Opening Your Pool For Spring

How to Open Your Pool for Spring

Snow, ice and blizzards are recent memories for some pool owners but suddenly, it’s spring!  The heart of pool season is really only a couple of months away.  Those in chilly climes who have closed their pools for the winter usually open them again in the spring.  If you are new to pool ownership or just need a refresher course, here’s our step-by-step pool opening guide.

1. The Pool Cover

If you have one, either a winter tarp or a safety cover, it is most likely bearing a sizeable puddle and a bunch of debris.  Before Blog Image - Pool Cover Leavesattempting to move it, we recommend draining the water and cleaning off as much of the debris as possible.  That way, when you do dislodge the cover, most of the gunk will not end up sliding into the pool.  For inground pools, a cover pump is the easiest route.  You can use the same for an above ground pool or make a siphon with a garden hose.  Once this drain-and-clean is done, remove the cover and sweep or brush it off.  Allow it to dry completely before storing it.  Some people dust the cover with talc to keep mold from forming.

2. The Water Level

Check the pool water level and add enough fresh water to raise it to half-way up the opening of the skimmer.  This is very important – you want your pump to draw water, not air, once you turn it back on.

3. The Equipment

Some pool owners remove the pump, filter, heater, etc. for the winter.  If this is you, it’s time to reconnect all of your pool gear.  Be safe and make sure the pool equipment breakers are off first!

4. The Anti-freezeBlog Image - Antifreeze

If you used pool anti-freeze, then discharge it to waste before you remove any winterizing plugs.

5. The Plugs

Threaded winterizing plugs are typically used to close off the return lines.  Be sure to remove these as well as any attached to the pump, filter, heater and automatic cleaner.  Remove any skimmer guards.  Replace any and all drain plugs that were removed from your equipment and stored during the winter.

6. The Parts

Be sure to replace all parts that might have been removed such as the skimmer basket, filter pressure gauge, and – to remind you once again – those drain plugs.  Inspect all parts as you go to make sure they survived the winter and are in good shape.  The lid for the pump strainer basket is especially important; be sure the lid and its o-ring are free of any cracks.

7. The Power

Prime your pump and turn it on.  Be sure the filter’s air relief valve is open so it can release air from the system.  This is a good time to inspect for leaks or any other visible / audible problems.

8. The ChemicalsBlog Image - Opening Kit

Let the pump and filter run for a few hours and then check the pH, chlorine and total alkalinity.  It’s best to take a sample from the pool’s deep end while the water is circulating.  If you own a decent test kit, that’s great – use it.  If not, you can take a water sample to your local pool store; most offer free water testing (with the hope you will buy any necessary chemicals while there).  Adjust levels accordingly.

9. The Clean-up

Even in a covered pool, there will always be some gunk that has collected during those cold months.  A good scrubbing with a new pool brush and then vacuuming will take care of most of it.  Keeping the filter going will help catch fine debris you have dislodged.

10. The Shock

Adding shock should be the final blow to any organics left after circulating, balancing, and cleaning your pool.  Spring start-up kits will include shock along with algaecide, clarifier, and metal control.

Now you should be ready for all the joys of the fleeting pool season.  If you need anything for opening your pool – chemicals, parts, advice – please contact our helpful reps via email or call us at 877-372-6038.

13 thoughts on “How to Open Your Pool for Spring

  1. What Exactly is “Spring Stain Away” and what exactly does it do? Every year it’s in the Opening Kit and I’ve never seen any difference after I’ve used it.

  2. I’m ready to open my pool, it will be my first time opening. I’m worried about my pump and filter. We still have nights that drop to high 30’s low 40’s. Will it be okay to open without damaging the equipment?

    1. Yes, you can open your pool at those temps if you really want to. But if you know a cold snap is coming through, make sure your pump runs all night to help prevent your pipes from freezing or bursting.

      If it were me, I’d hold off opening the pool until temps stay above 50. There are more downsides to opening your pool at lower temps than there are positives. Unless you have a really good heater, you won’t be swimming in it anyway.

    1. Set your multiport valve to waste when starting your pump for the first time. But the anti-freeze is a non-toxic Propylene glycol-based substance that will not affect your pool water. Most pool owners do not bother to flush the lines.

  3. If we removed the drain plug on both the filter and pump how do I get water back into the filter? Will it automatically fill up once I prime the pump? This is my first time starting up after the plug removed for winter. Thank you soo much!

  4. You said shock it after you balance it? How are you balancing a pool without shocking it first to kill everything?

    1. Because the muck doesn’t have as much effect on the balancers (pH, Alkalinity) as it does on the chlorine. Plus the Chlorine can’t work at its most efficient when the pH and alkalinity are out of whack.

  5. After you open your pool for the 1st time of the season how long should you let your pump run to mix up your chemicals. I kno after that its 8 hours a day. Thanks

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