Hugh Cairns: Pool openings

Have your pool opened within the next few weeks before the green stuff gets a chance to grow, and you will avoid a troublesome start up – Jim Tompkins of Kelowna Pool & Spa.  Photo: Contributed – (Photo: Hugh Cairns)

Hugh Cairns: Pool openings

If you are the DIY’er type like me, pool openings are kind of a revelation. Is the water going to be clear? Or is it going to be one of those green pea soup years? Over time, I had more success with early pool openings. I think that’s because algae growth likes warmer water conditions. So now is the time that I used to think about firing up the circulation pump for my pool and got my water in shape before it took over me. I definitely of rather looked at a pool filled with crystal clear clean water than a huge black tarp covering the unknown brewing below.


So is it ok to open up your pool even if it is too cold to swim? You bet it is. Now it’s time for all of those pool pro’s to return from Arizona with their southern tans and buff them up with an Okanagan one and get back to the grindstone. It’s the beginning of pool season and nobody knows more about professional pool openings than Jim Tompkins. “It is not too early to open your pool”, says Jim. “In fact April is the best time to fire up your pool and get the bugs out”.

Opening your pool right now can add to a beautiful backyard and be beneficial. “If you have a mesh cover that allows sunlight in, you may find yourself opening green instead of clean,” says Jim. “Have your pool opened within the next few weeks before the green stuff gets a chance to grow, and you will avoid a troublesome start up”.

“The temperature of water determines whether or not algae will grow in your pool.  If your pool is uncovered or if you have a winter cover that allows sunlight to penetrate then the outside weather will dictate the temperature of your pool.  Waiting too long to open your pool usually results in a lot of chemicals to ready it for swimmable conditions” warns Jim.

Opening and closing your pool every year can be a lot of work. Why not let the experienced professionals do it for you and get it right.  They have the knowledge and experience to lessen or eliminate the use of expensive chemicals needed to shock algae growth. “We can get that cover off and start up circulation so you no longer have to look at the depressing winter cover”, says Jim. It’s all about ramping up, step by step, till you’re ready to use your pool. “Cool night temperatures and circulation of the pool water will keep the water clean naturally. Then, on the first nice day… Bam… flick on the heater and away you go!”

If you are selling your home and you have a pool, why not have a pro start it up for you. You will benefit by demonstrating that your pool is in good working order for prospective buyers. In addition, a pool is a huge selling feature. Show that your pool is ready to go.

Here are some start up tips from Jim and Kelowna Pool and Spa pro’s on how to help out with your pool opening and keep costs down:


  • Ensure clear access to the pool
  • Get your garden hose out and make sure the supply valve is turned on
  • Bring the water level up in your pool so that it’s half way up the skimmer
  • Make sure that the electrical breaker to the pool equipment is turned on
  • Bring out all the pool equipment so that it is ready to setup

Money is the common reason pool owners will hold off on opening their pool thinking that an open pool is an expensive pool. But when you take into account the modern filtration systems and the growing number of owners with salt water pools, total expenses for electricity and chemicals are lower than ever. What can be expensive are the additional chemicals that are often needed to properly prepare and clean a late-opening pool for swimming, not to mention the down time while shocking your pool.

Kelowna Pool & Spa offers basic start-ups to the full hands off package. “We can do it all!  Just let us know what level of service you may need so we can book the appropriate amount of time to fit your budget,” says Jim.

Kelowna Pool & Spa opens your pool they can….

Install pool equipment –   Connect filters, plugs and gauges –   Connect pump and install plugs –   Connect gas heater and ignite (if available) –   Connect solar heater (if available) –   Connect chlorinator (if available) –   Install lights –   Install ladders, slides and parts  –  Connect waterline to slides –  Open skimmer and return lines –   Start up equipment and check for leaks –   Update customer on condition of equipment –   Remove melted snow and debris from top of pool cover   –   Remove, clean and fold winter cover   –  Empty and fold water bags


Take advantage of your backyard investment and use your pool as much as possible. Have Kelowna Pool & Spa open your pool professionally.