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Pool Opening Suggestions and Product Ideas

Getting off on the right track can set the pace, for the season.
 
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The right way to open a pool saves time, effort and money!!!

 

Scroll down to browse through some archived SWIMMING POOL questions and answers.  Please click the Pool Problems Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Pool Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for pools and spas, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!

 

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Removing the pool cover and adding new water!!!

Over the course of the winter, water, leaves and debris accumulate on top of the winter cover.  Care should be taken to remove as much of the accumulations, to avoid having debris and water pour into the pool.  Once the cover has been removed, it is time to raise the water level, so that the filtration system can start.  If there's a possibility that new water additions will contain sediments, dissolved metals or contaminants, you should consider using something to pre-filter the new water.  Test your source water for iron, copper and manganese, to determine, if dissolved metals present a potential problem.  It is better to avoid a problem, than to try and treat it, after the water has been added to the pool.  The products below can remove sediments, heavy metals and contaminants, such as sulfur.  The MetalTrap Filter attaches to the garden hose and removes dissolved iron, copper and manganese.  The MetalTrap 1-Micron Filter removes ultra-fine contaminants, including sulfur.  The MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter attaches to a garden hose and removes dissolved heavy metals and sediments.
MetalTrap Filters - 3 sizes 1-Micron Pre-Filter - 2 sizes Dual-Cartridge MetalTrap Filters
MetalTrap Fiters 1-Micron Pre-Filters. MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, for pool and spa use.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

 
Removing Leaves and Debris, from the pool and surroundings!!!
Once the filter is running, you can use a pool vacuum to remove debris, from inside the pool.  This will help speed up the cleanup and reduce the amount of chlorine or oxidizer required, to eliminate all the organic wastes.  A Robotic Pool Cleaner is a very effective way to remove debris and scrub all the underwater surfaces.  Works independently of the pool pump and filter and requires no installation.  A variety of Battery-Powered, Hand-Held Vacuums can help you vacuum the entire pool or do some spot cleaning.  Cleaning up around the pool can keep dead leaves from being blown into the pool.  A Water Sweeper Broom cleans decks, patios, walkways, pool covers and more, 3 times faster, while using 1/3 the water.  Quality American-Made product, available in 4 models.
High-Tech Robotic Pool Cleaners Battery-Powered Portable Vacuums Water Sweeper Brooms
High Performance Robotic Pool Cleaners. Battery-Powered, Hand-Held, Leaf Vaccum Water Sweeper Broom cleans deck, patios, walkways and more.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

 
Removing Stains and Metals, from the pool or spa water!!!
After the debris has been removed, you should have the water tested for iron, copper and manganese.  Look for the presence of rusty, tan, blue, green, purple, brown, gray or black stains.  These are typically due to the presence of heavy metals, such as iron, copper or manganese.  Even if there is no obvious staining, the presence of heavy metals will cause water discoloration and possible staining, after chlorine or bromine are added or the pH is raised.  Depending upon the severity of the problem, the products below can help you eliminate the problem.  The Stain Reversal Kit contains everything needed to remove the metal stains, eliminate the heavy metals and help prevent a recurrence, of the problem. The Stain Remover removes iron copper and manganese stains. Pool Refresh-Total Trap helps eliminate heavy metals and phosphates, by filtering or vacuuming them out of the pool water.
Stain Reversal Kit, for Pools and Spas Removes Metal Stains Removes Dissolved Metals & Phosphates
MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit, for pools and spas MetalTrap Stain Remover Pool Refresh TotalTrap removes phosphates and metals.
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If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

