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DIY - How To Open An Above Ground Pool After The Winter

Yes! We can finally say: “it’s time to open inground pools!”

After what seemed like an endless winter, a spring that sprung later than usual, and being locked inside with the kids during the COVID-19 quarantine, it's quite a relief that swimming pool opening weather is here. We thought we’d get your pool season off to a great start! While periodic professional pool maintenance is always recommended, here’s what you can do in the meantime to open your pool and get it in working shape.


7 Steps to DIY Open an Inground Pool

  1. Clear Off Your Pool Cover & Remove It - Carefully removing the cover is crucial to minimizing the debris in the pool water. But, before you remove it, you need to clear off all the water and debris that’s on the cover. Use a soft broom or skimmer net and, if you can’t sweep away all the water, you may need to use a water pump. If you have one, you can also remove the pool pillow at this point.

  2. Replace Winter Plugs with Standard Plugs - Remove all the winterizing drain plugs you installed last fall and replace them with the standard plugs to get ready for reinstalling the pool equipment. If you covered the pool skimmer opening, be sure to remove that cover too.

  3. Top Up the Pool Water Levels - You need to use your garden hose to fill your pool and raise the water levels at least to the halfway mark of the skimmer opening.

  4. Install the Pool Equipment - Place the skimmer, pump and filter in their proper locations.

    Connect the pool pump to the skimmer. Connect the filter system to the pump. Connect any other equipment you have, like a chlorinator and/or heater, to the filter. Then connect the return line to the return inlet.
  5. Start the Equipment - Power up your equipment and make sure everything works. Look for water leaking at any point in the system. Whether you use a sand filter or a DE (diatomaceous earth) filter,

    you should backwash to filter, using the manufacturer’s instructions, to ensure there are no blockages.
  6. Clean the Pool - Even if you cleaned the pool and covered it right away when you closed it last fall, there’s a good chance that some debris is in the water. Clear all the debris from the water and gently brush and algae or dirt stains from the sides of the pool.

  7. Add Pool Chemicals & Shock the Pool - Use a chemical test kit to test the chlorine levels and levels of other chemicals in the pool. Add the appropriate proportions of chemicals to get the correct chemical balance in the pool. With the water properly balanced, shock the pool according to the instructions on your pool shock chemicals. Leave the pool for 24 hours after you shock it. Then test the chemical balance again. If everything’s balanced, all you need to do is reinstall the pool ladder and you’re ready to swim.


If you want to learn more about enjoying your pool this season, check out our article “The Only Way to Drown-Proof Toddlers in Swimming Pools”.