Tips for Opening an Above Ground Pool
above ground pool with ladder

An indicator that summer is right around the corner is none other than the blazing sun.  What better way to beat the summer heat than opening up an above-ground pool? They’re perfect for the kids, easy to maintain, and affordable. While some may dread having to open up their pool, with the right supplies, a friend, and a little elbow grease, you’ll be swimming in no time. Planning to open your pool yourself next summer? Here are a few tips and tricks that’ll help you.

Remove Your Pool Cover 

The first step to open your above-ground pool is to remove the winter cover. The pool cover is important because it’ll keep the pool safe from dirt, debris, and algae-growing sunlight during the winter when it’s not in use. If you have water accumulation on your cover, remove the excess water by using a pump. On the other hand if the water level is too low,it’ll be too hard to reach the cover. You want to add water underneath the cover so that it’ll rise. Then remove any debris or leaves from the cover by using a broom or net. If the leaves are dry, a leaf blower will help move the process along.

Once this is done, with a helper, carefully remove the cover from the pool and spread it out over a driveway to finish cleaning and to let it air dry. Be sure not to let any dirt fall into the water as it’ll create more work for you later on. As soon as it’s fully dry, fold the cover and store it away for the summer.

Re-install Pool Equipment

Re-attach the filter system hoses that connect to the above-ground pool skimmer and return(s), and install the return eyeball fittings, skimmer basket, thermometer, and pool ladder or step system. Then, remove all winterizing plugs from the skimmer and/or wall returns and replace any pump and filter drain plugs. Also return the pump basket to its proper place and lubricate the pump lid o-ring and any other sealing gaskets used in valves or unions with a Teflon-based lubricant.

Fill Your Pool

Next, fill your above-ground pool up to mid-skimmer level. You should use this time to look for any water leaks in the filter hoses, valves, pump, and filter equipment. Then open up the filter air bleeder, and start up the filter pump, watching the pressure gauge rise. If you don’t see air bubbles coming into the pool right after, shut off the pump, check that all valves are open, and all plugs are removed from the pool returns. Another indicator to shut it down is if the filter pressure gauge spikes to 30 PSI or more. If the pump fails to start, check that the power supply is good, the GFCI outlet is not tripped, and that the pump lid is tight.

Clean the Pool

In the case that you see leftover debris and materials at the bottom of your pool, clean out the bottom with a pool vacuum. For more information on how to thoroughly clean your pool, check out this blog where we talk about how to properly clean and maintain your pool.

Test and Adjust Water Chemistry

It’s important to test and adjust the water levels for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid so that the water is well balanced and safe to swim in. You can check the chemical levels by using an at home test kit and make adjustments to the water according to the results you were given. Once this is done, shock the pool and allow the last chemicals to filter through your pool overnight with your pump on high. You should then retest your water balance to ensure it is safe to swim in.


After completing all these steps, you are free to swim in your squeaky clean pool. Only thing left to do is to invite some family and friends over!

If you have more questions about how to open an above-ground pool or need help, contact Aqua Leisure today!