How to Open an Inground Pool


One of the hardest tasks of pool ownership is opening and closing the pool at the start and end of each season. If you are not lucky enough to have a pool person, you will have to open the pool each year yourself. Opening the pool is not difficult, but it does take some forethought. If all goes well, you should be able to swim in your pool within 48 hours after removing the pool cover.

Things You'll Need

  • Petroleum lubrication
  • Chlorine pool shock
  • Water test kit
  • Algaecide
  • PH stabilizer
  • Cyanuric acid stabilizer
  • Replacement filter media (sand, DE or new cartridge)
  • Hose
  • Towels
  • Scrub brush
  • Pool vacuum
  • Carefully remove any water and debris from the top of the pool cover. Dry off the pool cover and remove it. Fold it up and put it away, unless it is a safety cover.

  • Remove all plugs from any openings around the pool, such as around the skimmer, filter or pump connections. Reattach all filters, pumps and equipment to the pool. Fill the pool with water from a hose if the water level is too low. Lubricate any bolts or threading to make it easier to remove at the end of the year.

  • Turn on the pump and filter. Allow the filter to run for about 1 hour. Move the filter setting to backwash. Allow the filter to backwash for 10 minutes, then switch back to normal filtration. Repeat this process three times.

  • Scrub the walls and floor of the pool with a scrub brush. Vacuum any debris from the bottom of the pool using the pool vacuum.

  • Shock the pool using a dose of 5 gallons of liquid chlorine shock treatment to the pool for every 10,000 gallons of water inside the pool. Allow the liquid to sit for two hours.

  • Check the stability of the water with a water test kit. Adjust the chemical levels to the proper levels for swim safety. Add chlorine tablets until the chlorine level is between 2.0 and 3.0. Use a pH stabilizer to raise or lower the pH levels to between 7.2 and 7.6. Total alkalinity should be between 100 and 150 PPM (parts per million). The pH stabilizer will help with this measurement as well. Cyanuric acid reading should be close to 25 ppm. Add extra acid if this reading is too low. Pour some liquid algaecide into the pool to kill algae microbes floating in the water.

  • Allow the pool to sit for 24 hours. Check all levels of chemicals in the pool once more to ensure the pool sits at safe levels. When the pool water is stabilized, swimming can begin.

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  • Photo Credit Swimming pool and pool house image by Jim Mills from
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