How to Open Your Swimming Pool for Spring

It’s that time of the year again! After a long, cold winter, you can finally wake your swimming pool up from hibernation. Re-opening your swimming pool is not as easy as one, two, three. You can’t just fill it up with water and jump in immediately. All pools are different, and need to meet different guidelines to be a safe and happy place for your family to swim. Here are several essential steps you should follow when opening your pool.

First grab a net and remove all the leaves and debris on the pool cover, and then remove the cover. If it’s solid cover, use a pump to drain the water left on the cover; if it’s mesh, let the snow melt and water drain into the pool water before opening. The cover should be cleaned and dried before it’s stored. Now that the cover’s tucked away nicely, take out your garden hose to restore the water level of your pool back to normal. You can’t start the pump and filter until the water level reaches midway up the skimmer.

At this point, remove all the winterizing plugs and replace them with their normal drain plugs. Once the water level reaches the midpoint mark, connect your filter, pump, heater, and any other pool equipment you’ve disconnected during the winter. Before you turn anything on, clear the debris on the pool floor. Add a clarifier to the filter system to remove small particulates. Then vacuum the entire pool, and clean the walls. Check for any leaks on the pumps while it’s turned on. If there are damages, turn the pump off while they are being fixed. If everything’s up and running, let the pump run non stop. You will also need to shock, or in other words, super-chlorinate your pool water once all debris has been removed to eliminate the remaining bacteria and contaminants. Usually it is suggested to use twice the normal amount of chlorine when you open your pool for the first time after a long winter.

After 24 hours, take a sample of the pool water from the deep end and test your pool chemistry. The total alkalinity needs to be adjusted between 80-120 ppm, pH levels should fall between 7.4 to 7.6, and the calcium hardness level should be above 150 ppm. Stabilize your pool water to prevent the rapid loss of chlorine from the sun’s UV rays, then add algaecide to prevent algae from growing in the summer. Once everything’s finished, set the pool’s timer for the pump to circulate the water during the day. Test the water and vacuum regularly to ensure your pool’s in the best condition at all times.

It is best to bring a sample of your pool water to experts for a more detailed and accurate report on the chemistry of your pool. If you wish to get your water tested, or need help with the specifics of how to open your swimming pool, feel free to contact us at 905-294-8030, or by email at

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