What Do I Need to Open My Pool?
The number one question people ask about opening a pool is, “What do I need to open my pool?” This is really a two-part question. Part one is that we can tell you some items we know you are going to need when you first open the pool; sanitizer, shock, algaecide and Pool Opening Complete. The second part of opening consists of letting the pool run for two to three days to get the water stirred up, then we test the water to see what else the pool is going to need. Some chemicals we know you will need to add when opening, but until we test the water, we don’t know the full extent of what’s needed to balance the water.
To open a standard chlorine pool or salt pool, you are going to need sanitizer (chlorine tablets, sticks, or salt). You will also need shock, and we usually recommend a double shock versus what you would do on a regular weekly basis. We then recommend an algaecide and Pool Opening Complete. Pool Opening Complete is a strong clarifier that helps get rid of winter filth in the water. At Goodall Pools, we will normally ask you the volume of your pool and then tell you the exact amount of each product that you will need.
When is the right time to get started with a pool opening?
We normally tell customers the earlier the better. A lot of customers want to wait until it officially gets warm outside, but at that point, you’re almost ready to swim. All it takes is a couple of warm days with the cover on the pool and algae will start to grow. Algae love to grow in a warm, dark environment. So, we tell customers, the earlier you open, the better. At the Camp Hill store, we just opened our pool in mid-March, even though it’s still in the 40’s. For a lot of our customers, if they’re opening in April, it’s still going to be mild enough outside that they’ll open a clear pool. Even if you are running your pool for an extra month at the beginning of the season, you’re not going to be using a lot in the way of chemicals compared to what you will at the height of summer. There’s not a high operation cost early in the season. It’s going to be better than opening a green pool in late-May, and then having to spend extra money to clear up the algae.
If I’m ready to start swimming, how long do I need to give the pool to get ready before I can start using it?
Probably on average, a week. Once you open the pool, get everything running, then add those starter chemicals we discussed, we will want you to let the pool run for about 2-3 days. At that point, bring us a water sample to see what other chemicals you may need to balance the water. It may take a couple of extra days to add the chemicals recommended on the water test.
On average, the entire process takes about a week until everything’s ready to go. If it’s an especially green pool or you’re having other issues with the water clarity, it might be a little bit longer.
Now is the best time is now to get started because the season’s coming.
We do have a lot of customers who come in the week before Memorial Day and they say, “I’m getting ready to open. I’m going to have a party this weekend and I want everything to look good.” Then they take the cover off and it’s a mess. So, the earlier the better. It’s just going to be easier overall.
Here is a step-by-step planning guide that is also available in each of our stores for opening your pool. We also offer our Prestige Pool Maintenance to get your pool in tip-top shape. Stop in any Goodall Pools location to learn more.