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How to Open a Pool

So if the daytime temperatures are at 70 degrees or above on a regular basis, it’s time to open your inground pool. While we recommend hiring a pool care company if you’re not comfortable dealing with grime, algae, pool chemicals, and mechanical work, we know that some people would rather handle the task themselves. So here are tips on how to open a pool.

This will go faster if you have a helper or two.

14 Steps to Open Your Pool for the Season

1. Clean off your pool cover.

Use a soft broom or push broom to sweep off leaves, twigs, and other debris from your pool cover. Then use your pool cover pump to suck away any standing water.

2. Remove the pool cover.

This is where having a few extra sets of hands will come in handy, if you’ll pardon the pun. You’ll need to unfasten it and lift or pull it off the pool. You’ll need to carry it to a flat spot for cleaning, being careful not to drag it over any rough or rocky surfaces. If the pool cover is damaged, you can dispose of it or repurpose it, and plan to get a new one in the fall. If it’s in good condition, move on to step 3.

3. Clean and store the pool cover.

With the cover spread out on a flat spot in your yard, it’s time to clean it. Apply pool cover cleaner or car wash detergent, and use a soft broom to scrub it gently. Don’t use anything abrasive, and don’t use bleach or other harsh chemicals. After cleaning, rinse away all of the cleanser, and dry the cover with towels or a leaf blower. Then fold and store in an airtight bag or container with a lid. It’s important not to store it in the open on the floor of your shed or garage. That’s an invitation for bugs and mice to make it their home.

4. Use your pool skimmer.

Use the pool skimmer to skim anything that fell off the pool cover, or got under the cover over the winter. Focus on the big stuff that could clog your filtration system when you turn it on.

5. Remove the plugs.

When you or your pool service company closed your pool for the winter, you blew the water out of the lines and plugged them. You also plugged the pump, filter, and heater. Take out all of those winterizing plugs and put them into a well-marked bag or container, and store them with the pool cover.

6. Reinstall your pool accessories.

Now is the time to reinstall your pool ladders, slide, or any other pool accessories you stored over the winter.

7. Add water.

Your pool water fell a bit during the winter. Now is the time to bring the water level back to normal, BEFORE you balance the pool chemistry. Use a hose with a filter so you don’t add any metals or contaminants to the water.

8. Prepare and run your pool filter and pool pump.

Reinstall drain plugs and prime the pump. Follow your owner’s manual to make sure you don’t skip a step. Turn on the circulation and filtration system.

9. Get rid of heavy metal.

No, not the music. Metals like copper and iron may have built up in your pool water over the winter. To avoid staining from metals in the water, add a metal sequestrant such as MetalFree. Follow the directions for your pool size.

10. Test and balance the pool chemistry.

Let the filtration system run for a couple of hours, and then test the water. For the most accurate results, you may want to take a water sample into your local pool supply store for testing and recommendations. Once you know what needs adjusting, you can start to balance your pool chemistry.

11. Brush and vacuum the pool.

You will want to brush and the sides and bottom of your pool first, and then use a vacuum to suck up all of the loosened debris.

12. Run the filtration system overnight.

This will filter out the last of the algae, bacteria, and debris still floating in the pool.

13. Shock the pool.

Before you shock the pool, put on your safety goggles and chemical resistant gloves. Then follow the directions for your shocking a pool your size.

14. Wait for crystal clear water.

The shock may take a while to dissipate, and the water may look cloudy for a while. Let it clear before taking that first swim of the season!

How to Open a Pool the Easy Way

Whew! That sounds like a lot? Want to know the secret to how to open a pool the easy way?

The answer is pretty simple. Hire a pool service company. The pros open inground pools all the time, and have it down to a science. If you would rather spend early spring time out on the golf course or in the garden, help is just a phone call away.

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