The Ultimate Guide to Pool Opening: Preparing for a Splashing Summer


As the winter frost begins to thaw and the days grow longer, pool enthusiasts across the country eagerly await the moment they can dive back into their refreshing oasis.

Opening your swimming pool marks the official start of summer, and it’s a time filled with excitement and anticipation. But before you can take that first exhilarating plunge, there are several essential steps to ensure your pool is in tip-top shape for the season ahead.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of opening your swimming pool in New England, from assessing the aftermath of winter to getting your pool ready for those sunny days. We’ve gathered valuable insights from our pool experts and pulled the most important information from our website to create a step-by-step roadmap for a successful above-ground or inground pool opening.

So, let’s dive right in and get your swimming pool ready for an unforgettable summer season!

Time for Your Swimming Pool Opening


Pool Renovation or Recent Installation

Before you jump into the pool opening process, it’s crucial to consider the need for any pool renovations. If you’ve recently installed a new pool or made significant changes to your existing one, you’ll want to take extra care during the opening process to ensure that your pool’s construction has settled properly or check for any potential issues related to recent changes. 

If you are considering any pool renovations, it is a good idea to speak with the professionals at The Swimming Pool Store prior to your pool opening. The Swimming Pool Store is an experienced leader among pool opening companies in Connecticut and offers guidance to kickstart your pool opening journey.

Consider Repairs and/or Supplies Needed

A successful pool opening begins with a thorough evaluation of your pool’s condition. It is essential to check for any wear and tear, damaged equipment, or necessary repairs. Additionally, you’ll want to stock up on the supplies and chemicals required to maintain crystal-clear water throughout the season.

It is important to assess your swimming pool’s needs before opening. From identifying leaks to ensuring your filtration system is working correctly, read more to create a checklist for the supplies you’ll need.

Time to Schedule  

Scheduling your pool opening is a critical step in the process. It’s essential to plan ahead and book a suitable date to ensure everything runs smoothly. Springtime is exciting for pool owners and busy for pool opening companies, so get on the schedule early and start thinking about the condition of your pool water. 

Prepare Your Pool and Prevent Algae Before Opening

Sometimes, it can be a toss-up whether or not your pool is filled with algae when you open it up for the season.  To make sure your pool is ready for warmer weather, here are some essential tips to follow to save you time and hassle in preparing your pool for the season:

  • Remove water left on top of the pool cover: Begin by removing water and debris from the top of your winter cover.  You can use a sump pump or a winter pool cover pump to prepare your cover for removal.
  • Add liquid chlorine early: You do not have to wait to add the first shock treatment until you fully open the pool. After the first spring thaw, you can just pull back one corner of the cover and add liquid chlorine. An average backyard inground pool will typically require one to two gallons of liquid chlorine.
  • Don’t procrastinate on opening: You can prevent excessive algae growth by opening your pool before the weather gets too warm. Algae can start to grow when the temperature reaches 40°F, so procrastination can lead to more work and delays in achieving clear pool water. Schedule your pool opening early with The Swimming Pool Store to help prevent algae growth.
  • Maintain the right water level: Keep your water level at the appropriate height for water circulation by getting it up to about halfway up the skimmer before running your pump.
  • Plan ahead for equipment and services:  The swimming pool industry has experienced unprecedented product shortages and price hikes in pool supplies since the pandemic, and The Swimming Pool Store is committed to minimizing these impacts for our customers. Placing your order early will help to get your pool equipment or any renovations completed in a timely manner.

Algae growth is a common issue that pool owners face, especially during the opening season. Preventing algae buildup before opening your pool is essential to maintain water clarity and prevent a green and murky pool. If you still notice algae growth in your pool, consider adding more liquid chlorine and treating it with algaecide. During the spring, patience is key as you allow your filter to do its job and continue vacuuming. 

The Swimming Pool Store offers professional, free water testing and directions to get your pool water clean and clear. We offer a range of swimming pool services, including pool openings, regular maintenance, restorations, renovations, consultations on pool heaters, and more. Our large retail store stocks all the products, chemicals, and pool toys you need for a beautiful pool and a summer filled with fun. 

In addition to scheduling your swimming pool opening services, conducting a professional water analysis is crucial to understanding the chemical balance of your pool water. A thorough water analysis helps to avoid delays and ensures your pool water is safe and inviting.

Is Your Pool Ready for Warmer Weather?

Before you kickstart the pool opening process, it’s essential to evaluate whether your pool is truly ready for warmer weather. This involves inspecting your solar pool cover, ladders, and equipment to ensure they’re in good condition. Check the condition of your pool cover, inspect ladders for safety, and ensure your pump and filtration system are ready for action.

