean the pool cover. Allow it to dry completely. Store the cover.

  • Remove the freeze plugs and replace the jet eyeball fittings.

  • Hook up the pool pump and filter. Turn the pool system on.

  • Reattach the pool skimmer and skim any debris off the top of the water. You can also use a leaf net to get debris out of the pool.

  • Fill the pool until the water level reaches 1 inch below the skimmer line. Let the water sit for eight to 10 hours, so that the new water mixes with the old water completely.

  • Use a water test kit to determine the chemical levels in the pool water. As needed, add pH increasers or decreasers, TA increasers or decreasers, CalTreat or calcium chloride. Ideally your pool should have a pH level of 7, a TA level between 125 and 170 parts per million, and a calcium hardness level between 200 and 400 ppm.

  • Use a chlorine shock kit to shock the water. Follow the directions on the kit and recheck the water every hour until you reach the chlorine level indicated on your kit.

  • Add algaecide as directed on the bottle. The amount needed will vary, depending on how much water your pool holds.

  • Let the water sit for 24 hours. Retest the water to ensure that it has the proper chemical levels. Vacuum the bottom of the pool.

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