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Open Your Pool



Protect your family by properly shocking your pool and using the right chemical levels. Shocking your pool rids the water of waste like sweat, cosmetics, lotions, oils, urine, bird droppings, dead bugs and bacteria. You’ll save money by doing this job yourself, too – outside help with cost roughly $200.


How To:

  1. 1

    First, remove your pool cover. If there’s any water on the pool cover, drain it by dumping the water and letting it dry. Then, use a leaf blower or a broom to clear away leaves and branches. If your pool cover is particularly dirty, wash it with mild soap and water. Before you store it, let it dry completely to prevent bacteria growth.

  2. 2

    If you turned off the circuit breaker to the pool pump and heater when you closed your pool, it’s time to turn it back on.

  3. 3

    Reattach your filtration hoses and open your valves. These are both part of your filter system, which pulls dirty water from the pool, presses it through sand (if you have a sand filter), and pushes the clean water back into the pool.

  4. 4

    Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to prepare your pump, filter and heater for the summer.

  5. 5

    Lubricate your o-rings with water-based lubricant. O-rings are round rings used as a gasket for sealing a connection.

  6. 6

    Clean out your skimmer basket. The skimmer basket is connected to your pool water pump, and traps leaves and other floating debris.

  7. 7

    Begin adding water to your pool with a hose. Keep adding water until your skimmer is ¾ covered.

  8. 8

    Once your pool is filled with water, allow the skimmer to work for several hours to completely rid the pool of debris. Your chemicals will work better when the pool is clean.

  9. 9

    Test your water pH and alkalinity levels. Without revisiting Chemistry 101, the important thing to know is that both pH and alkalinity play a role in achieving and maintaining water chemistry and that alkalinity should be adjusted before pH.

  10. 10

    There are two ways to test for alkalinity: test strips or test kits. Both run from around $6 to around $20. Make sure to read the package and select a kit that tests pH as well as alkalinity. Follow the how-to instructions on the package.

  11. 11

    If needed, adjust your water pH and alkalinity levels. If your pH level isn’t between 7.2 and 7.6, use a pH increaser or pH reducer. Also, make sure your alkalinity level is between 80 and 120 parts per million.

  12. 12

    Use a pool shock chemical. You can purchase pool shock chemicals two ways: one use at a time or a full season. If you opt for the one-time option, you’ll pay around $20. You can get a season’s worth of pool shock treatment for roughly $400. The majority of pool shock chemicals require an application at a rate of one pound per 1,000 gallons of water. Follow the instructions on the pool shock chemicals package.

  13. 13

    If you want your water to be clearer, add a clarifier. You can purchase a multi-use bottle of clarifier for about $10. Follow the instructions on the clarifier package.

  14. 14

    If you have an algae problem, use an algaecide to prevent algae. You can purchase a multi-use bottle of algaecide for about $10. Follow the package instructions to properly use the algaecide.

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