How to Open a Pool
Total Time: 4 hours
Skill Level: Beginner
Winter is over, the sun is shining, and temperatures are rising. A dip in the pool sounds pretty good right about now.
But don’t dive in yet! If your pool has been closed for the winter, it will need a little prep work to be ready for another season of fun. Don’t worry, though. Opening a pool is fairly straightforward. Follow these steps and you’ll be perfecting your cannonball in no time!
Often one of the most overlooked steps in getting your swimming pool ready for the season is examining the area surrounding the pool. Start by tidying up plant debris from the pool deck, patio, and nearby planting beds—anything that produces debris that might find its way into your pool. Prune trees and hedges that have grown over the cooler months and hang over your pool now or may in the near future.
Many flowering plants drop their petals in the summer, which can wind up in your pool. To minimize mess and maintenance, do your research and plant mess-free shrubs, trees, or vines around your pool area.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Tree/shrub trimming tools
- Cover pump or submersible pump (as needed)
- Broom or pressure washer (as needed)
- Cover removal took or Allen wrench )as needed)
- Tile brush
- Pool brush
- Pool vacuum
- Pool water testing kit
- Tile cleaner or baking soda
- Metal lubricant
Clean the Pool Cover
Remove the Pool Cover
- For solid winter covers – fan-fold the cover into 3-to-5-foot folds.
- For mesh cover – remove springs or fasteners from anchors with a removal tool or Allen wrench. Loosely fan-fold the cover accordion style.
Clean and Store Cover
After removing the cover, take it to a place in the yard preferably on a slant or slope for easier drainage. Thoroughly sweep and hose off the cover. Consult the cover manufacturer for additional cleaning recommendations. Always allow the cover to dry completely before placing it in storage. Roll or tightly or fan-fold the cover and bind it tightly with rope or strapping to ensure that it stays tight. Store the pool cover indoors or in a garage—away from insects, rodents, and moisture.
Inspect, Remove, Replace (as Needed)
- Remove plugs, etc: Remove expansion or freeze plugs from the surface skimmers and wall returns and reinstall directional fittings. Empty water from the water tubes (if equipped).
- Check the filter and pump: Inspect the filter and pump for damaged or worn parts. Make any necessary repairs or replacements.
- Reinstall light: To prevent lights from cracking in areas where it freezes, underwater light fixtures are often removed from their housings, with the wires still connected. Coil the wire into the niche and reattach the light fixture.
- Check for cracks: Examine a fiberglass or concrete pool for cracks in the pool and on any tile. Also, check for chips in the plaster or indentations on the deck and coping. It’s also a great time to remove calcium scale and stains from the tile with a household tile cleaner or baking soda and a tile brush. For tougher stains, a pumice stone may be the solution.
Reset all safety rails; slides; ladders; and diving boards or the newer and safer jump boards. Plus, be sure to spray metal bolts and other fasteners with a metal lubricant, and make sure everything is good and tight.
Pump It Up
Add Water and Clean the Pool
Power Up the Pool
Test and Treat the Water
- pH level
- Calcium hardiness
- Chlorine content