 
Optimizing the water chemistry and improving water clarity!!!
With the bulk of the debris removed, now you're ready to add enough chlorine or shock, to destroy all the organic waste, algae and remaining debris.  Don't drag this part out.  The longer it takes to get a stable free chlorine level, the more product will be required.  Add a shocking dose, every few hours and run the filter 24/7, until conditions are optimized.  Test the water chemistry and adjust the pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid, as might be necessary.  A ColorQ, All-Digital Tester can perform all of the common pool water tests and eliminates the color-matching and guesswork.  Reliable water testing will help get the pool swimming-ready.  Better Circulation helps make everything work more effectively. The Circulator is a return jet replacement fitting, that improves filtration, eliminates dead zones that promote algae growth, improves sanitizer distribution and improves heat dispersion.  A Nano-Stick Clarifier is a 21st Century type of Pool Water Clarifying product, that helps eliminate fine particles, using only the energy of light.  Nothing to install - just hang it from a ladder or rail.
ColorQ All-Digital Water Testers The Pool Circulator Boosts Circulation Nano-Technology Water Clarifiers
#2056 ColorQ PRO 7, all-digital pool and spa tester. The Ciruclater replacement return jet fitting improves pool water circulation. Nano-Technology Clarifier Stocks, for Pools and Spas.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
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Better Skimming Keeps The Pool Cleaner!!!
A variety of products can help you get and maintain a cleaner pool, by improving skimming action.  A Remote-Controlled Skimmer is a fun way to get the kids involved, in keeping the pool free of floating debris.  A Solar-Powered, Robotic, Pool Surface Skimmer/Cleaner can autonomously keep the pool free of floating debris, from dawn to well after dusk.  You can convert a standard return jet into a powerful skimmer, by adding a Return-Jet Powered Pool Skimmer. Simple to install, uses only the power of the return flow and very affordable.
Remote-Controlled Pool Skimmer Robotic, Solar-Powered Pool Skimmers Return-Jet Powered Pool Skimmers
Remote-Controlled Pool Surface Skimmer Solar-Breeze Solar, Robotic Pool Skimmer/Cleaner. Return Jet Powered Pool Skimmer.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

 
Pool Opening Information
Pool opening refers to the steps necessary, to return the pool to operating status or start up a new pool. Proper opening techniques can save time and money and get you in the swim sooner. The more debris and algae, in the pool, the more chemicals will be required. There is no quick fix. Start with a complete water test.  The ColorQ Testers are all-digital and eliminate the color-matching and guesswork.  Easy to use and affordably priced.  Try to get the free chlorine level to 5-10 PPM, as soon as possible.  This page should prove helpful:  Calculating Chemical Additions.  If problems arise, refer to the Pool Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywordscatch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.
 
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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

 Getting Ready To Switch To A Salt Chlorine Generator?

I am wanting to convert my above ground pool from a mineral system to a salt water system. Will I need to use the mineral reservoir? Also is it necessary to use the Algaecide at start up?  Thanks.

Andrea, 3/21/2018
Relaiant salt chlorine generators, 3-models, for all types of pools, up to 40,000 gallons.

If you continue to use the minerals, it will provide backup sanitation, which will allow you to get good results, even while maintaining a lower free chlorine level.  Add enough chlorine and your pool should clean up, even though you don't add algaecide.  The combination of the minerals and a good free chlorine level should be all you require.  We offer several, affordably-priced, salt chlorine generators and one model requires no-installation.  They include lots of advanced features and can treat pools from 17,000 to 40,000 gallons.  A salt chlorine generator is the better way to do chlorine. I hope that I have provided the solution.  Enjoy the season.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 3/21/2018
 

 Opening With A Salt Chlorinator?

This is our first time opening using the salt system and I think we have trouble. I have above ground 24ft. x 48in. pool. at the end of last summer, we installed saltwater system and (upon changing systems our water got really green then just as we seemed to get water stabilized and clear, it was time to winterize and close . Upon opening the pool this weekend, the water is very, very dark. we have just completed adding the water to the needed level, and seems we need to shock 'big time' to clear to water. My question. Do we start up with opening procedure, as before the saltwater system, (shock, etc) while adding the extra salt (because of adding additional water) or do we shock, etc. get the water stable and clear, then add salt?? We live in Nashville, TN. Our winters are becoming so mild, I think next winter I will keep the pool open and running to help alleviate this situation. Please help
 
Professional Sat Water Test Kit.
Sherry, Nashville, TN 3/27/2007


Do everything, the same as before, and test the salt level and adjust to the proper range. You will have to add shock, as needed, to help destroy all of the contamination. The faster, the chlorine level is raised, the better. Adjust the other water chemistry parameters, as required. Once done, the Salt Chlorine Generator should be better able to maintain the level. Make sure that the salt cell is clean and that all connections are tight. I hope this information helps.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/27/2007

 

 Getting Started?

