Pool Opening 101: How to Open Your Pool for the Summer

Flotation Device in Pool for Pool Opening

Summer is just about here, and that means it’s time to think about swimming. If you’re a pool owner, you may have been longingly staring at your pool just waiting for the weather to be warm enough to enjoy it again. There’s nothing better than lazy summer afternoons spent by the pool. However, for even the most seasoned pool owner, there’s a lot of work that goes in to opening your pool for the summer season. The multi-step process can seem like a lot, but we’ve broken everything down into three simple sections so you can open your pool with ease. Follow our pool opening guide and you’ll be ready for summer in no time!

Step One: The Pool Cover

Your pool cover likely has gotten fairly dirty over the course of the winter. Standing water, leaves, and other debris are probably all floating on the top of the cover, creating a wintertime eyesore and a headache to clean up. But rest easy knowing that at very least your pool cover has done its job, and it’s just a couple simple steps to getting it clean and ready to store away for the summer.

Use a pool cover pump to remove the standing water from the surface of your pool cover. Once the water is gone, you can use a soft broom or skimmer to brush any debris from the cover that may still be left. Be gentle so as not to tear your pool cover. Try to remove as much debris from the cover as possible during this step, so that you don’t have much to scoop out of your pool later.

Once your cover is clean, get a friend or family member to help you remove the cover from the pool. Go slowly to avoid spilling excess debris into the pool water. Some will likely fall in anyway despite your best efforts. You can remove the rest of the debris later before you chemically clean the water.

Lay out your pool cover on a flat surface and rinse it off with the garden hose. Then, use cover cleaning solution or a diluted bleach solution to scrub and clean your pool cover. Use a soft broom or sponges to avoid damaging the pool cover. Rinse the cover and allow it to dry or dry it off with a leaf blower before storing it. Note that if you leave the cover out on your grass for too long, it may cause damage to your lawn, so drying the cover with a towel or leaf blower may be your best option to get it completely dry. Store the pool cover in an airtight, heavy-duty container with a lid to keep out bugs and other pests and to keep your cover in good condition for the fall.

Step Two: Prepare the Pool

Now that your pool is uncovered, it’s time to prepare it for use. First, take a moment to skim large debris from the surface of the water with a pool skimmer or net. Doing this first before adding water or turning on the filtration system will prevent large debris from getting stuck in the filtration system and causing a problem later. Take your time and remove as much debris as you can so the filtration system and chemicals don’t have to work as hard to clean the water.

Once the surface of the water is cleaned up, you’ll need to remove the winter plugs from your skimmers and reinstall the regular drain plugs in your pumps, filter, heater, or other equipment. You may notice some air bubbles as water flows back into the pipes when your winter plugs are removed. This is normal, and the bubbles will dissipate shortly.

With the winter plugs removed, reconnect your pool equipment and filter. You’ll want to inspect each component thoroughly to make sure it was not damaged over the winter before you turn the systems on for the summer. The pump, filter, heater, and other systems should all be inspected one by one. Clean your filter if necessary.

Lastly, you’ll want to reconnect and reinstall any pool accessories that you took down for the winter, such as ladders, slides, and diving boards. This is a good time to lubricate the bolts used for these items, and grease the hinges on your diving board, so be sure to check that everything is in proper working order before letting you or your family use the accessories.

Step Three: Water and Clean

Shew! We’re nearly there! Now that all the systems are working properly, it’s time to make sure the water is cleaned and ready for action. First, if you lost any water over the winter, you’ll want to refill your pool with the garden hose until the water level is even with the skimmers. Once you have the correct amount of water in your pool, remove any excess dirt that your filtration system may not pick up. Use a pool brush to scrub the walls of your pool and finish up by using a pool vacuum to vacuum dirt and debris from the pool floor and stairs. The water may still be murky at this point—this is okay! The chemicals will take care of the rest.

Next, balance the water in your pool. You can use a testing strip to determine which chemicals you’ll need to add to get the water to the correct levels. As a rule of thumb, for inground pools, the following levels are the baseline you want to reach:

  • pH – 7.2 – 7.6
  • Total Alkalinity- 120 – 150ppm
  • Calcium Hardness – 200 – 250ppm (Concrete Pools)
  • Calcium Hardness – 175 – 225ppm (Vinyl Pools)
  • Free Chlorine – 1 – 3ppm
  • Free Bromine – 3 – 5ppm
  • Metals: Copper – 0ppm
  • Metals: Iron – 0ppm

Follow package directions for each chemical used, and wear gloves if needed. Once your water is balanced, the last step to get crystal clean water is to shock your pool. Double shocking is recommended when opening your pool to kill any algae spores, bacteria, and other nasty stuff that may be lurking in the water. Two pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons of water is recommended but follow package directions when in doubt. Make sure to use safety goggles and gloves when pouring shock into your pool.

Now that you’ve added the proper chemicals to the water, it’s time to let them and your filtration system get to work! Allow the filter to run for 24 hours and test the water again before swimming. In the meantime, while you wait for the water to clean, use a broom or mop to clean up any dirt from your pool deck that may have accumulated over the winter. A clean deck will add that finishing touch to your pool space and make the water seem that much more inviting!

