It’s time to open the pool, but make sure it’s ready


There’s more to getting a pool ready for summer action than simply taking the cover off. Before diving in, consider maintenance recommendations for pool owners.

Pool covers

Now that your pool is open, the cover isn’t needed anymore — but it will be needed again at the end of the summer. Cleaning, neatly folding and storing the cover is a recommendation made by Melinda Stevens, of Morton’s Stoves, Pools and Spas in Battle Ground.

“It will be so much easier for you to set back up later on,” Stevens said. 

Test water levels 

Checking the water balance will allow you to know how much to adjust calcium, alkalinity and pH levels. If the water isn’t balanced correctly, the sanitizer won’t be working at full strength and could be uncomfortable on a user's skin and eyes. Pool test strips can be bought at many big box stores for about $10, but Stevens said people can bring water samples to Morton’s for free testing as well. 

Test and clean pumps, plugs, valves and heaters

If you have a built-in pool, then there are likely electrical components attached to regulate water temperature, filtration and sanitization. In order for them to work properly they need to be cleaned and checked for damage.

“Equipment will last a lot longer if you upkeep it,” Stevens said. 

Brushing pool walls, steps, tiles and lubing plugs, fittings, valves and o-rings are maintenance chores she said owners should do. 

Filter water

Bacteria and debris can build up in pools, but Stevens said it’s not very hard to make and keep water crystal clear. She said skimmers — pool-specific poles with nets — are a good investment, and keeping an eye on the pressure gauge is a good idea. If it rises to 8-10 pounds she said to backwash the filter. 

Stevens added that stocking your pool to keep chlorine levels high should be done once a week if the pool is being used every day for multiple hours, otherwise every two or three weeks is recommended. 

Aside from those tips, Scott McClellan of Morton’s said if you have a pool but haven’t opened it up for summer yet, you should do so.

“We’re as into summer right now as we’re going to get,” he said. “We might get some more rain still, but that won’t hurt your pool. What will is algae, which will build up if you don’t.”


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