Ready to open your pool soon? Here are the steps you need to take

(BPT) – When the days get longer and the weather starts warming up, it’s time to start thinking about opening your pool again. Once the temperatures where you live are consistently above 65–70º Fahrenheit and there’s no longer any risk of freezing temperatures, you can consider opening the pool and getting ready for swim season.

Many people open their pools on National Pool Opening Day, which falls on the last Saturday in April. Leslie’s, the nation’s leading supplier of pool and spa supplies, started the holiday eight years ago to help pool owners get their water ready in time for summer festivities.

The experts from Leslie’s recommend the following steps to help you open your pool the right way. A proper pool opening ensures your water will be clean, safe, and beautiful this season!

1. Remove the pool cover

If you have a solid cover, first remove water from the top with a submersible cover pump. Try to remove as much debris as possible to keep it from falling into the pool and making the water dirtier. Then clean and dry the cover to prepare it for storage.

2. Reconnect your pool equipment

Next, get your equipment ready to run. Reconnect any equipment (if needed), and reinstall the drain plugs.

3. Remove the winterizing plugs

Take out the skimmer guard and return line winterizing plugs, and reinstall any return fittings you removed when closing the pool. If you used pool antifreeze to winterize the suction lines, discharge it to waste/backwash or use a wet-dry vac to remove it from the plumbing.

4. Refill the pool

Keep filling water till the pool is up to its normal operating level. This is often about halfway up the skimmer.

5. Prime the pump and get it running

Once the filter pump is primed, set it to run continuously until you’re done opening the pool. Not only will this help circulate and filter the water, but it will also help distribute your chemicals throughout the pool.

6. Thoroughly clean the pool

To make sure your pool looks beautiful and is also healthy and safe for swimming, thoroughly skim, brush, and vacuum all pool surfaces.

7. Balance the water and ensure cleanliness

Investing in a Leslie’s Opening Kit can help your pool opening process go more smoothly. Opening Kits include a stain and scale preventative, pool shock, algaecide, and clarifier. Deluxe and Premium kits also include enzymes to help keep the pool cleaner and prolong the lifespan of your chlorine, as well as a phosphate remover to help prevent algae.

  • Add the stain prevention product first, then wait at least 4 hours.
  • Test the water and balance total alkalinity (80–120 ppm) and pH (7.4–7.6).
  • Add your pool shock to get free chlorine levels up to at least 1–4 ppm, then let the pump continue to run overnight.
  • The next day, add algaecide, then wait for at least 2–4 more hours.
  • A clarifier will help your filter clean up the water faster.

Let the pump continue to run for at least four more hours after adding a clarifier. Then, if needed, vacuum the pool again. While the pump is running, check the filter pressure often. Make sure to clean or backwash the filter as needed during the start-up process. If you have enzymes, add them to the pool once chlorine levels are back under 5 ppm, then let your filter pump continue to run for another 48 hours.

8. Begin regular pool maintenance

Once you’ve followed all the above steps, bring a water sample to your local Leslie’s for a free in-store AccuBlue® water test and customized treatment plan so you can manage the water chemistry after you open your pool. This will help you make any final adjustments before allowing swimmers to jump in and enjoy the pool!

9. Consider your pool’s water temperature after opening

Whether you have a heater, a heat pump, or neither, solar pool covers can help keep heat in the pool. In fact, depending on the thickness of the cover, they can increase the water temperature up to 15ºF on their own.

10. Don’t forget the fun!

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for — it’s time to dive in and enjoy the pool! A freshly opened pool is the perfect excuse to bring home a fun new inflatable float, cozy pool lounger, or some exciting backyard games.

Need help opening your pool? The experts at Leslie’s can help with pool opening services and supplies. Leslie’s Opening Kits contain all the chemicals necessary for getting your pool back up and running. They’re packaged according to pool size for simple application.

For more tips, information, and products to help keep your pool in top operating condition all season long, visit