How to Open Your Pool After Winter

a swimming pool with a fire place in the middle of it.


Warm weather is almost here and after months of waiting, you and your family are ready to swim, splash, and sunbathe. Before you can enjoy your pool, you need to make sure it’s clean and safe. Not sure what you need to do to get it ready to go? Not to worry, our custom pool builders in Raleigh are walking you through the steps you need to get your pool open for summer and ready for fun!

Uncovering Your Inground Pool

Your pool cover has been protecting the pool for months, but now it’s time to put it away. Here’s how to do it to make sure your cover is ready to store for the summer.

Clean the Debris

First, take a soft broom and sweep all the leaves, sticks, and gunk off the cover, and using a pool cover pump, clear the water from the cover.

Remove the Cover

With a partner or buddy, remove the cover of the pool. If you didn’t get all the water and debris and some falls in the pool, it’s okay. You’ll be cleaning the pool and “shocking” it soon. Lay your cover on a flat surface free of any sharp objects.

Clean & Store Your Pool Cover

Using car wash soap or pool cover cleaner, gently scrub the pool cover with your soft broom. Thoroughly rinse the cover, let it dry, and once it’s completely dry and clean, fold it and store it in a bag or heavy-duty bag. Never store your cover out, on the floor of a shed or garage as vermin can get into it and ruin the cover.

Fill & Skim the Pool

Next, you need to fill up the pool. While you may not have drained it before winter, you will have lost some water simply due to evaporation. The goal is to make sure your water level is at the midway point of the skimmer opening. While it’s filling, take your skimmer and manually remove any debris that’s fallen in your pool over the winter or from falling off your cover.

Connecting Equipment and Plugs

Now it’s time to really get down to business by reconnecting your pool and undoing what you did to winterize your pool.

Remove Winter Plugs

Take out all the winter drain plugs that prevented water from freezing in the lines and re-install the regular drain plugs. Don’t forget the return jets and step jets, while doing this. During this step, replace the skimmer baskets, and if there was any antifreeze in the lines make sure those are emptied before taking the winterizing plugs from the lines, then reconnect your return valve fitting.

Re-attach Deck Equipment

Slides, diving boards, ladders, and other attached accessories can be added at this time. Be sure to lubricate any bolts and hinges to keep them free of rust and squeaks.

Reconnect the Pool Equipment

Re-attach the filter, pump, and heater to your inground pool. Make sure you have the correct drain plugs in your pump and filter and have them secured properly. Also, be sure to use pool gasket lubricant to protect any O-rings, and replace any that are cracked.

Run Your Filter and Pump

Make sure your return side valves are open so that water pulled into the pump has a place to go, and check your circuit breaker. From there, you can turn on the pump and allow water to start flowing through it. Wash your pool filter or replace it if needed and switch your valve to the waste setting.

Note: If you see a sharp rise on your pressure gauge, shut the pump off and check for blockages.

Clean the Pool

While the pump is running, go ahead and start and cleaning it up.

Vacuum and Brush

First, use your pool vacuum or a plastic net, begin scooping out debris from the bottom of your pool. Once the big debris is out, place a pool brush on your telescopic pole and clean the walls and floor to loosen any dirt and algae so your shock will be more effective.

Shock the Water

Test your water, or have it professionally tested, ensuring the pH and alkaline levels are properly balanced. When those are aligned, don goggles and gloves, and add the sanitizer to your water – generally add two pounds of chlorine shock to 10,000 gallons of water, avoiding your filter basket as you add it to the pool by slowly walking your perimeter and pouring it in.

Run Your Filter

From here, run your filter for about 24 hours to make sure your pool shock is properly dissolved and the remaining debris is cleaned out. Within 24 hours, your pool should be clear.

Call an Electrician

We always recommend that before anyone gets in the pool, you have a licensed pool electrician come out to check your wiring and equipment. Lighting, heater, pump – there is a lot of electricity flowing around your pool, and it’s important to make sure it’s all in good repair before you dive in.

Contact Us to Upgrade Your Pool

If you have an inground pool and want to update or upgrade your pool features, we can help. Call our pool builders in Raleigh at 919-779-1033 or fill out our contact form below to schedule a free consultation and quote!