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How to open a pool in 10 steps

Victoria Day will be here before you know it (unless you’re in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland & Labrador – sorry guys), and if you’re hoping  to make a splash without spending a lot of cash, then you might be wondering about how to open a pool on your own.

 Tip: Even if it doesn’t look like the weather will be warm enough for a swim this month, you’re still going to want to take this time to open your pool. That’s because doing so in the warmer months can result in green, swampy water.

how to open a pool

Let’s Dive In and Get Started!

If you’ve never opened a pool before you might feel a bit of trepidation over the task, and that’s understandable. However, take heart in knowing that after you’ve done it once, every time afterward will be considerably easier. So, let’s get started!

1. Don’t empty your pool.

You might think that having a “don’t” as your first step is a little bit odd, but trust us on this one. Emptying your pool is actually a really bad idea, even here where it gets well below freezing during the winter. That’s because draining your pool could cause it to dislodge itself from the ground, or result in other problems. Hopefully this wasn’t already mistakenly done last fall. If so, and you’re experiencing some pool problems, then you might want to contact one of the professionals listed here on eieihome.

 2. Check your supplies

Before you do anything else, take time to do a full inventory of your supplies. Toss anything expired or improperly sealed, and restock everything that you’re out of or low in. Be sure that your supplies include a good pool opening kit and that it includes chlorinated shock.

3. Clear and remove your pool cover

Clean as much debris from the cover as you can prior to removing it and then use a submersible cover pump to remove any collected rain water. When removing your cover, take care not to dump any of the remaining leaves or dirty water into the pool.

4. Clean the deck (inground pool)

This is a good point to clean you deck. Doing so will prevent excess debris from getting into your pool.

5. Check your pool for any damage

Inspect vinyl liners for any tears or washouts and concrete or fiberglass pools for cracks, chips or depressions. This also a good time to inspect your pump and filter for any damage or wear.

6. De-winterize

Remove winter plugs from all water inlets and replace them with the regular drain plugs.

7. Reinstall and reconnect

Reconnect all equipment that was disconnected when the pool was closed. This means the filter, pump, heater and anything else.  Then reinstall skimmer baskets and return jet eyeball fittings.

You’ll also want to reconnect accessories like ladders, diving boards and rails. Tip: Don’t forget to lubricate the o-rings on your equipment with a good silicone-based lubricant. This ensures easy removal come closing time.

8. Clean the filter

Check the filter and change or clean it as needed.

9. Fill up and power up

Fill the pool with water, and then switch the power to the pool’s system back on. Ensure that the pump is working properly and check for proper flow.

Once the filter is working, hook up your pool vacuum and clean the entire pool. Don’t forget to scrub the walls with a wall brush.

10. Test your water and deploy chemical opening kit

Test your water with strips or a test kit. You can also have a sample of your pool water professionally tested. Carefully follow the instructions on your chemical opening kit. Again, be sure that your kit includes chlorinated shock.

Remember not to get into your pool until it is crystal clear!


Ensuring a safe, clean splash-worthy pool doesn’t end once you’ve learned how to open a pool. You’ll want to monitor and maintain it on a weekly basis.

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