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How to open an inground swimming pool for the season

Below are the steps to follow to open an inground swimming pool for the season. The most inportant step is to make sure the cover is free of debris and water when trying to remove it. If you should dump the contents of the cover into the pool, it will create lots of headaches going forward into the season.

The following are the steps to open an inground swimming pool.

Pull back your winter cover at a corner to see how much water was displaced from the pool over the winter from the rain and snow. If the water level in the pool is low, you should begin by filling the pool under the winter cover before removing the water from the cover. This is especially important if you have had problems with your liner "floating" in the winter and spring.

Once the pool is filled, begin pumping the water off of the winter cover with a submersible pump. If you do not own one, you can usually rent one from a local tool rental shop.

While you are pumping off the water, remove all leaves and other debris from the cover. We recommend brushing the dirt with a liner brush, while the cover is on the pool to loosen it up. Most dirt will be removed by the pump, along with the water.

If you have not previously filled the pool, begin filling the pool and remove the cover. Do not place the cover on the lawn for extended periods of time, especially on hot days, as the lawn will burn out.

Is the pool water free of algae? If not, you will need to shock treat the water. Please follow the instructions in "How to clear an algae filled pool". If the pool is filled with algae, you may need to skip the next steps until the algae is cleared from the water.

Remove all of the winterizing plugs from the lines, and the skimmer "gizzmo". Reinstall all return eyes and spa jets if present.

Re-install the light if it was removed for winter.

Re-connect the filter and pump if these were removed for the winter. Install the filter drain plug(s) and pump drain plug(s). Any O-rings should be lubricated with a silicone o-ring lubricant (do not use vaseline). Re-connect the heater pressure switch and close the heater drain plug if opened for the winter.

Reinstall all ladders, hand rails, diving boards, etc... Caution - when installing the ladder, make sure the ladder bumpers are - (1) in good condition, (2) in place - otherwise you will tear the liner or damage the pools finish.

Once the pool water is up to operating level, prime the pump (fill the pump with water). Reinstall the pump cover paying close attention to the "O"ring on the pumps cover. If this "O" ring is bad, or out of place, the pump may not begin to pump water.

Check all returns, spa jets, vacuum lines, and skimmers to make sure you have removed all winterizing plugs and the skimmer "gizzmo(s)".

Make sure all return line valves are open; and suction lines are open (skimmer and main drain).

Start up the pump. It may take a short period of time for the pump to begin pumping water. This will depend on the age of the pump, the distance the pump is from the pool, and how high the pump is above the pool. If the pump does not begin pumping within 3 to 5 minutes, check the system for air leaks. (The most common air leak is at the pump clear cover).

Once water begins flowing through the system, if you have an earth filter, add earth to your filter based on manufacturers recommendations.

Check the system for water leaks and fix as necessary.

If every thing is working fine, add your pool opening chemicals - shock and algaecide treatment.

Vacuum pool as required.

After a couple of days, check your water balance - pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, stabilizer, copper, iron, and adjust as necessary. See " Pool Water Guidelines" for recommend ranges for water chemistry. 

If you have any questions about opening your inground swimming pool, or would like to have it opened by our service personnel, give us a call at 716 - 677 - 4100. 


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