MY HUSBAND AND I JUST PURCHASED AND ABOVE GROUND 30' ROUND POOL. WE JUST FILLED IT WITH WATER AND HAVE YET TO ADD ANY CHEMICALS TO IT. CAN YOU SUGGEST HOW TO GET THE POOL STARTED?

Lisa W., Coldwater, MS, 5/20/2018


While your question seems simple enough and it is, it is also worthy of being on the "top 10" list. Depending upon the source of the water being used to fill the pool, you can save yourself a lot of anguish, time and money by doing a few things before adding chemicals. Have the water, that will be
Liquid MetalTrapused to fill the pool, tested for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, iron and other heavy metals might be present. If there are heavy metals present, it is best to add one dose of a quality, phosphate-free metal treatment, such as Liquid Metal Trap, for each 0.5 PPM, as the pool is being filled. If the tests for heavy metals are negative, you might want to add a dose anyway. Allow about 6 hours of filter operation before adding other chemicals. Now you're ready to adjust the pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness. Try and avoid having chemicals, especially chlorine products, remain in prolonged direct contact with the liner: run the filter and stir things up with the pool brush. If the pool is to be maintained on chlorine, you should add stabilizer. Try and maintain a Free Chlorine level of 1-3 PPM, at all times, whether the pool is being used or not. The labels are only a guide! How much chlorine your pool will require will depend upon location, Sun exposure, bather usage and frequency, water temperature, etc. It may sound difficult, but is easier to do it right, than to fix it after some neglect. Having a reliable water tester can help you avoid problems. The all-digital ColorQ Water Analyzer will eliminate all color matching and guesswork. I hope that these suggestions will prove helpful. I hope that these suggestions will prove helpful. Enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/20/2018
 

 Pool Cleaning Made Easier?

Every springs I do battle to dead leaves flying into the newly opened pool.  Ultimately, some sink to the pool floor and cause staining.  I seem to be vacuuming all the time.  Any solutions?

Justin L., Pt Pleasant, SC, FL 3/5/2015
Solar-Powered, Robotic  Pool Skimmer-Cleaner
Robotic, Solar-Powered Pool Surface Skimmer/Cleaner will remove floating debris and does it all on its own.  It operates fully autonomously, throughout the day as long as the pump is running.  It helps filter out leaves fine debris, before they have a chance to sink.  It helps eliminate dead zones and allows you to shorten the filter cycles.  It may not completely eliminate the need to vacuum, but does keep the pool cleaner, for longer periods of time.  If you have a suction-side pool cleaner, it can be operated, at the same time.  I hope that this information is helpful.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 2/1/2015


 Messy Opening and Safety Issues?

My husband and I purchased a resale last December. Although the pool was operating when we first viewed the house, it was closed and covered by the time we took title. We know nothing about pools. Call us city folks. Over the course of the winter, the solid plastic cover over the pool, collapsed at one end. Evidently, this was a result of leaves and water collecting on top. I can only imagine what a mess is now inside the pool. The pool is a vinyl inground type, about 20 X 40. It is spring now and we are going to have to face the challenge. Where do we start? The pool is fenced in, but not separated from the house. I'm concerned about the kids and dog. Helpful hints will be appreciated. Thank you.

