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How to Open Your Swimming Pool in 7 Steps

Every year pool owners look forward to the same important event, opening the pool. Many pool owners hire a trusted Pool Professional to open and maintain their pool others choose the DIY route. The goal is the same. Open your pool the right way to insure a great start to your swimming season.

When it warms up outside it is time to get the pool ready. If you plan on opening your own pool follow these steps to ensure a successful opening. The process doesn’t take too much time, but it will take course over a few days, so plan ahead.

Step 1.  What You Will Need

Here are a few things you may need to open your pool for the season. A pool skimmer net, brush, vacuum and water test strips. For Chemicals you will need: Total Alkalinity Increaser, A pH Increaser or Decreaser, Chlorine Stabilizer, Calcium Hardness Increaser, Granular /Tab Chlorine, Algaecide, and Metal/Stain Control. Don’t forget safety goggles and rubber gloves.

Step 2. Clean Off The Cover

If there is water on it, use a pump to drain it. Then sweep off any debris. SMART TIP: To make it easier to remove the cover add water to the pool. Just slide a hose under the cover and raise the water level to the middle of the skimmer openings. 

Now remove the cover. You may need some help with this step. To keep the cover in good shape and prevent mildew make sure it’s clean and dry before you store it. SMART TIP: If you are going to dry your cover on your lawn, be sure to move it around throughout the day so the heat doesn’t burn your grass.

Step 3. Remove All The Freeze Plugs & Reinstall Pool Accessories 

Remove plugs from the return lines and the skimmers. Then reinstall the directional fittings on the returns. Also reinstall all the pool accessories, like the ladder, and rails and diving board. Make sure they are good condition. 

Step 4.  Check The Mechanical Components

If needed reinstall any components that were stored when you closed the pool the previous season. Also, you should have cleaned your filter before closing the pool. Before you start the filter system, you need release the air pressure by opening the relief valve. When you have a steady stream of water, all of the air has been released, so close the valve. Now open the valves on the return line, the skimmer line, and the main drain. Then start the filter system.

Step 5: Fill Up Your Pool & Clean The Pool

Your pool might have been drained during winterization or lost water over the winter. If the water level in your pool is below the midway point of the skimmer opening, use your garden hose to fill it up. SMART TIP: Use PleatcoPureStart for fill or top-off to eliminate dirt particles, capture magnesium, iron and calcium before they enter the water! 

The next step is cleaning the pool. First use the skimmer net to clear debris off the top of the water, then brush the sides and floor, and run the vacuum to collect the dirt. After you finish cleaning, let the filter run for about 24 hours to circulate the water.

Step 6: Testing The Water Chemistry

The water needs the right balance of elements for the pool and equipment to run properly and for swimmers to swim safely. You can check the chemistry yourself with test strips or take a water sample to your local pool dealer. Important: Always wear safety goggles and rubber gloves when working with the chemicals. And follow the products directions for each product used. Just as important, the directions will tell you where and how to store the chemicals.

Here’s the basic testing procedure. Dip the strip well below the surface. Then compare the readings to the included chart. Total alkalinity determines how well the water resists changes in pH levels. It should be between 80 and 125 parts per million. Add total alkalinity increaser if the levels are low. If the levels are high, add pH decreaser.

Next wait 2 hours before checking the pH level. The pH should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Make the proper adjustment with a pH increaser or decreaser, then wait 1 hour before proceeding.

Now adjust the water hardness for the proper level of calcium. To increase the levels, add calcium hardness increaser. To decrease, you will have to drain some of the water and refill with source water that has a lower calcium level.

Step 7: Once You Pool Is Properly Balanced – Add Pool Sanitizer - Chlorine

Chlorine is what kills all the bacteria, viruses, and germs in the water. However, the suns UV rays can make it ineffective, so your pool needs a Chlorine stabilizer to keep the chlorine effective. Make sure your stabilizer level is at a minimum of 30 parts per million. Then add granular or chlorine tabs. The best time to do this is in the morning or the evening, while the pump is running. After the chlorine, add algaecide, to prevent the growth of algae on the walls floor and ladder. The following day test the chlorine level again and adjust it to 1-4 parts per million if needed.

Thanks for taking the time to read our Blog post. We would love to hear your feedback or comments. 

Pleatco – The Clean Water Company


Nobody talks about the cores in a pool filter cartridge. Why?

