“When should I open my pool?” Swimming pool owners and operators often ask themselves this as the days grow ever warmer in the springtime. With this warm weather, trees grow back their leaves and flowers start to bloom. These events often mark the beginning of the swimming season. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of opening earlier or later is something pool owners debate nearly every spring. The answer to this question depends upon many considerations, such as climate, location, and whether the spring has been particularly cool or warm.
When Should I Open My Pool?
It’s a tough decision every year, with many factors involved. Homeowners with pools may weigh the cost of opening earlier. Pool operators may consider that the money gained from pools being open earlier is worth the extra money spent. Opening a pool takes extensive time and effort, and tasks like cleaning and storing winter pool covers, assembling pool pumps, checking pool filters, performing necessary water treatments, and many other aspects involved in opening a pool should all be considered in such decision-making. The best time of year to do these things will often differ from year to year, depending on the weather. However, numerous factors influence when to open a swimming pool.
Here are 8 things to consider before opening up a swimming pool for the season:
1. Better Aesthetics of Open Pools
Pools that are in use – and kept well-maintained – are more aesthetically pleasing. While a swimming pool isn’t really a water feature, it definitely looks more attractive with the cover off. Homes with swimming pools inevitably have more panache and are in a way like a stylish accessory for any household. Additionally, the aesthetic aspect of a sparkling clean swimming pool adds value to any home.
2. Consider Potential Repairs
Often when a swimming pool is first opened owners or operators are prone to recognize that certain pool equipment, or even the swimming pool itself, requires repair. This happens most often in places that experience harsh winter weather, especially with older pools or those not closed properly at the end of the previous swimming season. Issues can include tears in the pool’s lining, along with ice damage to decking, pumps, piping, filters, or other equipment. Opening a little earlier than usual allows time to make these repairs.
3. Opening Swimming Pools Later Can Cost More
Commonly pool owners hold off opening their pools as they perceive that an open swimming pool is more expensive. Yet this perception is usually unjustified, especially for saltwater pools or those with cutting-edge filtration systems. It often costs more to open a pool late, as additional chemicals and more time to clean are usually needed. Besides this, the expense for electricity and chemicals is nominal once a pool is up and running.
In many places, Memorial Day marks when the swimming season begins, and it’s a time for the first parties of the summer. In order to ensure it’s ready for an end-of-May party, it’s important to get the swimming pool ready. Uncovering a pool after a long winter often reveals unexpected horrors like algae, ice damage, equipment issues, or other problems that require time and money to repair. Pools that have green or black water will take more than just a few days to make them ready for swimming. An unwritten rule says pools should be open at least three weeks prior to anyone swimming in them to allow chemicals to stabilize the water so that it’s safe for swimming.
5. Preventing Childhood Mischief
For swimming pool owners with children, the opening of the swimming season results in hours of fun and entertainment. Whether they’re a pool owner’s own children or the offspring of neighbors, or even relatives, swimming offers a means of distraction to help keep kids out of trouble. There’s a reason many programs for juvenile delinquents are centered around sports or other physical activities like swimming.
6. Preventing Early Algae Growth
When the grass turns a luscious green and begins to grow, it’s also a sign swimming pool algae is growing as well. Even with swimming pool covers, enough sunlight can get through, and, along with warm temperatures, the sun will allow algae to flourish. Cleaning algae takes a massive amount of time, effort, and algaecide, adding considerably to the expense of opening a pool. It will likely need a pool shock treatment as well to get it back to normal. It’s more economical to open a pool early so the water circulates, which will limit algae buildup.
7. Rising Temperatures
A general rule to follow when considering whether to open up a pool for the season is whether temperatures reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celcius) during the daytime. Of course, for pool owners that belong to polar bear clubs where members swim in ice-cold water, or those with heated pools, the swimming season never has to end. That said, for most sane people without heated pools daytime temperatures offer a good gauge of when to open a pool.
Swimming pool heaters also use plenty of electricity, so for some pool owners, it may be best to wait in order to avoid high electricity bills. Often just looking at a 14-day forecast can help predict where the weather’s going, and if temperatures will warm the water enough to make swimming comfortable.
Once the weather warms enough, algae and bacteria start to grow in the water and waiting means more chemicals will be needed when eventually opening the pool. Yet another thing to consider is whether temperatures are still too cold, as freezing temperatures at night can damage pool equipment. This can be mitigated to some extent by keeping the water pump and filter circulating the water to keep it from freezing.
8. Spring (and Pollen) is in the Air
Depending on where you live, warm weather occurs earlier or later in the season. A pool owner in Chicago or Maine will tend to open their pools later than those in San Diego or Florida. Yet there are other issues springtime brings that can impact whether to open up a swimming pool for the season. One particularly relevant springtime issue is pollen, particularly tree pollen.
Trees generally release their pollen from late winter through early spring. Depending on where you live in North America and the types of trees in the area, this can cause concern, with peak pollen levels varying from January to early June. When a pool is dormant, pollen gathers in the still water, creating headaches for pool owners when they eventually open their pool. If the pool’s already open, however, the circulating water and pool filter help prevent this, while swimming pool skimmers and leaf rakes also help remove pollen from the water.
Best Reason to Open a Swimming Pool
Homes with swimming pools provide a simple means for exercise, a place to cool off from the summer heat, and a centerpiece around which to socialize with family and friends. But perhaps the best answer to the question “When should I open my pool?” is so that you, the pool owner, can swim in it. Swimming pools are meant for swimming, after all, so pool owners should maximize the benefits their pools provide and swim in them as much as possible.
Halogen Supply has been a trusted distributor of pool and spa supplies for decades. For all your swimming pool needs, please contact us at Halogen Supply today!