Sharon H., Milton, MA, 5/31/2013


It does sound like you're in for a lot of work. If it were up to me, I would call in a pool service company to open the pool, get everything working and start you on the road to crystal clear water. That way, you can observe, ask questions and, perhaps, learn about operating the equipment. A local pool professional can help you with matters of water testing and chemicals. But, if you want to do it yourself, here is where to start. If the cover still has water and debris on top, get a cover pump (small submersible pump that is attached to a garden hose and placed on top to remove water) and pump off as much water as possible. Try and remove the debris with a pool leaf rake: without causing a collapse. Pull the cover off, trying to keep as much debris, as possible, out of the pool. Clean the cover, allow to dry and store indoors until winter. Now you are looking at a disaster of a pool, with the water somewhat below the skimmers. If your water is of good quality and not from a well, you can start adding water. If your water is from
One of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers. a well, you might want to have it tested: minerals can cause staining and are best treated before chlorine is added. The filter has to be hooked up: depending upon the type it may have been removed for the winter and stored indoors. A local dealer or friend might be able to help with the hookup. Once the filter is running, you are ready to start adding chemicals.  A reliable pool water tester is a must.  I suggest the #2056 Color PRO 7, which is simple to use and eliminates the bothersome color-matching.  I would start with 2 pounds, per 5,000 gallons of pool water, of a shock treatment. This will begin the decomposition of the leaves and debris. Find out how to use your pool vacuum and use it to start removal of the debris on the bottom. Have the water tested for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and chlorine stabilizer and add chemicals as required. Test for Free Chlorine, every few hours, and add more shock, if the Free Chlorine level drops below 3 PPM. The pool should start to look better and better, but could take a few days to really clear up. I know that I have oversimplified things, but you will get by with some common sense and some pool dealer advice. During the summer, all this work will be a fond memory. You might want to browse through the archives on the topics of pool maintenancecloudy water, etc. There are safety products available including Pool Alarm Systems, for all types of pools. These products can add a high degree of security. You can help protect your dog and even some uninvited critters from drowning, because of being unable to exit the pool. An escape ramp helps provide an easy escape route, for pets and animals. You might check to make sure that the main drain is an anti-entrapment design, as it can prevent serious accidents. Local laws can vary, so make sure that all safety devices are in compliance, with all current federal and local regulations.  Being aware is, of course, always important! I hope that I have been of assistance. Good luck with the pool and enjoy the summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster/ 5/31/2013


 Empty Pool And Broken Pipe?

Great website! Very informative. A question for you.  Is it possible that liner shrinkage (from an in ground pool sitting empty for almost two months) could introduce enough force into the plumbing to fracture an inlet pipe/fitting? Thanks!

Thomas K., 4/6/2011


If the pool is empty, water can collect and could be more apt to freeze, as compared to a filled pool. However, this might not have anything to do with freeze-thaw problems. If the ground water level rose to a level, higher than the pool floor, the pool could float up and cause pipes to break. Depending on how the pipes were laid out, it might not take much to cause damage. Leaving a pool empty, for long periods of time, does involve risk. So, I guess the answer is yes. Picture a rowboat almost filled with water and barely floating. Remove water and the boat floats higher. A pool can be like a floating boat, especially if heavy rains have elevated the water table. Sorry I can't provide something more helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/6/2011


 Not Quite Ready To Open?

I am not going to open the pool as early as I usually do. A friend suggested that I pull back the cover and add a few gallons of liquid shock, in order to help keep the water a few weeks longer. What do you think of that idea? The pool is a vinyl inground. Thank you.

Rich G., Paramus, NJ, 6/2/2012


I assume that the pool is covered and that the filter is in storage. Therefore, there is no circulation. An vinyl lined pool should not have chlorine added without the benefit of circulating water. This could result in some bleaching of the liner. Adding chemicals, especially chlorine, without the filter operating, is not a good practice. Are you willing to risk damage to the liner? If the pool was masonry, there would be no problem adding the chlorine. It's your decision. The idea has merit, as long as care is taken to avoid damaging the liner. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/3/2012

How to clean up a pool opening, with less work.

Use a Robotic Pool Cleaner, for better results, with less time and effort.
Use a Robotic, Solar-Powered Pool Skimmer, to skim debris, before it sinks down.
Turn a return jet into a powerful surface skimmer, in any pool.
Remove dirt and sediments or spot clean, using a hoseless, portable vacuum.
Easily remove leaves, from any type of pool, using this battery-powered leaf vacuum.
Blue Diamond Robotic Pool Cleaner RC Solar-Powered, Robotic  Pool Skimmer-Cleaner Return-jet powered pool surface skimmer. Portable, battery-powered hand-held vacuums, for all types of pools and spas. Batttery-Powered Leaf Vacuum
A Robotic Pool Cleaner operates independently of the pool pump and needs no installation. A Solar-Powered, Robotic Surface Skimmer/Cleaner removes debris, before it can sink. Convert any return jet into a powerful skimmer, with simple installation.  For all types of pools. Use a portable, hoseless pool vacuum to clean a spot or the whole pool. 8 models, to suit every need. A cordless and hoseless, battery powered leaf vacuum will make clean up, easier than ever.
Click on any image for complete product and ordering information.