Time to Open Your Swimming Pool

Opening your pool after it has been hibernating for months can come with its challenges, especially when it comes to the initial chemical treatment. When you contact The Swimming Pool Store for your swimming pool opening, you’ll get the full-service treatment as our pool technicians perform various tasks, from removing your winter cover to cleaning and preparing your pool for the season. 

Pool Opening Service

Save time and gain the assurance that all your pool’s equipment is in proper working order. Here’s what you can expect when our skilled team arrives to open your pool:

  • We’ll swiftly remove and store your winter cover, plugs, and any other winterizing equipment in your chosen location.
  • All ladders, handrails, directionals, baskets, and skimmers will be expertly installed.
  • We’ll carefully examine and connect your pump, filter, and heater to ensure they are functioning with optimal flow and filtration.
  • The pump and filtration system will be started and observed for seamless functionality.
  • To kickstart your pool season on the right foot, we’ll add chlorine shock (included in the opening price) or any other preferred water sanitizer.
  • Our team will diligently brush the pool walls and perform a thorough vacuuming to remove any debris or algae.
  • If requested, we can even take a small water sample back to our retail store for a complimentary chemical analysis.

Homeowner Responsibilities for Pool Opening


At The Swimming Pool Store, we value a seamless and efficient pool opening process, and we kindly ask our customers to collaborate with us in ensuring a smooth start to the swimming season. Here are your essential homeowner responsibilities when it comes to pool opening:

  • Water Level Maintenance: Prior to our arrival, homeowners are responsible for raising the water level in the pool to half the height of the skimmer box opening. This step is crucial for proper water circulation and equipment function.
  • Cover Maintenance: Ensure that all water and debris on the pool’s cover are removed before our arrival. Please note that The Swimming Pool Store cannot be held responsible for any water or debris that enters the pool as part of the opening process. If we are required to remove water or debris from the pool cover, additional charges may apply. 
  • Power Availability: Make sure that a reliable and accessible source of electric power is available before our arrival. In cases where no such power source is visible, the pool opening may need to be rescheduled for a more suitable time.
  • Cover and Equipment Storage: If you have specific preferences regarding the storage location for your pool cover, plugs, and water bags, kindly inform The Swimming Pool Store before our arrival. Otherwise, these items will be neatly placed on the pool deck or in the pool shed.
  • Return Visit Charges: Failure to meet these homeowner responsibilities may necessitate a return visit by our team and a service charge.
  • Chemical Balancing and Vacuuming: Please be aware that the pool opening service does not include complete chemical balancing or vacuuming of the pool. Additional services can be arranged upon request.
  • Equipment Accessibility: To ensure a smooth opening process, all essential pool equipment (such as O-rings, gaskets, plugs, pumps, and filters) should be easily accessible upon our arrival.

Have Your Maintenance Plan Ready

Opening your swimming pool is an exciting moment that marks the beginning of the swimming season. To ensure a smooth transition from winter hibernation to summer splashing, it’s essential to have a well-prepared maintenance plan in place. In this section, we’ll guide you through the crucial steps and considerations for effective pool maintenance after opening.

What to Do as Soon as You Open Your Pool


Properly Store Your Winterizing Equipment

As your pool emerges from its winter slumber, it’s vital to keep your winterizing equipment in good condition. Store your pool cover in a dry, cool place that is free from any rodents or wildlife. A well-preserved cover ensures its longevity and effectiveness for future use.

Check for Damage or Discoloration

Take a close look at the surfaces of your pool for any signs of damage or discoloration that may have occurred over the winter. For vinyl liner pools, inspect for rips or holes in the liner and ensure that the top bead of the liner is securely in place. For concrete/gunite pools, examine the surface for cracks and check for rough spots that might feel sharp or jagged.

Inspect Your Pool Pump

Listen for any unusual noises or excessive air bubbles accumulating in your pool pump. While a few bubbles are normal, a pump that appears to sputter due to excessive air may indicate an issue. If you notice any concerning signs, consider bringing in your pump for a diagnosis or contacting us for a professional assessment.

Inspect Your Pool Heater

During the winter, rodents like to hide in swimming pool equipment, and they can easily make a nest in your pump or heater. You should always take steps to prevent rodents from damaging your pool equipment during the winter and check inside your pool heater before you turn it on.  If you do not have a pool heater but have always wanted one, schedule a pool heater consultation to learn more about the best type of pool heater for your pool, and check out our Free Guide on Pool Heating Technologies. 