Ready for Summer!

Voila! Your pool is now open and ready for action! Get out the bikinis and board shorts and do a cannonball to celebrate a job well done. For more tips and tricks or to get expert advice on all your pool needs, get in touch with us! And if you’re unsure if you can open your pool yourself, or you just think you need a little help, you can always schedule your pool opening with us and our experts will do it all for you!

The Benefits of an In-Ground Pool

in-ground pool

The Benefits of an In-Ground Pool

Whether your backyard is a clean slate waiting to be turned into an in-ground pool paradise, from in-ground pools to water features, decking and lighting, living spaces and landscape, the choices may seem endless. Therefore, consider these important design elements before creating your masterpiece.

The In-ground Pool

A pool makes a definite statement and, depending on the added touches, begins to set the tone. Additionally, consider a vinyl lining for the following reasons:

Easy installation makes it one of the lowest initial costs of all types of pools. Plus, the material is durable, smooth and inhibits the growth of algae.

The Lighting

Lighting offers both beauty and safety, and it is a vital element in setting your tone. Likewise, from underwater hues to subtle illuminations along walkways and lights filtering through trees and waterfalls, the possibilities are endless.

Water Features

This is the pièce de résistance–the crowning glory. From waterfalls to grottos to diving rocks or unique and inventive slides, this is the place where your imagination soars.

Finally, we are recognized as the leaders in our market for innovation and the use of the latest green technologies and, in the process, save you thousands of dollars in wasted water and energy. Contact us and we will help you create your vision.

Saltwater vs Chlorine

psw-saltwater vs chlorine

Saltwater vs Chlorine

Getting a pool always comes with the big question, saltwater vs chlorine?

Today we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of specifically using saltwater in your pools versus only chlorine.

Saltwater Vs Chlorine

Saltwater systems make chlorine, the exact same chlorine that is released from pool chlorine products. In a saltwater pool, when H2O + NaOCl are run through the salt cell, the electric charge breaks apart molecules to create chlorine (Cl) and a few other byproducts, which are generally reabsorbed. The chlorine that is instantly created, hypochlorous acid, is the same exact chlorine that is released from chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, or granular chlorine.

Saltwater Pools Do Have Benefits

  • You can’t taste the salt, but it can make the water feel softer
  • Less storage and handling of hazardous chlorine products
  • Breakpoint chlorination inside the cell reduces chloramines constantly
  • Easily raise or lower chlorine levels, and view status on a digital display

Saltwater Pools Are Not Maintenance Free Pools

  • You still have to monitor the system, and test for salt, chlorine and stabilizer levels
  • You have to maintain good water balance; saltwater pool pH and Alkalinity rises rapidly
  • Salt cells need cleaning to remove scale, although some systems do it automatically
  • The cells about 5 yrs; salt system parts like boards, sensors, and switches may last longer

You May Still Need To Use Chlorine Products

  • To raise the chlorine level very fast for shock treatments
  • Maintaining chlorine level during pump, filter or salt system equipment problems
  • To clear the water during opening or closing the pool, or for treating various water problems

Saltwater can attack Soft & Shiny Surfaces

  • Galvanic corrosion can oxidize chrome surfaces in the pool, although sacrificial anodes can be used
  • Salt residue can slowly corrode soft coping stones or stone decks, although sealers can be used

Have any more questions about saltwater pools? Contact us here!

Pool Trends for 2018

in-ground pool

Pool Trends

Are you considering building or reconstructing your own pool? New pool trends pervading across the industry are offering more features that add more individuality and pizazz to your pool design. Designs and features that make your pool unique and appealing are endless and the trends continue to emerge.

Take a look at the latest pool trends:

Infinite Edge

Infinite-edge is a cosmetic design feature that allows the edge of a swimming pool to drop off into the horizon. An effect created through a lowered lip, which overflows over one edge and allows the pool to merge into the surrounding landscape.

Remote Controlled Pools

As technology evolves, innovations to custom pool design mature with it. The most recent technological developments allow your luxury pool to be controlled remotely. Often offering features that allow you to connect to the pool over your smartphone or mobile device. This puts features like lighting, pumps, temperature and cleaning at your fingertips, wherever you are.

You can now heat your pool on your way home from work!

Natural Lighting

Lighting is an integral aspect of architectural design, and the lighting for your pool is no different. Skylights, windows and sliding doors are a must have for indoor pools that require natural lighting. In-ground deck lights add drama to the design, whilst illuminating the path to a pool. The addition of carefully selected lighting helps control the atmospheric quality of your pool and can be used to create exciting effects on both the main pool and water features.

Heating and Cooling Systems

Pool heating is not new, but the options available on the market are becoming increasingly sophisticated and efficient. Some heat pumps now include cooling functions to keep the water comfortable on those hot summer days. Luxury options can also provide ecological heating solutions, such as solar and geothermal energy.