 Jumping The Gun To Get The Pool Opened?

Out of curiosity (I am in Connecticut and the pool is still covered) I did a few tests on my pool water (gunite pool with a winter cover that lets water through) and the pH seemed like it had gone up a lot (the pH number went up) over the winter is this normal? I did the acid demand test and I think it took like four drops of the reagent that is used to measure acid demand. For one thing what is the preferred way to bring the number down and secondly should I wait until the pool is opened in probably six weeks or so? I would assume I need to wait as the pump needs to be on, etc. I have heard of people around here putting some chemicals under the cover to get a head start on the de-winterizing. Also, why would the pH go up over the winter? From rain and snow? Thanks for your help and a great site.

Paul B., Connecticut, 4/4/2015


That's not how it usually works. Acid rain and carbon dioxide should cause the pH to drop - even in CT. Being that the pool is gunite, it is possible that the walls are influencing the pH. In any event, the sample was not representative of the pool. It won't be until the pump is up and running. I would wait the 6 weeks and not worry about it, until the cover is off and the filter is running. That's when a water analysis helps tell you what to do. Putting in chemicals, under the cover, can lead to problems and is not worth the risk! I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/4/2015


 Unwanted Dearly Departed?

We just bought a new house which contained an inground round pool. We have absolutely no experience with pools. It had a cover but somehow both a chipmunk and lizard managed to make their final resting place at the bottom of our pool over the winter. We removed them but now are wondering if we should just dump the water and start over. Please help. Thank you.

SCOTT H., 4/12/2007


In the routine course of getting the pool back into proper condition, after a winter of dormancy, you will have to add lots of chlorine: enough to boost and maintain the free chlorine level at 1-3 PPM. Doing this will destroy all traces of the dearly departed. There is no need to drain the pool. This is not all that uncommon! If you are interested in prevent a recurrence, adding a pet escape ramp will give these critters an escape from the water entrapment. If is simple to install and does not interfere with the pool use, if you flip it onto to deck. If the problem is just frogs and small critters, it just might be what you need.  Good luck and enjoy the pool.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/12/2007


 Black Swampy Water?

Alan, thanks for providing the website. I live in the Detroit area and have a 24' round aboveground pool. Upon opening this year (after years of successful openings), the water looks like black swamp water! Cant see the bottom! There is a silty, black substance on the liner surface under the water and I'm not sure what to do here. Should I drain it and start over, or do I fill'er up and let chemistry and filtration do the work? I have had excellent results every year. I found a few holes in my winter cover after removing all the leaves & junk and suspect that the dirty water migrated into the pool. What do you think? Sincerely.

Stephen B., Detroit, Michigan, 5/3/2008


Do not drain the pool! It could result in liner shrinkage. The holes in the cover allowed contamination into the pool and that depleted any chlorine that
One of the ColorQ all-digital, pool and spa water analyzers.might have been present. The conditions, as you have described them, are consistent with algae growth and accumulated debris. Fill the pool up and get the filter operating. Add 2 pounds of shock for each 5,000 gallons of pool water. Test the water for Free Chlorine and keep adding additional shock at the rate of 1 pound per 5,000 gallons of water, until a Free Chlorine level of 1-3 PPM is established and remains after an overnight period. Depending upon the actual condition of the water, it may take considerably more shock than you might surmise. The longer you take to establish a Free Chlorine reading, the more chlorine will be required.  Adding an algaecide will help in eliminating the algae. Adjust the pool water chemistry on a timely basis. Make sure that the pH is not above 7.6, inasmuch as high pH values will reduce the effectiveness of the shock treatment. To help clear up the water, add a dose of a quality blue clarifier. Vacuum and scoop out as much debris as possible. Things may seen bad, but it will clear as soon as enough chlorine has been added. Once clear, resume normal sanitizing and filtration. Having the right water tester can help solve and avoid problems. The all-digital ColorQ Labs eliminate all the guesswork and the color-matching. I hope that I have been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/4/2008


 Water On Top Of Winter Cover?