Bring in a Water Sample for Testing

Before taking that first refreshing dip, it’s essential to bring a water sample to The Swimming Pool Store for a free, fast, and accurate pool water analysis. Regular water testing, at least once every two weeks or when you detect any water quality issues, is crucial for maintaining balanced water chemistry.

Plan for Chemical Maintenance

Having a solid chemical maintenance plan is a key component of keeping your pool water clean and safe. Know which sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, etc.) you’ll be using for daily maintenance, and ensure you have a home test kit that, at the very least, tests for chlorine (or other sanitizer) and pH. Additionally, have a weekly shock treatment and algaecide on hand to maintain pristine water quality. 

Prepare Your Pool Water for Swimming: Shock & Types of Chlorine


Shock Your Pool

When opening your pool for the first time, it’s crucial to shock it according to the directions based on the size and gallons of water your pool holds. Knowing your pool’s size and water capacity is essential for this step. 

Contact The Swimming Pool Store for help in calculating your pool’s volume in gallons, or simply multiply: 

Length x width x depth x 7.5 = volume in gallons

(there are 7.5 gallons in each cubic foot)

Shocking your pool is a critical initial treatment to ensure water safety and clarity.

Types of Chlorine

Chlorine is a fundamental element for pool sanitation, and there are three primary forms commonly used: granules, tablets, and liquid.

  • Chlorine Granules: These can be more expensive than other forms but dissolve quickly. They are safe to use in pools with vinyl liners and typically have a pH level of around 7.
  • Chlorine Tablets: Tablets dissolve more slowly and are ideal for chlorinators. Avoid placing tablets in a skimmer basket to prevent equipment erosion. Tablets typically have a lower pH level of around 3, so you may need more pH increaser if you use them.
  • Liquid Chlorine: This chlorine form is akin to bleach but significantly stronger. It’s advisable to wear eye protection and protective clothing when handling liquid chlorine. It has a higher pH level, close to 13, so monitor your pH level and make adjustments accordingly.

The choice of chlorine type depends on your pool’s needs and your preference, but each form has its unique characteristics and applications.  Swimming pools equipped with a saltwater generator make their own chlorine; thus, there is no need to purchase and store chlorine.  Many people enjoy the convenience of a saltwater pool.  Talk to the pool technicians at The Swimming Pool Store to learn more about converting your pool to a saltwater pool. 

Consider a Saltwater Pool System


Salt Water GeneratorHow a Salt Chlorine Generator Works

Saltwater swimming pools have gained popularity in recent years, offering a range of benefits, especially during times of pool supply shortages. Converting to a saltwater pool system can simplify maintenance and eliminate the need to purchase chlorine.

A salt chlorine generator is at the heart of this system, using an electrolysis process to create chlorine as water passes through an electrolytic chamber. This produces hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and hydrogen gas, effectively sanitizing the water.

Maintaining a Saltwater Pool System

While pool chemistry maintenance remains essential, a saltwater system typically requires fewer chemicals to keep your water balanced. You’ll use the same filtration system with a salt generator, so there’s no need to replace your existing filter or equipment. However, regular cleaning and descaling of the salt generator are necessary for optimal performance. 

There are many benefits that pool owners enjoy with a saltwater pool: 

  • Healthier Skin and Eyes
  • Better for Your Hair
  • Reduced Respiratory Problems 
  • No Need to Buy Chlorine

Water Testing for a Healthy Swimming Season


As you embark on the exciting journey of opening your swimming pool, one of the most crucial steps is water testing. Proper water testing sets the stage for a season of crystal-clear, safe, and enjoyable swimming. In this section, we will explore the essential aspects of water testing and why it matters for your pool.

Starting your swimming season with a well-balanced pool is a key strategy to minimize headaches related to fluctuating pool chemistry during the initial start-up phase. Testing and balancing your pool water early not only provides peace of mind but also creates a pool that’s easier to maintain throughout the season.

Before conducting your initial pool water test, it’s important to run the circulation system on your pool for 72 hours. This ensures that the water is adequately mixed, allowing for accurate testing results.

Careful testing conducted by a pool chemistry lab, such as the testing methods utilized at The Swimming Pool Store, is the most reliable way to monitor your pool water accurately and maintain it within safe swimming limits. It is important to continue testing your pool water frequently throughout the summer to ensure that all these elements remain within safe limits. This proactive approach helps prevent issues like scale deposits, surface staining, and equipment damage.