Take a few seconds and look inside a competitor’s cartridges and then look inside ours... you’ll see the difference immediately. It’s obvious. The majority of our competitors use outdated, old school technology – PVC pipe with holes drilled in them! Our competitors don't really want to bring this to your attention.  

In contrast, Pleatco Free Flow Cores are scientifically engineered and injection molded to maximize flow. Made from ABS – a thermoplastic polymer for extra strength, our unique Free Flow Cores allow for the even flow of water through the entire cartridge ~ providing high dirt capturing performance while making it easy for the pump to move water through the system.

Pleatco Free Flow Cores use the entire filter cartridge to get a proper distribution of the dirt across the entire cartridge. Not just in limited spots where the holes are. The “open area” of a Pleatco Free Flow Core is much more significant than the old school PVC pipe cores.

Pleatco Free Flow Cores have an open area on approximately 50% providing substantial access to the face of the filtration fabric. In contrast, a PVC core has only 14 to 19% open areaIn turn up to 80% of the core is BLOCKED and only 20% open to the fabric face. This means that the filter has a very limited use of the filtration fabric regardless of the volume, weight or quality of the filtration fabric. These old school filter cartridges are designed this way because PVC pipe is cheap.

Also, in order to enhance the strength of Pleatco Pool Filter Cartridges we put in an ‘extra core support’ for the high pressure environment of a pool filter tank. This keeps the cartridge strong, efficient and reliable. Pleatco’s Free Flow Cores in combination with Pleatco’s exclusive Point Bonded Filtration Fabrics provide the most efficient, high performance, energy saving pool and spa filter cartridges on the market. 

You Have a Core Decision to Make. Don't Go Old School. When You Can Go to Pleatco Precision Engineered Cores!  Watch Why >>  

Thanks for taking the time to read our Blog post. We can help improve your water care today!  We would love to hear your feedback or comments. 

Pleatco – The Clean Water Company

How to Filter Water Before it Enters a Pool or Spa

Do you want the best possible fill or top off water for a pool or spa? 

Introducing NEW Pleatco PureStart® Pre-Filters!

A revolutionary product scientifically engineered to overcome the problems associated with Tap, Ground and Well water being used for filling and topping off pools and spas regardless of make, model or size. These new disposable sediment filter cartridges are made from unique melt-spun filtration technology for perfect depth filtration.

Easy to use! 

PureStart® cartridges attach to a garden hose and capture dirt particles filtering the water BEFORE it enters into a spa or pool.

Avoid well water problems BEFORE they start! 

The city water you use to fill a pool or spa is not by any means ready for instant use. By using a Pleatco PureStart® Cartridge to filter water as you fill or top off, the turnaround time to get your customers enjoying their pool or spa is far quicker. Customers with well water in particular need to capture all levels of dirt and particles. PureStart® cartridges provide filtration down to 5 microns trapping elements such as magnesium, iron and calcium deposits.

This means LESS chemicals when starting up or rejuvenating a pool or spa.

PureStart® filters are disposable and can be used to either fill or top off a body of water of any size.

PleatcoPureSTART filters come in 2 sizes:

  • The PPS2100 filters up to 10,000 gallons. This is the idea product for both service professionals and pool or spa owners to use on Spas, Kiddie Pools, Above Ground Pools, Swimming Spas and Pool Top Offs.  
  • The larger PPS6120 filters up to 40,000 gallons of water. This model is mainly used by service professionals of Above Ground Pools, Swim Spa, In-Ground Pools and Sports Pools.

PureStart® filters are engineered to float in water so they do not damage the pool. Smooth curved end-caps prevent the brass end of the hose from resting against the pool finish. This allows the filter to safely rest in a pool without damaging the walls. Pleatco PureStart® filters have the LARGEST surface area of depth filtration media providing:

• More flow through delivering fast Pool and Spa Fills

• High Dirt holding capacity

• Extremely long lasting product life

• Multiple Pool Fills

Extremely affordable the Pleatco PureStart® Pre-fill Cartridges are perfect for both service pros and pool and spa owners alike.

Using Pleatco PureStart® filters is simple!

A. Attach filter to the garden hose to fill up Pools or Spas

B. Place into your pool or spa. Remember the smaller filter is best suited for filling SPAS and small pools and topping off large pools and the larger unit is best suited for larger above ground pools, swim spas and in ground pools