This is my first year having my pool, we closed the pool fine and put a pillow in the center. During the winter water, leaves, and ice stacked up on top of the pool cover. I tried getting as much as I could off but after it froze over I wasn't very successful. Now its spring and the ice melted leaving a lot of water on top which is making the pool cover drop down and on one side the cover was pulled close to inside the pool. I'm trying to find a way to get all the water out since its so deep. Do you have any recommendations?

Pool Rookie, 4/6/2005


There are submersible cover pumps that can be used to remove accumulated water. Or you could take a length of hose and create a siphon. It make take a day or so, but it will remove the water. The more you get off, the less likely it will be that you get this debris in the pool. Good luck and enjoy the season.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/6/2005


 What About The Pump?

Alan, I just bought a home with an above ground pool. The previous owners told me that they winterized the pump with some chemical (unknown). The pump was not covered up or brought inside. The water looks fine and I have read all of your information on opening pools for the summer. My question is, what do I need to do to the pump before turning it on? I assume turning it on would push all of this winterizing chemical into the pool. Should I drain it and how? and Is this a good technique for next year when I do it?

Lori H., 5/18/2010


Most lucky the winterizing agent was a pool pipeline anti-freeze product. No matter what, if you discharge the water into the pool, it will have little or no effect on the overall pool water.  I prefer to remove the pump to an indoor location, for the winter. If the filter is not a sand filter, you might be able to do the same with that as well. Otherwise, draining and sealing off against water intrusion is next best method. Enjoy the summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/19/2010


 The Pool Water Drained Away?

After looking under the cover of our pool we found that most of the water has drained out. How do you go about locating where the hole is in the liner, if that is the case? Thanks.

Linda A., 3/1/2012


This may not be the most important step to take, but try and prevent the cover and all of the debris on top from falling into the pool. 
Fix A Leak leak sealer for pools and spas.All that would do is add to the problem. Unfortunately, you did not provide and specifics, as to pool type. The pool leak could be in a main drain, return fitting or the built-in steps. That is if there are any of these features. It is possible that the leak is at the current water level. Mark the current depth, for use as a reference point. If the leak was very small, if may be difficult to see a water loss on a daily basis, because some water will be lost due to evaporation. Fix A Leak is a product that is used to seal leaks, such as yours. It is added to the pool and makes a seal, as it leaks out, after being carried to the leak. If the water continues to drain out slowly, it will stop at the level of the leak. There are concentrated dye solutions, that can be added to a still pool, that can help trace the flow to the source of the leak. There are companies that specialize in locating pool leaks. It is not a good idea to leave a vinyl liner pool without water for extended periods, as such practice can lead to liner shrinking. If the pool is an inground, structural damage is possible, if substantial water has drained out. I hope that this information will point you in the right direction. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/1/2012


 Removing A Winter Pool Cover?

Can you advise how to best remove an in-ground winter cover that appears to be made of a solid material? We have not started this pool before, as we just moved in. Thanks.
 
Gary, 7/1/2013
Batttery-Powered Leaf Vacuum
There is a definite advantage in asking before the fact! Take the cover off incorrectly and you'll be sorry. The first thing you must do is pump off as much water as possible. There are small submersible cover pumps that are perfect for this task. Just attach a garden hose. Once the water is off, try and remove as much of the debris as possible. It is probably not possible to remove everything, but give it your best shot. When this has been done, you are ready to remove the cover. Try and do it such a way as to minimize the amount of debris that might fall into the pool. That's why getting off as much as possible, before trying to remove the cover, is so important. If debris gets into the pool, it can be quickly and easily removed using a battery-powered, cordless, hoseless Leaf Vacuum. After the cover is removed, restore the water level, connect the equipment and start on the road to water quality. I hope it all works out well. Enjoy the season.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/2/2013


 Where To Start?

