Opening Your Swimming Pool for Summer

The back end of spring tends to mean one thing for pool owners – pool season is on the horizon! As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, you’ll no doubt be building up to enjoying your pool over the next few months, but there’s work to be done before you jump into the fun.

The process of opening your swimming pool for the summer can seem like a daunting one, but if you follow the right steps it tends to be fairly simple. Much of the work ties in with general methods for maintaining a swimming pool or opening it for the first time, with the same chemicals and tools involved. Indeed, once you’ve been up and running with your pool for a few years, the summer reopening should be a doddle.

In this guide, we’ll offer a quick run-through of how to open your pool for the summer, breaking the process down into a series of simple steps with the items you need to get the job done. If you’d like more detail on many of the processes mentioned in this guide, take a look at our in-depth guides on how to maintain your home swimming pool and starting up your pool for the first time.

Set yourself up for success with a winterising kit

As any seasoned pool owner will tell you the journey towards successfully opening a swimming pool for summer begins with the winter closing process. When you close your pool for winter, it’s essential you utilise a selection of winterising pool chemicals to keep the water balanced and contaminant-free over the colder months.

Should you choose not to regulate and condition your water ahead of closure, you’ll likely be met with a rather unappealing dark green mess when you first take the cover off in late spring/early summer. That means a costlier and more arduous reopening operation.

Our winterising kits have everything you need to look after your pool while the covers are on, giving you an easier and cheaper start-up.

The tools you’ll need to clean your pool

Before you get started, make sure you have all the tools you need to open your swimming pool for summer properly. These include:

The chemicals you’ll need to clean your pool

You can find all the chemicals you'll need when opening a swimming pool for summer right here. These include:

Stage 1 – Setting up the pool

Before you treat the water, you must check all your pool’s core equipment is in full working order and everything is clear of debris.

Removing the pool cover

Clean the top side of your safety pool cover to remove any dirt and debris. Remove the pool cover by folding it into small sections (you’ll probably want someone to help you with this) and ensure any winter grime is cleaned off before storing it away for the summer.

Clearing debris

Particularly if you use a mesh pool cover, debris build-up can be considerable over winter. Remove any debris from the water and make sure the filter, pump, skimmers and drains are also clear of dirt and leaves.

Removing winter plugs

If you have any winterising plugs installed, remove them and reinstall your drain plugs to the pump, filter and heater.

Filling the pool

Fill your pool to its normal level, which should be the midpoint of your skimmer openings. You may need to add water where necessary to maintain the correct level throughout the opening process. If your pool has a water leveller/autofill, ensure it’s working properly.

How to set up a swimming pool pump and filter

There are a few steps to getting your pump and filter ready for operation:

  • Add water to the suction lines via a garden hose to ensure any air is eliminated from the plumbing lines.
  • Open the filter gauge pressure relief, taking note of the starting PSI.
  • Ensure your controller is set to the correct time, operational hours and programs as per your needs.
  • Once the system is up and running, do a check for any issues – primarily any leaks.
  • Open all suction and return lines, and make sure any debris is clear from the system.

Stage 2 – Treating the water

Once your pool filter has been running for around three to four hours, it’s time to get your water back to its normal state. The amount of work involved in treating the water when opening your pool for the summer will largely boil down to the state it was left in upon closure. For example, if your water is in bad condition and is heavily contaminated by algae, you’ll need to introduce a more considerable shocking process.

If you’d like to know about how to treat pool water for the first time, take a look at our guide.

How to test and treat pool water

The first thing you’ll want to do is check the pH and alkalinity levels of the water using a testing kit, then use the appropriate water balancers to regulate your pool chemistry accordingly. If your water’s pH is too low (below pH 7.2), use pH plus to raise the level. If your water’s pH is too high (above pH 7.4), use pH minus to bring it down. The correct acidity level for your pool is between pH 7.2-7.4.

If you live in a soft water area, it’s likely you’ll also need to use alkalinity builder and calcium builder to help stabilise pH levels, raise total alkalinity and boost calcium levels.

Shocking the pool

To boost the free chlorine level in your pool, use cal-hypo chlorine shock. The amount of shocking you’ll have to do will depend on the condition of your water. If your pool has algae, you’ll want to brush it away from the pool walls before shocking. If, after the first course of cal-hypo, algae is still present, you’ll need to repeat the process.

Make sure you circulate the system during the process to assist in removing any debris. Once you’ve finished, a final scrub and vacuum should help get rid of any remaining contaminants.

Stage 3 – Using the pool

Once you’ve completed the shocking process and boosted the chlorine level sufficiently, you’ll want to leave the pool for a few days to allow the chlorine level to drop and debris to filter away. Once this process has finished, you can take on the final steps to open your pool for the summer. There are three remaining chemicals to add:

Get up and running this summer with

Now you know how to open your pool for the summer, it’s time to get the right chemicals on board. You’ll find everything you’ve read about above available at great prices in our pool chemicals catalogue, plus plenty more items that can help make maintaining a swimming pool an easy and cost-effective process.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, take a look at our pool chemical spring start-up kits. In the meantime, if you have any questions about how to maintain a home swimming pool – or opening one for summer – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.