Who wouldn’t love to have a private pool at their backyard? The swimming pools always bring some kind of amusement to us, no matter how old are we. We all love playing in pools with our dear ones.
You might have already seen many above ground pools in your relatives or friends' backyard. And obviously, you might have desired for an above ground pool in your backyard, isn’t it?
You don’t have to crave for it anymore. Here we are to show you how to open an above ground pool in your backyard.
In this article, we will also show you 12 easy steps to reopen an above ground pool in spring.
How To Open An Above Ground Pool For The First Time?
1. Location Hunt:
The first and important step for opening an above ground pool is to find a perfect location. Here are a few things to consider while you are finding a location for your pool:
- Privacy and safety matters. You would love to have some private time with your family and friends in the pool. Therefore, select a location that would give you enough privacy. Also, make sure that your pool is in a safe zone.
- The location of a swimming pool should be at least 10ft away from the power lines.
- Consider the availability of sunlight and match it with your needs. If you love playing in some warm water, you can find a location in the direction in which sunlight falls.
- You should find a location 10 feet away from your house.
- Find a location away from trees. The trees are good to watch and feel. But trees nearby your pool might make pool maintenance hard.
Once you have found an exact location, the next step is site preparation.
2. Site Preparation:
So, you have decided on the location of the pool. Now, you need to make some preparation works on the location. Check it out here:
- Clean the location.
- Remove rocks, debris, and stones excess on the ground.
- Remove the vegetation. Clear up plants nearby.
- Measure and mark the space for placing the above ground pool.
- Dig up the marked space and make it at least 2 inches deeper for best pool placement.
- Level the dug-up area and wait for 24 hours.
- Put sand in the dug-up space as a cushion to your pool. Level the sand well in the base. The sand acts as a barrier to the ground and liner of the pool. It protects the liner from the rough and sharp ground.
3. Start Building The Pool:
- Lay the foundation using patio stones. Each stone block must be level in all directions.
- Make a 45 degree 6 to 8-inch wedge of sand along the inner circumference of the pool wall.
- Spread the pool liner according to the instructions in its user manual.
- Connect the pump and filter system.
- Fill with water.
Chemicals Needed For Pool Start Up:
You should add certain chemicals to keep your pool clean, clear, and disinfectant. The different types of chemicals used for the Sanitizers, Oxidizers, Water Balancers, Clarifiers, Flocculants, etc.
You should always keep pH strips to ensure safe swimming.
Sanitizers keep the water disinfected. Mostly used sanitizers are:
- Trichloride tabs or sticks: You can add these tabs to the chlorine floater or chlorinator.
- Dichlorine granular powder: The granular form is more efficient and quicker than tabs and sticks.
- Cyanuric Acid (CYA) is dry or liquid chlorine: A small amount of CYA can be added with Trichlor or Dichlor tabs to protect the chlorine from UV rays. The CYA level should not rise more than 50ppm.
Oxidizers help to kill microbes in the pool. Mostly used oxidizers are:
- Calcium Hypochlorite: Calcium Hypochlorite pool shocks will quickly act on the pool water, increase the chlorine levels and destroys the algae.
- Chlorine-Free Shock: This is Granular Potassium monopersulfate. It is an oxygen-based sanitizer. It acts quickly and cleans the water.
3. Water Balancers:
Water Balancers are used to maintain the pH levels of pool water. The normal pH of pool water should range between 7.4ppm to 7.6ppm. Different types of water balancers used are:
- pH Increaser: You are advised to use a pH increaser once the pH of your pool water fall below 7.2ppm. Granular soda ash is the commonly used pH increaser. The addition of 1lb of pH increaser would increase the pH by one unit.
- pH Reducer: You should use a pH reducer when the pH of your pool water increases beyond 7.6ppm. granular Sodium biphosphate or Dry acid is the most commonly used pH reducer. The addition of 1lb pH reducer would decrease the pH level by 3 units. Dry acid is also used as an alkalinity reducer.
- Alkalinity Increaser: The alkalinity of water in your pool must be maintained at 80ppm to 120ppm. Granular Sodium Bicarbonate is used for this purpose. The addition of 1lb of alkalinity increaser would increase the total alkalinity by 10ppm.
