How to Get Your Pool Ready for the Summer: When, How and the Steps to Take

May 14, 2024 3 min read

In summer, so many happy memories are made — and so many muggy days are made bearable — by gathering around a clear, refreshing pool. But opening a pool, whether it’s above ground or in-ground, can be a challenge. Following pool opening steps when you’re getting your pool ready for the summer is key to ensuring that you and your summer guests are splashing in clean, safe water. 

Here, we explain how to open your pool, with tips on when to open your pool, what chemicals are needed for pool start-up, how to get the pool ready for the summer and how to start up a pool for the first time if you’re a brand-new pool owner.

Opening a Pool: Your Checklist

Beat the Heat

Your pool opening steps begin with figuring out when to open it. The season starts earlier than you might expect, and well before you’re dreaming about diving into the water. Remove your pool’s cover before temperatures heat up too much. Algae thrives in warm, dark spots, so a few toasty summer days could add hours of clean-up time to the process.

Clear Out the Cloudiness

If you opened your pool to find murky water and mounds of algae, don’t panic! A few pool opening steps will help you clean out the sludge. Open the main drains and point your jets down. Run the pump as high as possible until your water is clear. Pool-opening chemicals can help, too; shock and algaecide will speed up the process.

Prepare Your Pool-Opening Kit

Whether your pool is above-ground or in-ground, stop by your local pool supply or hardware store before swim season kicks off to pick up the chemicals you need to keep your water clean, along with any parts you may need to replace. Your pool-opening kit, including the chemicals you’ll need for start-up, should include these items:

  • Water testing kit
  • Chlorine tablets
  • A skimmer with a pole extender
  • Shock
  • Algaecide
  • Stain treatment
  • Adjusters for total alkalinity, calcium and pH
  • A stiff bristled brush

Give It a Thorough Once-Over

Time to get cleaning. When you first open the pool, make sure you clean out the strainer basket, where leaves, sticks and other debris can quickly gather. Skim the top of the water and give the sides of your pool a scrub down with your stiff bristled brush. Use a heavy-duty brush to slough off algae and mineral build up. Chlorine generators, also known as salt cells, require regular cleanings to ensure proper chlorine levels. Inspect your pool’s walls, checking for cracks and tears in the tile or vinyl layer. If your pool filter is dirty, spray it down with a hose.

Let It Breathe

Give your pool a little time before hopping in. Keep the water circulating to avoid algae growth and cut down on maintenance time. Allowing for a day or so of circulation will also ensure more accurate results when you test the pH level of your water. Otherwise, the water at the top and bottom of the pool may give you different results.

Don’t Wait

Procrastinating might ruin your first summer gathering, so don’t let it get the best of you. The morning of your first summer barbecue isn’t the time to realize your pump is down for the count. Before you use the pool, test the equipment, heaters, pumps, blowers and anything else that could have been subjected to wear, tear and harsh weather conditions during the winter. Allow each to run long enough to ensure you’ll be all set when your guests arrive. (And don’t forget to stay safe at the grill when the fun begins.) When in doubt, consider contacting a pool professional who can help assess and repair any issues.

Safety First

Before opening your pool, check your fence and any locks to make sure no one can get in without your knowledge. Look for any broken sections where children or animals can sneak in. Double check entry points into your pool area from the street and from your yard. And be sure to check around decks, steps and other spots to make sure they’re clean and ready for guests to walk safely on them without scraping feet or causing other harm.

Prepare Now for Next Year

It’s hard to imagine, but in a few months, it will be time to put the cover back onto the pool. So, make things easier on yourself now. Don’t toss your damp, dirty pool cover in the garage without a good wash. Let’s be honest — you won’t remember to clean it before it’s time to put the cover back on. Before removing, hose off the cover to remove debris, then use a pump to remove standing water. Resist the urge to drain the dirty water into the pool. Then, remove the cover, folding it in small sections, and scrub it with soap. Allow it to dry completely to prevent mildew growth. When it’s time to put it away, put it in a large, sealed container. A plastic bin with a lid will keep out dirt, dust, critters and insects.

Stay Worry-Free This Summer

Having a pool is a great addition to your backyard oasis. Be sure to mention your pool to your Farm Bureau agent, who will do a SuperCheck® and ensure you have the right amount of coverage, so you can enjoy fun and sun worry-free this season!

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.

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