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8 Steps to Opening Your Pool

Kids Jumping Into Swimming Poo

Opening your pool for the spring/summer season can be exciting, but it can also cause some stress if a pool owner doesn’t know the proper steps for opening their pool. We hope to help guide you through the proper steps of opening your pool with this guide! These tips can be helpful for inground and above ground pool owners, so here we go!

   1. Clean Off That Winter Pool Cover

Over the winter your pool cover has accumulated weight through debris and also fallen snow/rain. Carefully grab as much as the debris that can be harmful to your cover, such as sticks. The accumulation of water can not only cause damage to your cover but to your pool as well. Pool covers can rip from pressure while also putting stress on the pool frame itself. Be sure to use a pump to rid the cover of any stagnant water, you don’t want that dirty water getting dumped into your beautiful pool! After removing the cover find a flat spot (deck, patio, driveway) to hose off your pool cover so it’s nice and clean for storage.

      2. Store Your Winter Cover Properly

After cleaning your cover and removing it you will now have to find a safe place to store it. This may be easier the more hands you have so don’t be shy and ask a partner for help. You don’t want to just throw the cover into storage, by folding it neatly you’ll be able to assess if there is any damage on it for next winter season.

You and your partner will begin folding the cover back and forth on itself. It is easiest to fold if you have someone on the two ends or sides of the cover.

       3. Skim, Skim, Skim!

Take a break and relax during this step because it’ll be the easiest one listed! If you missed some debris from your cover and it has fallen into the pool don’t worry too much, you can always reach it with a skimmer. The extra detailed cleaning will come later but for right now you want to make sure any large debris that can clog your filtration system is removed from the pool before the pump and filter are reattached.

        4. Accessory Time

Putting back together the accessories that you have stored for winter is the next step on your list. This may vary depending on if you have an above ground or inground pool. You may have an adjustable pool ladder or steps for an above ground pool that will allow entry and an exit for the pool. It might be as simple as reinstalling your inground pool’s diving board that you removed before the cold winter months came.

       5. Balance Out the Water Level

When reopening your pool you may notice that the water level is not the same as when you put the winter cover on it. It is normal to lose a few inches or more of pool water due to evaporation so don’t worry if it doesn’t seem exact to when you last saw it. It is important to add water BEFORE adding any chemicals to your pool. Adding chemicals first will only give you a headache and spend more money balancing your pool two times instead of once. The next step involving the pump and filter cannot be completed until the water level of the pool is raised midway up the skimmer.

       6.  Making Your Pump and Filter Operational

Time to start your pool’s pump and filtration system! You’ll want to refit the pump and replace any drain pumps or if you have a filter heater. Prime the pump, making sure that all winterizing plugs are removed. Run your pump for 24 hours the first time you turn it on.

        7. Balance Your Pool's Chemistry

This is going to be one of the most important steps when opening your pool. The easiest way to figure out your chemical balance is to purchase a testing kit. A testing kit can test anywhere from four to seven chemicals depending on what chemicals you use in your pool. These chemicals may include chlorine, bromine, pH, total alkalinity, acid demand, base demand, calcium hardness and stabilizer/conditioner. Testing kits are designed in multiple ways such as a testing stick or vials.

         8. Shock Your Pool!

Pool shock goes hand in hand with your chlorine levels. It’s called shocking because the level of chlorine is raised to a high level where everything is oxidized. This product will control the growth of algae, kill bacteria and destroy organic contaminants. Your water will stay crystal clear if you maintain the chlorine level and use shock for some extra clarity.


We hope that these tips help guide you through the opening process of your pool for the warmer months! Enjoy your pool and remember to maintain it throughout the season for less stress when you have to cover it again for the winter.

Greg The Pool Guy How-to Guides