- Calcium Hardness Increaser: The normal calcium hardness required for pool water is 50ppm. You can add Granular calcium chloride to increase the calcium hardness. The addition of 1lb of calcium increaser would increase the calcium levels by 10ppm.
- Chlorine Neutralizer: The chlorine level required by pool water is 2.0ppm to 4.0ppm.You are advised to use Thiosulfate if the chlorine level of your pool water rises up significantly.
Check out the following video on how to open an above ground pool:
How To Close An Above Ground Pool In Winter?
The above ground pools of most countries are closed on the arrival of winter to protect them from debris and harsh winter weather. They are re-opened in spring.
Here are the steps to close an above ground pool properly during the winter:
- Check and balance the pH scales of water to prevent corrosion and scale buildup.
- Clean the pool before winterizing. Use a clarifier to make the water in the pool crystal clear.
- You can buy a winterizing chemical kit and use it carefully according to the instructions.
- Clean the filter and the pump basket.
- If you've a pool heater installed in your pool, disconnect it properly and store it indoors.
- Lower the water level below the skimmer. Never drain out the entire water in the pool.
- Disconnect your pool equipment.
- Add pool anti-freeze into the plumbing.
- Fix winter plugs in skimmer and return lines.
- Put on the pool cover.
How To Open An Above Ground Pool In Spring?
Spring cleaning is essential to maintain the longevity and durability of your pool and to keep it clean and safe. Now let's take a look at how to open an above ground pool in spring:
Step 1: Remove the winter cover with which you have covered the whole pool during the entire winter season. Drain out the remaining water in the pool. You can clean the winter cover and store it safely for next year's winterization purposes.
Step 2: Refill your pool with fresh water.
Step 3: Remove the winter plug from all parts such as filter, pump, heater and attach the drain plugs instead.
Step 4: Wait until the antifreeze added into the pool during the winter is discharged to waste. And remove the winterizing plugs from the skimmer and return lines. You can reconnect the valve fittings removed while winterizing the pool.
Step 5: You should reconnect the plumbing lines and skimmer of your above ground pool. The pool equipment including drain plugs, filters, heater, and other accessories also have to be reconnected.
Step 6: Turn on the air relief valve in the filter to bleed the air while you switch on the pool system.
Step 7: Turn on the pool system and all equipment attached. Prime the pool pump, turn on the circulation and filtration systems.
Step 8: You are opening the pool after a long time. Therefore, the chances are high that traces of some metals might have got deposited in your pool. This would lead to staining of the pool surface. To avoid any staining due to metal deposition, you should add 1 liter of Metal-free for every 20,000 gallons of water in the pool. Run the circulation and filter system for at least 2 hours after adding the Metal-free solution.
Step 9: Run the circulation system for some hours before testing the pool chemistry and you start using the pool.
Step 10: It is important to make sure that your pool doesn’t contain any chemicals in excess or below the desired levels. Therefore, test the chemistry of your pool water before you start to swim.
Step 11: It is obvious that your pool chemistry might not be in the desired ratios. Therefore, you should adjust your pool chemistry as below:
Alkalinity: 80 ppm to 120 ppm.
pH level: 7.4 ppm to 7.6 ppm.
Chlorine level: 2.0 ppm to 4.0 ppm.
The calcium hardness level should be always greater than 150 ppm.
- Use a pH increaser if the pH of your pool water fall is below 7.2ppm.
- Use a pH reducer if the pH of your pool is beyond 7.6 ppm.
- You should add an alkalinity increaser if alkalinity level is low. Adding 1lb of alkalinity increaser would increase the total alkalinity by 10ppm.
- Add Granular calcium chloride if the calcium hardness goes below than the desired level. The addition of 1lb of calcium chloride would increase the calcium levels by 10ppm.
- Use Thiosulfate if the chlorine level of your pool water is high.
Step 12: Let the pool filter run overnight. This is important because by doing this, the chemicals will dissipate into pool water.
Step 12: Vacuum your pool with the best vacuum cleaner for above ground pool. Scrub the pool walls and bottom.
Step 14: Shock the pool to kill all bacteria and other microbes and make it clean and disinfected.
An above ground pool is an affordable option to make true your dream for a swimming pool. However, it would only last well if maintained with utmost care. You should winterize it. Spring cleaning is a must while reopening the pool. Always keep a check upon the chemistry of pool water.
Safe and happy swimming!