Hi Alan. Last March (2007), we purchased an inground fiberglass pool, with a cartridge filter. The installation included the opening of the pool and the first closing. The pool company considered the installation and start up of the pool as our "opening", however, we were at work the majority of the time and unfortunately were not there to see what was involved or to take notes or ask questions. We were there to witness the closing and took notes on the steps taken. Now it is coming up on the time to open the pool again, however, we aren't exactly sure of what we need to do and the pool company wants to charge us a few hundred dollars to have them do it. Besides removing the cover and the fittings and plugs from the inlets, what else would we need to do besides shocking it, and cleaning it and adding more water to bring the level back up? Anti-freeze was put into the water lines, does that have to be flushed out or anything? Do you know of any book we can read that gives more information? Thanks for your help.

Karen T., 3/10/2008


A pool opening is essentially a reversal of the pool closing. The one thing that you should be very careful with is the removal
BlasterAutomatic Filter Cartridge Cleaners for pools and spas.of the cover. You don't want to get all that debris into the pool. Use a cover pump to remove all of the water from the top of the cover (if it is a solid cover) and use a skimmer net to scoop off any debris. Once the cover is off, start adding water, remove all the plugs and winter fittings and reconnect the filter and pump. Make sure the filter cartridge is clean: using The Blaster Filter Cartridge Cleaner will make it easy. Assuming that a pool grade antifreeze was used, it can be flushed into the pool. Once filtration has been restarted, chemicals can be added. You will have to add enough chlorine shock to destroy any accumulations of algae and debris and establish an appropriate chlorine level. The other aspects of pool water chemistry should be tested and adjusted, as necessary. Make sure that the cover is cleaned and allowed to dry off, before storing away. I hope that this information will point you in the right direction. Have fun and good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/10/2008


 Antifreeze In The Pool?

Is it imperative to remove the antifreeze from the lines rather than just letting it mix with the rest of the water and then treating it as needed for summer start up? No one seems to know. I have a fiberglass inground pool. If not, what is the easiest way to clear the lines and make ready for the season? Thanks.

John, 5/13/2006


If you are using a swimming pool antifreeze, it is expected that the product will get into the pool. This type of product should present no hazard, once in the pool. Enjoy the summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/13/2006


 Unopened For 5 Years?

Dear Alan, we opened the pool after 5 years of not opening it. We can not get the water to clear. At the pool company everything reads normal. When it is vacuumed brown water comes out of the jets. Does that mean there is something wrong with the pipes or the filter? We even put in a chemical that is supposed to take the chemicals to the bottom but that still hasn't help to clear the water. Help. Thank you.

Bonny B., Phippsburg, Maine, 6/17/2008


Picture all the stuff that has been growing in the pipes and unreachable spots for the past 5 years. I think that you are going to have to maintain a high chlorine level, 5-10 PPM, and keep the water recirculating. If the filter has not been disassembled and cleaned, it should be at the top of the list. Once the chlorine has been allowed to decompose all the accumulations of 5 years of neglect, I'm sure that progress will be made. Good luck.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/17/2008


 Directing The Water Flow?

I just opened my inground pool, and the pressure is fine and it's cleaning the pool. I have 2 skimmers on the side and 2 on the bottom. It looks like the side skimmers are not sucking in any water just the bottom one. I had a pool company winterize it, but they were booked so I opened it my self. The water is clear, just the side skimmers are not sucking in any water or dirt? Why? Is it filtrating thru the bottom 2 opening on the floor of the pool? HELP, since all the pool guys are booked up! Thank you.

Eddie, 5/11/2011


It sounds like a simple enough problem. Let's hope that it is! There must be a valve or valves that allow you to apportion the water between the skimmers and the bottom drains. It sounds like all of the water is being directed to the drains. Check the settings and hopefully the problem will be solved. If not, it could be indicative of a plugged line and will require servicing. Good luck and I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/12/2011


 When To Open?

I live in Atlanta, GA, and wanted to know the best time to open our inground pool. My husband says it is to early because there are still blooms from the trees and bushes blowing all over the place.

