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Beginning of Pool Season

Whether or not a pool is shut down during the winter, the beginning of swim season is one of the most critical times for pool maintenance.

If the pool is located in a colder climate and the equipment has been shut down for the winter, drain plugs at the solar system, pump, and heater will need to be replaced. Also, the skimmer expansion plug must be removed.

For pools that are covered, any water that has collected on top of the cover should be pumped out using a small submersible pump. Use the leaf net on the end of an extension pole to remove leaves and other large clusters of debris.

Use this opportunity to clean the cover before storing it. Rinse the cover with fresh water while using the pool brush on an extension pole to work loose debris that may be clinging to the cover.

Get the equipment running by first restoring the prime to the pump. Before starting the pump, the valve from the main drain should be completely open. Water should be added to the pump pot-where the strainer basket is located at the pump. Use a garden hose rather than a bucket since you'll be filling the main drain line as well as the pump pot. The pump pot should be filled until it runs over. Replace the lid at the pump pot hand tight. Add a little Teflon or silicone lubricant to the O-ring or gasket material to keep it supple and avoid a leak. It also keeps seals pliable underwater and keeps them from drying out when the system is drained.

You can now safely start the pump motor. Air might blow out of the pool inlet lines causing bubbling at the surface of the water in the pool. This should quickly disappear as water fills the lines and makes its way into the pool.

If the pump should lose its prime, refill the strainer basket and repeat the process. Once the pump is running at capacity, excess air should be bled from the filter by opening the drain cock at the top of the filter.

With the equipment running, it is an excellent time to check the system for leaks. Check the strainer basket, valves and plugs, plumbing and equipment fittings, and at the compression rings which hold the filter and separation tank lids in place. The most common repairs for leaks include gasket and O-ring lubrication or replacement, and valve or plumbing fitting repair or replacement.

Always start out the season with a clean filter.