Pool Care Pool Opening and Closing

Here’s How to Open an Above Ground Pool in (11 Steps)

How to Open an Above Ground Pool Easily

The winter is gone, and here comes the spring. It’s that time to open your above-ground pool to enjoy the pool season. With the sunlight and warmer weather finally here, you wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to enjoy a refreshing cold dip.

Do you remember you closed the swimming pool? Opening it is unavoidable during spring and summer. When all the snow melts and the ground start clearing, your swimming pool will be put out in the open with all the dirt and rainwater on the pool cover.

So, reopening your pool is inevitable, and the sooner you open it, the sooner you will get to satisfy your thirst for a cold refreshing swim.

After months of napping under the cover, your pool will need some care and maintenance practices for the opening. That is why you should know how to open an above-ground pool right.

This post will take you through easy DIY steps on how you should open your above-ground pool. Read on to make sure the process is simple and straightforward.

What do you need?

The first thing you need to do before diving into the whole pool opening process is gathering the necessary tools and equipment.

When you put together everything necessary, the task will be liking walking in a park. I will take you through the whole journey to make the entire tasks simple as possible.

You’ll need:

  • A pool cover pump
  • Pool cover cleaner
  • Soft pool broom
  • Skimmer Net
  • Start-up chemical kit

How to Open an Above-Ground Pool: Steps to Follow (Save $100)

First things first, you have to carry out the opening task systematically to make sure you’re doing it right. It’s necessary, especially if you want your above-ground pool to be ready by tomorrow.

#1. Clear the Pool Cover Top

After months of closing, your pool cover will have collected a pile of debris and rainwater. You have to clear everything out before you can do anything else.

Use a soft pool broom to loosen the sticky decaying leaves and twigs. Use a skimmer net to skim the out. Try to remove as much debris as you can.

The clearer the cover becomes, the easier it would lift it out of the pool. Remember, you have to get anything on it to prevent ripping it off.

Brushing should be gentle to prevent causing damage to the pool cover. Having protected your pool from debris, snow, and garbage, it’s the least you can give it.

After removing the debris, you need to take care of the water on it. Depending on your poolside, the water resting on the pool cover could be quite heavy to lift even if you got help.

It would be best if you had the submersible pool cover pump to remove the water. If you don’t have one, you can use a utility pump; it can do the same job quite well. Another method is to use a garden hose to siphon the water out.

Find an ideal place to drain the water, especially if it a lot. You can water your garden or shrubs. Either way, make sure it’s way from the swimming pool itself.

#2. Remove the Pool Cover and Pillow

Once you get rid of all the dirt, debris, and water on the pool cover, it’s time to prep it for removal. First, you will need to get help. Find a friend or friend to help you take off the pool cover.

Some pool covers can be quite heavy, especially when wet. An extra set of hands would help take it off safely and securely.

After all, you might be enjoying the same water with your friends when they come through for a get-together at your home.

Lift it out and spread it on a nice, comprehensive, and flat surface; make sure you can see the whole thing. It would be best if you had a place you can have an ideal time cleaning it.

You’ll need to go around the pool cover and inspect it to see if it can survive another swimming season. If you see any wholes, you can find the best pool cover tape and use.

If it’s torn or worn out beyond repairs, then you don’t have to keep it there. Dispose of it.

The good news is, you get to skip my next step. However, you’ll have to invest in another pool cover next time you’re closing the swimming pool.

Untie the pool pillow, deflate it and clean it. Ensure that it’s in a good state too for reuse during the next closing.

#3. Clean and Store the Pool Cover

What’s the status of your pool cover? Can it survive another swimming season? If yes, you will need to clean it, leave it to dry, and store it.

The best thing is to use a pool cover cleaner and a soft pool brush to scrub all the grim and sticky mud left on its surface after draining the rainwater.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or sharp scrubbers as they might tear the unit out and shorten its life abruptly.

Once you have cleaned and rinsed the pool cover, run over some clean water using a garden hose to ensure there is no dirt left on it.

There are two methods of drying the pool cover:

  • Leaving it in the sun and flipping it to repeat the cleaning
  • Using a leaf blower to fasted the drying to save some time

When the cover is clean and completely dry, you can now fold it nicely for storage. Use a sealed container or bag. Don’t expose it to rodents and bugs, as you might lack something to use next winter.

#4. Reconnect Your Pool and Pool Accessories

Do you remember you took out all the plumbing, pool pump, and filter while closing your above-ground pool? Well, this is the step to re-fix everything back.

Remove all the items from the storage, clean them using the ideal pool accessory cleaner and while doing so, inspect for mold and algae.

If there is any, you will need to add some bleach and algaecide in the cleaning water. The chemicals will help kill and kill these intruders.

Remember to get everything you removed when closing the pool, including the rails and ladders.

#5. Refill the Pool

If you went with water reduction to prevent the skimmer during pool closing in the summer, you’d need to refill to the water level. This allows the pool skimmer to work right.

Another thing, evaporation happens. Even with the pool cover on, the pool can lose some water with evaporation during the closed period. Check to see if the water level is ideal.

While refilling, ensure you’ve got a hose filter to prevent introducing contaminants to your above-ground pool.

#6. Remove Winter Plugs

Go round the swimming pool, taking out all the winter plugs you installed on the pool return lines during the closing.