Dawn, Atlanta, GA, 4/19/2004


I don't know if I would base it on the spring bloom. Given the cost of electricity, I would choose to open a pool perhaps 2-4 weeks before there was some expectation of actually using the pool. Otherwise, you'll incur some needless expenses. Keep an eye on the long term weather forecast and give yourself enough time to get things in order. Enjoy the season.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/19/2004


 Choice Of Water Supply?

I am having a pool installed basic 20X40 inground pool. I estimate @ 35,000 gals needed. I have a well and don't want to use it to fill the pool. I also have a stream that leads to a local reservoir. This time of year it is very active and I could easily pump water from the stream to the pool. Will this cause me big problems in the future? If I have the water trucked in how do I know that the trucking company did not get the water from the CT river? ( I live in Conn). Please advise?
Liquid MetalTrap
TOM D., CT, 11/21/2006


I am not sure either is a good option. I suggest that you sample both and have a local pool store do some testing. Primarily, you are looking to avoid water with high iron content or high hardness. You should add several doses of a quality, phosphate-free metal treatment, such as Liquid METALTRAP, before the water is added. A METALTRAP Filter unit, that you attach to the hose, will remove lots of the problem metals and minerals. It can make marginal water less likely to cause problems and save you time and money, in the long run. I hope that this information will be helpful.
 
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 11/21/2006


 Filling From The Pond?

Alan, this looks like a very useful site. We are in the process of installing a fiberglass pool. The pool is in and they filled it (while backfilling) with water from a pond. There are fish in the pond so its not polluted with chemicals, but there are geese as well. The builder (very reputable - in business for 40 years) is saying that it is common to do this. I would have preferred a tanker with fresh water. My wife was horrified. He says the water will clean up and be as clear as tap water when they are through. I'm a little uneasy. Should I be? Also, How will I know which section of your website this question would be answered in? Thanks.

Del C., Fort Wayne, IN, 4/10/2007


Actually, the exact question probably is not on the website, but I will add it. You will receive an email reply, as I answer far too many questions to put them all on the website. The use of natural water is not uncommon, especially in rural areas. The presence of waste from the pond's current inhabitants is not a major issue. Chlorine will destroy all of the organic content and the filter should do t
MetalTrap 1-Micron Pre-Filterhe rest. Just to protect against the presence of iron and other metals, I would add at least two doses of a quality, phosphate-free metal treatment, such as Liquid MetalTrap. Most metal treatments contain organic phosphonic acid, which can degrade to form phosphate and are not effective, over a wide pH range. To be sure, have the pond water tested for iron and other metals. If present, add at least a dose of each 0.5 PPM found and another dose monthly. Inasmuch as pond waters vary, there is no uniform works everywhere scenario. The METALTRAP 1-Micron Pre-Filter can remove the organic products, that are typically found in naturally occurring water supplies. This can help you avoid staining, discoloration and help you get the chemistry balanced sooner. Test the water and adjust the pool water parameters, as necessary, to the recommended levels: pH, chlorine, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, chlorine stabilizer and heavy metals. You can do all test tests with a ColorQ water Analyzer, in a quick, reliable manner and without the bother of color-matching.  Good luck with pool and I hope this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/10/2007


 What To Do, Until The Pump Is Repaired?

My above ground pool was just opened, after having been closed for the winter. The water was not in bad shape. After trying, without success to start up the filter, I decided to bring the pump and motor in for some repair. It won't be ready for 3-4 days. Can you suggest anything to do until the equipment is ready? Thanks. Sincerely.

John H., Pottsville, PA, 5/31/2006


Without the filter operating there is not much that can be done. Your above ground pool requires that some care must be taken to avoid damaging the vinyl liner.  I would not add granular chlorine to the pool: you don't want product sitting on the bottom, especially without water circulation. If you would like to add chlorine, use liquid chlorine. Pour it into the water away from the walls and use a vacuum pole or water stream from a garden hose to help distribute and dilute the chlorine. Use a leave rack to remove any debris that might have fallen into the pool, during removal of the cover. Be patient, you have the whole summer ahead of you. Enjoy the summer.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/31/2006
 

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