How to Open an Above-Ground Pool

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Learn how to open an above-ground pool for spring. Get your pool ready for the swimming season with these easy tips.

You might also like this post on easy tips for pool maintenance. Taking care of your pool is so much easier than you think!

pool water with beach ball

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Opening an Above Ground Pool

If you closed your pool properly in the fall, your pool should be crystal clear and leaf-free when you remove the cover.

Our house is surrounded by trees and due to a small gap in the cover, we have a few leaves in our pool. It’s no big deal. That’s what a pool vacuum is for! Use an extendable pole and you can use it from outside the pool.

Even if your pool is green or even black, it can still be redeemed easily. There’s nothing that chemicals and turning on the pool pump can’t fix! (Well maybe animal infestation…)


Removing the tarp seems intimidating when it’s full of dirty water. It helps if there is a 2nd person to help. Pull from one side.

If the dirty water gets in the pool, it’s okay. Same with leaves. They can all be cleaned out.

  1. Remove the left net if you use one. The leaves are probably wet and heavy. Do your best to keep them in the net to remove them from the pool cover.
  2. Remove the pool cover. It’s okay if the green water pours into the pool.man removing pool cover form above-ground pool.
  3. Replace the pool pump and hook up the pipes to the pool.
  4. Open the pipes to the skimmer and the exhaust.
  5. Fill the pool to the correct level. For us, it’s about halfway up the skimmer box. If you need a ton of water, consider buying water from a pool water company. We have a well, so we normally just turn on the hose to a tiny trickle and let it run overnight.
  6. Turn the pump on and let it run.
  7. Add the chemicals from the pool opening kit. pool with a few leaves in it
  8. Vacuum the pool and brush the bottom and sides of the pool.
  9. Replace the ladder.

In spring, you will need to check the skimmer daily to make sure that it’s not filled with leaves and seedlings from trees.

If you’re out of shock and chlorine tablets, now is a good time to buy more.

I also like to replace our chlorine feeder because the ones with temperature gauges don’t last very long.

Replace floats if needed as well. They can be hard to find in the stores when it’s finally warm enough to swim.

Now is also a good time to replace your patio furniture if you removed it over the winter. Keep those seat covers handy to keep patio cushions dry from spring showers.

FAQs for Opening a Pool

When should I open my above-ground pool?

It’s time to open the pool when your days are above 70ยบ consistently. When it’s this warm, algae can start growing under the cover, so it’s time to get the pump running and chemicals in the water.

pool with cover filled with leaves and ice
If it looks like this, you need to wait a bit longer before removing the cover.

In central Maryland, this is usually in mid April.

What chemicals do I need to open an above my ground pool?

For opening a pool, I recommend purchasing a pool opening kit. It’s simple and contains everything you need.

This kit contains stain, scale and rust preventer, algaecide, chlorine shock, clarifier, and a sun sorb sponge to absorb body oils from the water.

How much does it cost to open an above-ground pool?

A pool opening kit starts at about $25. If you need to buy pool water, that’s an additional cost.

Other costs that you might consider are the costs to restock shock and chlorine tablets. You might also need to replace pool floats as needed.

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pool with pineapple float

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