Did you use a skimmer cover or an ice compensator to prevent freeze damages? If you did, remove them too at this step.

Please take out the return jets and standard plugs and reattach them into the pool return lines. Go round the pool to make sure you return all these accessories.

Do the same for the pool filter and pump, include the sanitizer system, pool cleaner, and heater. When all are attached, you can now reattach the plugs.

Note: if you live in those super chilly places, you might have used antifreeze in the pool lines. Right? If you did, then you need to remove the waste out. Flash everything out before removing the winterizing plugs.

#7. Hook Things Up and Turn Them On

Get everything connected and running. Hook up all the connections. Attach the pool skimmer to your pool pump, the pool pump to the filter, and the pool filter to the add-ons you may be using, like a sanitizer system or a heater.

If there are no add-ons, you can connect the pool filter to the return lines. When everything is connected, inspect one more time to ensure the connection is perfect.

Once you’ve checked and confirmed everything is perfect, you can flip the circuit breaker and turn the pool pump on.

While doing so, ensure the pump is primed correctly, and water is flowing through. For a multi-port sand filter, switch it to the filter setting.

Another thing, it’d be best to reopen your above-ground pool filter with a backwash. Follow the filter manufacturer’s backwashing or cleaning instructions.

If your above-ground pool pump requires manual priming, you will need to turn every off, remove its cover and add water using a hose.

Seal everything and turn the power on. That should get things flowing naturally.

Before you start hooraying, watch the pool for some minutes and check the equipment to ensure everything is running correctly. Make sure there are no drips and leaks before moving to the next step.

#8. Cleaning Your Above Ground Pool

Can you imagine the gunk that might have built up in your swimming pool? You cannot add the water chemicals until you clean the pool surfaces.

Get your soft pool broom and brush the walls. Once you have touched them, take an above-ground pool vacuum and remove all the dirt out.

Some dirt will float on the surface; you will need to skim them out with the pool skimmer net. The water doesn’t need to be crystal clear but clean. You will still need to add the chemicals.

#9. Test and Balance with Above Ground Pool Startup Kit

Get a pool test kit and see your pool water chemicals’ state after months of a nap. And remember, you’re not using test strips here.

Why not?

Test strips are ideal for weekly checks. However, since you’re dealing with pool reopening after months of hibernation, a test keep will give you the best result.

You could also take a water sample to a local pool store for professional analysis and second opinion. You could also carry the test result you got.

If you winterized your above-ground pool right then, the results might be fair, and you can start balancing right away.

Water chemical balancing means ensuring everything is under the normal range. Aim at

  • Pool Water pH: 7.4 – 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 100 – 150 ppm (parts per million)
  • Calcium hardness: 175 – 225 ppm
  • Chlorine level: 1 – 3 ppm

Take your start-up kit and add it to balance the water. Follow the user’s manual to make sure you’re adding the right amount.

What does a pool start-up kit come with?

It contains start-up chemicals to help you retreat your above-ground water and rebalance it. The start-up kit will have:

  • Water clarifier
  • Pool Algaecide
  • Chlorine Shock
  • Stain, Rust & Scale Preventer
  • Sun Sorb – ideal for absorbing the pool foam-causing substances

Most of the time, start-up kits won’t come with chemicals for balancing the water pH and alkalinity. It’d be best to grab them too while shopping for a pool start-up kit.

If you want to be entirely prepared for anything and not prolong the process, here’s everything you’ll ever need. Ever. (Mostly.)

To balance your above-ground pool and expect the balancing to last long, you need the right set of pool chemicals. The list includes:

  • Sanitizer of your choice
  • Calcium Hardness Increaser
  • Alkalinity increase
  • Metal sequestrate
  • A pH increaser
  • A pH decreaser
  • Water clarifier
  • Pool Algaecide

Add the above chemicals while following your test results. If anything is low, use the right amount of its increaser. If the water isn’t crystal clear, the water clarifier will help with that.

Add the algaecide anyway but in the right amount. It will help kill any algae that might have found their way into your pool. The metal sequestrate will help prevent stains.

#10. Shock the Pool

Before you can wrap things up, you need to give the sanitizer the strength it needs to fight all the pool contaminants.

When you’re opening your above-ground pool, giving it a double pool shock treatment can provide the sanitizer enough cleaning power.

Use the manufacturer’s direction to ensure you’re using the right amount. Remember, the instructions will be for a single treatment; double it.

Once you’ve added all the chemicals needed, stir up the water.

Remember the best time to shock the pool during the night since sunlight can impact the sanitizer strength.

#11. Run the Filter for 24 Hours

Once you added everything, it’s time to give them time to circulate and do their work before you can start enjoying a refreshing swim.

Allow the filter to do its work; sit back and allow the water to circulate and filter.

Run the pool pump and filter for 24 hours straight. It will ensure the pool filter cleans everything out. The circulation will stir the chemicals thoroughly before you can retest them.

Once the 24-hours of circulation and filtering, retest the water and balance it if need be. After this, you will be done.

You can now dip yourself for a refreshing swim.


And that is how to open an above-ground pool. As you’ve seen, it’s a simple process, a reverse of what you did when closing it before winter. In summary, you remove the cover and pool pillow, reattach the pool accessories, refill the pool, hook up the equipment, clean the surfaces, test, balance, and shock the pool. Is there anything hard there? I don’t think there is any. Good Swimming!

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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