Outdoor Living Spaces

With a growing emphasis on family and lifestyle design, Canny has long emphasized the architectural importance of well-integrated indoor and outdoor spaces. Swimming pools that serve as a central feature of your outdoor living spaces and serve a variety of entertainment functions are by no stretch a thing of the past. But how well do they fit in with your indoor living spaces?

Interested in using one of these trends for your pool? Contact us here!

Pool Remodeling For Next Year

water flowing into pool

Pool Remodeling

Another summer has come and gone. As we say goodbye to summer and hello to fall, it’s time to start planning for the upcoming year. If you’ve been thinking about adding that hammock or changing up your tile, now is the time to do some pool remodeling!

Small Enhancements

These features, from appearance to function, can update your backyard space without paying a pretty penny for a complete renovation. Adding lighting, a waterfall, or making the saltwater conversion are simple updates to your swimming pool and backyard that can transform the area.

Pool Remodeling

If it’s time for a complete remodel, it’s important you make a decision that is a good investment for your lifestyle and preferences for years to come. Unfortunately, we’re not all pool pros. Contact a pool professional for more information and expertise. If you’re looking to do some initial research, visit how to remodel your deck and pool finish to get a head start on your new look.

Remodeling your pool is a great option to change up your backyard design and swimming pool aesthetics. Don’t feel pressured to change everything at once. Adding pool finishes, such as swimming pool tile, or something as simple as backyard lighting can be an easy project. One or two small improvements can change the entire feel of a space.

Have a question about remodeling your pool? Contact us here!

Keeping Your Pool Clean with Enzymes

inside pool

Keeping Your Pool Clean

Nobody likes a murky pool with slimy water. Even if you take all the right traditional steps to clean your pool. Such as adding chlorine and algaecide and removing debris. Sometimes the water can get dirtier and dirtier.  And sometimes that can seem impossible to remove. Many pool experts turn to enzymes to help keep a pool clean.

HOW CAN ENZYMES HELP KEEP YOUR POOL CLEAN?

They target organic contaminants.

  • People swimming in your pool leave behind oil and lotion that is made with organic material. Enzymes are a type of protein that, depending on which type you add to your pool, collect oil and lotion filtering through the water and this triggers a chemical reaction that eats away at the contaminants.

Enzyme helpers lift the debris to the surface so that you can easily remove it.

  • They have to be carefully tailored to your pools environment and temperature. And a pool care specialist can help you find the right ones for your pool. Usually, they are combined with another chemical called surfactants that make OC enzymes. Additionally, they make the captured oil rise to the surface. Through the hard work of both the surfactant and the enzymes, oil and other organic contaminants are broken down and anything left behind can easily be scooped off the surface.

Depending on how many people use your pool and how often, your pool may be gradually building up with layers of oil that have been left behind. Adding enzymes is a great way to clean your pool without any effort or concerns about dangerous chemicals. If you’d like to learn more about pool maintenance and how to keep your cool clean and refreshing, please contact Cincinnati Pool and Patio here! 

Using In-Ground Pools to Create a Backyard Oasis

open your pool

Your Backyard Oasis

Whether your backyard is a clean slate waiting to be turned into a Rembrandt, or an outdoor oasis that just needs a few touches, options abound. From in-ground pools to water features, decking and lighting, living spaces and landscape, the choices may seem endless. Consider these important design elements before creating your own backyard oasis.

THE SETTING

The first step in creating the backyard of your dreams is to determine what setting you’d like to create. Is your backyard going to become a relaxing, tropical retreat? A kid-friendly fun park? A hip and slightly eccentric hangout for family and friends?  An elegant and luxurious oasis? Browse through some magazines and see what sparks and ignites the “wow” factor in you.

THE IN-GROUND POOL

A pool makes a definite statement and, depending on the added touches, begins to set the tone. Consider a vinyl lining for the following reasons:

  • There is no limitation to length, width, and depth, and there are a variety of colors and an array of patterns to choose from. This important attribute allows your creativity to blossom and inspires possibilities. If you can dream it, a vinyl lined pool makes it achievable.
  • Easy installation makes it one of the lowest initial costs of all types of pools.
  • The material is durable, smooth and inhibits the growth of algae.

THE WATER

This would seem fairly straightforward, but the advent of salt water pools has introduced an alternative. Saltwater pools are not chlorine free. They do, however, use a chlorine generator that turns salt into chlorine. This results in less chlorine which is gentler on your skin. It also requires less maintenance.

THE LIGHTING

Lighting offers both beauty and safety, and it is a vital element in setting your tone. From underwater hues to subtle illuminations along walkways and lights filtering through trees and waterfalls, the possibilities really are endless.

THE DECKING

A touch of teak, a splash of colored concrete, slabs of granite or slate, travertine or brick pavers. The choice of your decking material makes a dramatic impact on your outdoor living space.

WATER FEATURES

This is the pièce de résistance–the crowning glory. From waterfalls to grottos to diving rocks or unique and inventive slides, this is the place where your imagination soars.

We are recognized as the leaders in our market for innovation and the use of the latest green technologies and, in the process, save you thousands of dollars in wasted water and energy. Contact us and we will help you create your vision.