How to Open a Swimming Pool on Long Island
Since we are based out of Merrick, NY, we wanted to write this blog about swimming pool opening on Long Island. After years of opening pools, we wanted to pass along some information that can save you time and make life easier. The first item we come across when opening a pool is the cover. If you have a safety cover, it’s very important to get all of the leaves off the cover before opening. If you have a tarp cover, you’ll want to remove the leaves as well, but you might need to pump off some water first. A lot of beginners make the mistake of thinking they can live the tarp out of the pool with dirty water and leaves on top to keep it out of the water. Most tarp covers can have hundreds of gallons, if not thousands of gallons, on top of the cover, and at 8 lbs a gallon, you and your 5 strongest friends aren’t going to be able to hoist out the dirty water. This can result in dirty water and leaves dumping into the pool, costing you a lot of money in power vacuuming. Pumping a tarp cover is a good way to get the water off the cover without letting it get into the water, however, you will want to make sure the tarp isn’t ripped, you will eventually be pumping out your pool with a ripped cover.
Connecting The System
Once your cover is off, it’s time to connect your pump and filter and chlorinator, which is a standard set up for Long Island. We recommend doing this step next, as some filter sites are below grade and removing the plugs can cause water to flood the filter site. You want to hand tighten all of your connections and do not over tighten. If you crack the collars on the unions, you will need to replace sections of plumbing before anything will work. Another thing to inspect is the o-rings between any unions. If the o-ring is cracked, damaged, or missing, you will have a leak at that connection. Another thing to remember is use Teflon tape on all drain plugs and threaded plastic fittings that are to be connected. Once your system is connected, remove the drain plugs and gizmos, and install the skimmer baskets and returns. Note: you want to make sure your returns face the surface of the water or the water will collect dirt and leaves without being pushed to the skimmer.
Priming The Pump
You’re just about ready to turn on the pump, but DO NOT FORGET to prime the pump. We recommend using the garden hose to add water at the pump basket to make sure the pump is primed and the lines have water. This will make sure the system starts up right away, assuming everything is connected properly. Another pro tip is to start the pump the first time in “recirculate”. This will get the system running faster and help you identify if there are any issues going on with your filter. If your water is green or brown or black, leave the multiport set to recirculate for the first day or two to allow the shock and chlorine to kill the bacteria without overloading your filter. If the water is relatively clean and clear, add your chlorine and shock and move the handle back to filter and turn on the pump. The fastest way to get your pool clean and clear is to run the pump constant for the first couple of days, making sure to backwash at least once daily. We recommend storing all of your winterizing materials in the bag where the cover is stored, to consolidate everything to one location. At this point, your pool is open and running. Swimming pool opening on Long Island is complete.
The Next Steps
The next steps are power vacuum, balancing chemicals, and weekly service, which we will cover in later blogs. We hope you enjoyed this and learned something. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and we will try to answer them as soon as we can! For additional resources, check out our other blog entries