Jonathan Broga: I am Jonathan Broga with Potomac Pool Service. Today, I am showing you how to open a pool for the season.
The first thing we are going to do is remove the pool cover. This particular pool has a mesh safety cover. If your pool does not have a safety cover, then it most likely has a water bag cover, which probably means its kind of a mess. You are going to need to pump the water off at first, remove the debris by hand before you attempt to remove the cover. The water weighs several hundred pounds and any attempt to remove it with the water on it will result in dirty debris filled water in your pool. You will most likely want to upgrade to a cover like this for your own safety and for the cosmetics of the pool cover. With the cover on, an easy and simple way to check your water level and ensure that its high enough is via the skimmer. If you open your skimmer, you will find that you most likely have something that looks like this floating in it. The technical term for this is an anti-expansion device, but really its just a half filled bottle of anti-freeze. It protects your skimmer during the winter.
But if you look in the skimmer, you can clearly see the water level in your pool and judge whether its going to be high enough for you to actually start the system. In this case, it's almost to the scum line, we call it, left-over from last year. So I know that I am going to have enough water to open the pool. Now removing a pool cover is very simple and only requires one person. People are often surprised when I show upon myself, but if you take proper planning, now where you are going to pull the cover, how are you are going to fold it and do it one step at a time, it only requires one person.
The first thing to do, get any debris off the cover. The best way to do that would be to attach your brush to your vacuum pool and bring everything to one side, making nice neat little piles. That's the first step to prevent things from falling in the pool as you remove the cover. Once you have planned where you are going to pull the cover and you have got a clear area of the deck, go ahead and remove the springs from the grommet.
This is what we call a cover popper. It should have been included when you purchased your cover. Its used for prying off the high tension springs that are currently attached to your grommets. If you don't have one and you are in a pinch, you can always use the heel of your boot and kick it off. That will remove it off the grommet.
If your pool cover has any special features that require D-rings as opposed to springs, make sure you remove the springs on the other side of the pool first. That will make it easy to remove the D-ring. Then put the grommets down into the deck immediately. This prevents the grommets from catching the springs as you pull the pool cover off. It also helps prevent a trip hazard as you make your way around the pool.
Two notes when lowering your grommets. One, don't make them too tight. If you tense them all the way down, they will probably bind that way and it will make it much more difficult to remove them in the fall. Additionally, if you have trouble putting one down, don't force it, just pull it back out. An open grommet won't hurt your during the summer and it will make it easier to get it back-in in the fall. You really don't want to put a whole lot of tension on these because they are brass and they do strip rather easily. Once you have got it all lose, pull it back, one small section at a time, folding it in envelope style, until you have got one clean, flat piece of cover. Then you will fold that 1, 2, 3, 4, into one flat square. It will fit neatly into your cover bag. So thats how you take the pool cover off a swimming pool by yourself, not a big deal. Next, we are going to be pulling out the plugs and putting plugs in the filter system.