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here probably isn’t a more love/hate spring job than opening up the swimming pool after the winter. It’s a job many pool owners dread. So even though warmer weather may not be too far off, getting the pool ready for the summer can seem a tougher and more complicated task than it really is. The good news is that a pool which has been properly maintained during the winter can be prepared for a new season of swimming with what is a minimum of effort. In fact the re-opening process begins the moment the pool is closed and basically entails reversing the instructions for closing it and by keeping an eye on the pool over the winter, this process becomes that much easier. There is a tried and tested routine for the pool owner which makes opening a pool much more of a straightforward task. The first thing is to get any decaying and soggy mess off the pool cover. Depending on which type of swimming pool cover you have, this is best accomplished with a cover submersible pump especially if you have a hard type slatted cover or a PVC safety cover where excess rain water has gathered throughout the autumn or winter.

OpeningTime APR 2010 SPN

Re-attach any deck equipment you have such as swimming pool ladders, handrails etc. remembering to lubricate all bolts. This will prevent them from rusting over the summer. Remember, you are probably the one who will be closing the pool, so you want the bolts to come off easy at closing time!

If they were removed at the pool closing, raise the underwater lights from the bottom of the pool and install them in their niches. Turn on the electric power and start up the support system. Check for leaks and proper operation. If you find any problems, consult your owner’s manual or contact a local pool service company. Have the heater professionally serviced before you use it. Add enough water to get the level to halfway up your pool skimmer openings. Then you must let your pump run for half a day to let the new water circulate with the old. After that is done you can check your water balance and add your swimming pool chemicals. You can, if you are concerned about water quality and don’t have the confidence to handle it yourself, take water samples to your local pool professional for analysis. If you don’t know, be sure to follow their procedures so you don’t damage any of your swimming pool surfaces. Make sure you give special attention to inspecting your diving board before you let anyone use it. Look for any stress-cracks and if you find a single one, replace your diving board. Re-install the skimmer baskets and any return eyeball fittings. If you have an above- ground pool, you may have to re-attach the actual skimmer and return fittings onto the pool itself.

A wide range of Lo-Chlor products is now being manufactured in the UK by Total Water Products

Try to limit water and other debris from getting into the pool water. If the water was in good shape at the end of last season, proper cover removal will ensure your pool opens relatively clear. Some dirty water will always manage to get in, don’t worry about it. You may eventually be adding chlorine and shock to the water and filtering it, so a little dirty water won’t hurt.

Depending on what type it is lay out pool cover and sweep or brush off any remaining debris. If you do not store your cover indoors, and you keep it outside or in a shed, then you do not have to worry about getting the cover particularly spotlessly clean. If you have used plugs on any of the openings of the pipework or filtration system, it is at this point when you need to remove these. Using a leaf net, remove as much rubbish and debris from the pool water as possible and clean any tide marks on the pool walls using a tile cleaner. Tile lines can be cleaned with baking soda and a sponge if you do not have any pool tile cleaner. Do not use any household cleaners (especially abrasives) to clean the tile. You do not want to swim in these chemicals.

If necessary, top up the water level so that it can be drawn in through the skimmer. Turn on the power to the pool system. You may have to turn on the circuit breaker from the house. Start and check system. Check for any leaks or drips and make sure any grounding straps or wires are properly connected to the pump and any other components that need them. Make sure that the pump primes properly and check that the filter, skimmers and drains are all working. Do not be too concerned if the water from the circulation is discoloured initially. If the water level was too high because of rain over winter, pump to waste.

Run the filter for several hours, vacuuming out any remaining debris. Once this has been done backwash the filter for approximately 5- 10 minutes and top up with fresh water. This should make sure the sand has been cleaned. If you have a cartridge filter you may want to rinse the media through with clean water. What for many pool owners is the biggest concern when it comes to opening up a pool for the new season comes next. After cleaning the pool, it’s time to check the water chemistry. Don’t begin by throwing a bunch of chlorine or other chemicals into the water.

49

POOLRX OFFERS CLEAR, ALGAE-FREE WATER TO POOLS AND SPAS

PoolRx is a new launch for the UK specialist market – a natural, mineral based product added to pools, spas, tubs and fountains in minutes, killing bacteria and algae as well as providing many other benefits to pool owners and users.

Established in the US and Asia with US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approval, it reduces the amount of chlorine required, leaving pools cleaner and healthier.

PoolRx is compatible with almost every system and ideal for commercial and domestic pools. Used in an outside 10m x 5m pool, a single PoolRx unit should last the season & will only need a Booster to keep the pool Algae free throughout the following winter.

With chlorine reduced to drinking water levels, users can bathe more comfortably, secure in the knowledge that they will not suffer from stinging eyes or itchy skin. The saving on cost of power used makes PoolRx one of the most impressive new products in the swimming pool market sector. As a new company Pool Rx (uk) offers discounts to new customers, but also a ‘Money Back Guarantee’.

Robert Hartman, General Manager of North Bay Pool & Spa in California was quick to praise PoolRx. “Our customers now have clear, clean and eco-friendly pools. We have had 90% less issues with algae and we are using 75% less chlorine compared to the previous year. Bottom line – we now have happier customers and we are saving money.”

Adding chlorine and other chemicals in certain circumstances can damage and/or stain your pool surface.

Allow the water to circulate for at least 8- 12 hours, so that the water that was added has time to mix with the water in the pool. After that time, test it thoroughly, then add the necessary chemicals in the proper sequence to balance the water chemistry. Check the pH and get it as near as possible to 7.2. If you have a low pH reading you will need to dose with a pH Increaser or if it is high you may need to buy a pH and alkalinity reducer Fi-Clor pH and Alkalinity Reducer. You will now need to shock dose the pool with any chlorine shock product. This is

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