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How to Open Your Pool For Summer (the Right Way)

Louie Warco

As the temperatures rise, it’s time to welcome the long-awaited pool opening season! Whether you’re a seasoned pool owner or a first-timer, it’s important to follow the right steps to get your inground pool ready for swimming.

However, before you take a dive, it’s important to complete the necessary steps for a successful in-ground pool opening. Being proactive can save you time, money and trouble later on. Starting early can help keep your pool clear, healthy, and ready for swimming or relaxing all summer long. 

Let’s take a closer look at how to open your swimming pool.


Your Swimming Pool Opening Checklist

Here’s a step-by-step pool opening plan to ensure that you’re covering the basics and getting the most out of this pool season.

1. Remove, Clean and Store Your Pool Cover

First, remove your pool cover, clean it and store it securely. Be sure to remove any debris or standing water that may have accumulated on the cover over the winter months. Once the cover is clean, remove it from the pool and store it in a dry, cool place.

2. Fill Your Pool Up

Fill your pool’s water surface level to midway up the skimmer openings and tile line. Throughout the week, add pool water as necessary to maintain the correct water level. If needed, inspect your auto-fill to ensure it’s working properly.

3. Clean and Vacuum Your Pool

Once your pool filled, it’s time to give it a good cleaning. Use a pool vacuum to remove any debris that may have accumulated when your pool wasn’t in use.

4. Inspect and Clean Your Pool Filter

Make sure you start the season with a clean filter. You may have performed this task at the end of the last pool season. If not, now is the time to make sure you start the season with a clean filter.

Here’s how to make sure your pool filter can still do its job:

  • Check the media cartridges or grids for cracks or holes

  • If you have a sand filter, change the sand if needed – recommended every 5 years

  • Add new D.E. (after backwashing and before filter startup)

  • Inspect all O-rings to ensure they properly seal

  • Inspect the filter gauge to make sure it is still working

5. Reinstall Plugs

Replace all of your winterizing plugs and reinstall your drain plugs for the pump, heater and filter. Use Teflon tape or another thread sealant to prevent pump air leaks or filter drips.

6. Prep and Test Your Pool Pump and Filter

Before turning on your pool equipment, it’s important to make sure your pool pump and filter are working properly. To get your pool pump and filter ready follow these steps:

  • To eliminate any air in the plumbing lines, add water to the suction lines with a garden hose.

  • Open the filter gauge pressure relief, mark or document your starting PSI.

  • Inspect your controller for the correct time, hours of operation and programs for variable speed or variable flow pumps.

  • After the filtration system is operational, inspect all components in the equipment area for leaks.

  • Open all suction and return lines, utilize the multi-port valve and clean out any debris in the line by discarding to the waste position. Prior to operating your pool, remember to return the multi-port valve to the filter position.

7. Test and Balance Your Pool Water

Next, you’ll want to have a pool test kit handy to test and balance your pool water. Maintaining the proper balance is crucial to keeping your pool water healthy. There are various types of pool test kits you can choose from, such as test strips, liquid reagent kits and digital testers.

Use a pool testing kit to check the pH, chlorine, alkalinity, and calcium levels in your pool. Adjust the levels as needed to ensure that your pool water is safe and comfortable for swimming

8. Shock Your Pool Water

Shocking your pool is an important step in opening your pool for the summer season. This process involves adding a high dose of chlorine to your pool to kill any bacteria or algae that might have accumulated in the winter months.

Before shocking, brush your pool walls and flow to remove any algae or other buildup. To shock your pool water, you can use a chlorine stock or non-chlorine shock, like monopersulfate (MPS). Follow your pool shock product’s instructions carefully, and be sure to wait the recommended amount of time before swimming. 

For those using a Clear Comfort AOP pool system, it’s important to note that this system uses hydroxyl radicals to reduce the need for chlorine. While you still need to balance and shock your pool water, you will not need to add as much chlorine as you would with a traditional chlorine-based pool system.

9. Get Your Pool Cleaning Tools Ready

To get ready for the swimming pool season, check and inspect your pool cleaning equipment. Your pool cleaning tool list can include the following:

  • Telescopic pole

  • Skimmer net

  • Vacuum head and hose

  • Leaf vacuum (if needed)

  • Nylon and wire brush

  • Vacuum plate

10. Have Your Pool Chemicals Ready

Make sure you have the correct chemicals available for balancing the water and keeping your pool disinfected, balanced and algae-free. Some pool chemicals to consider are:

  • Cal-Hypo or sodium chloride shock

  • Muriatic acid

  • Sodium bisulfate (dry acid)

  • Sodium bicarbonate

  • Soda ash

  • Calcium chloride

  • Algaecide

11. Get Your Clear Comfort AOP Pool System Ready

If you’re using a Clear Comfort AOP pool system to reduce chlorine use or for additional protection from bacteria, pathogens and chlorine-resistant viruses, follow these two next steps.

Check your blue air tubing and air check valve connections. Your Clear Comfort AOP pool system is designed to be powered on when the pump is operational and powered off when the pump is down.

When your Clear Comfort AOP pool system is operating, make sure your system’s LED indicator light is illuminated green to ensure the system is working properly. If your system’s light is illuminated yellow or red, it’s time to exchange your cartridge. To order a new cartridge, please visit:

For additional help, take a look at these quick guides:

12. Set Your Clear Comfort AOP Air Flow

Use your Valved Flow Meter Kit or the air flow meter in your install kit to inspect the airflow for your Clear Comfort AOP pool system. If needed, adjust your Clear Comfort AOP pool system’s required flow rate:

  • CCW100 AOP System: 5 – 7 LPM

  • CCW50 AOP System: 3 – 5 LPM

With these steps complete, your pool should be ready to re-open! Remember to regularly monitor your pool chemistry levels this summer to ensure your pool water is safe and comfortable for swimming.

Don’t waste any time in the future, and give yourself a head start in prepping your pool for summer. Enjoy your swimming pool season!

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