Free Water Test for All Critical Elements

While some home test kits can provide accurate readings for these levels, a professional water analysis offers several advantages. The Swimming Pool Store utilizes the LaMotte WaterLink® Spin Lab for fast and accurate results, providing a comprehensive understanding of your pool water’s condition.

Free Water Testing

Balancing your pool water promptly after opening is critical, as improperly balanced water can lead to cloudy water, equipment damage, and reduced chlorine effectiveness. Failure to maintain proper water balance may even result in greenish pool water.

A FREE water analysis from The Swimming Pool Store covers the most essential parameters. Your initial pool water test should encompass the following critical elements:

  • Free and Total Chlorine (Bromine is checked for spas) – Chlorine is a fundamental element for pool sanitation. Ensuring that your pool has the appropriate chlorine levels is essential for preventing algae growth and maintaining water clarity.
  • pH and Total Alkalinity – Balancing the pH levels of your pool water is crucial for swimmer comfort and preventing equipment damage. A balanced pH level helps prevent scale deposits, staining of pool liners and surfaces, and harmful erosion.
  • Total Alkalinity – Total alkalinity acts as a buffer against rapid pH changes. It helps maintain stable pH levels in your pool, contributing to water comfort and equipment protection.
  • Calcium Hardness Levels – Calcium hardness is vital for protecting your pool surfaces and equipment. Proper levels prevent issues like corrosion and scaling.
  • Stabilizer LevelsStabilizer, often cyanuric acid, helps maintain the effectiveness of chlorine. Proper stabilizer levels ensure that chlorine remains active in your pool water.
  • Phosphates, Manganese, and other critical readings – Phosphates can contribute to algae growth in your pool. Testing for and controlling phosphate levels is essential for preventing algae outbreaks.
  • All Forms of Metals and Total Dissolved SolidsIron, copper, and other metals and excessive dissolved solids can lead to water discoloration and staining. Regular testing helps identify and address these issues promptly.
  • Salt – For saltwater chlorine generator pools

With this comprehensive analysis, you can confidently maintain your pool water within safe and enjoyable swimming limits throughout the season. It ensures that your pool remains a refreshing oasis for you and your family to enjoy.

Pool Opening Company since 1969

The Swimming Pool Store, an established pool opening company since 1969, stands as a pinnacle of experience and reliability in Connecticut when it comes to swimming pool services. With a legacy spanning over half a century, our reputation as one of the most seasoned pool-opening companies in the state is well-deserved.

Pool Opening Service



Quality Swimming Pool Products

Our commitment to excellence extends to the quality swimming pool products we offer in our expansive 10,000+ sq. ft. pool store. We not only provide a diverse range of top-notch products but also offer free water testing, ensuring that your pool water remains crystal clear, clean, and healthy throughout the swimming season. 

Our inventory boasts various pool parts, including skimmer baskets, O-rings, and components for filters, pumps, and heaters. We also provide maintenance essentials such as vacuum poles, hoses, nets, and brushes. What sets us apart is our dedication to educating our customers about the advantages of different pool products, from salt chlorine generators to advanced pool heating technology and robotic vacuum cleaners.

Exceptional Swimming Pool Services

The Swimming Pool Store takes immense pride in delivering high-quality services backed by a team of seasoned pool service technicians. Our range of reliable swimming pool services includes:

  • Pool Openings and Closings: We ensure a seamless start and finish to your swimming season, handling every detail meticulously.
  • Pool Liner Installations: Whether it’s a new liner or a replacement, we have the expertise to install it flawlessly.
  • Equipment Repairs: From pumps to filters and heaters, our technicians are skilled in repairing all pool equipment.
  • New Pool Equipment Installation: If you’re upgrading your pool equipment, we can efficiently install the latest technology.
  • Maintenance: Our maintenance services keep your pool in prime condition, ensuring efficient operation throughout the season.
  • Inground Swimming Pool Renovations: For those looking to revamp their existing inground pool, The Swimming Pool Store offers quality renovation services.
  • Pool Inspections: We provide thorough pool inspections, catering to both real estate agents and homeowners.

When it comes to preparing your pool for the summer season promptly, entrusting the task to an experienced pool opening company is paramount. The Swimming Pool Store offers comprehensive pool opening services for both inground and above-ground pools and spas.

Pool Opening Service Near Me

Our full-service approach covers every aspect of pool opening, including:

  • Removing and Storing Winter Cover: We ensure your winter cover is removed and stored properly.
  • Skimmer Gizmo and Winter Plugs Removal: All winterizing equipment is taken care of, leaving your pool ready for the season.
  • Installation of Essential Components: We install crucial components like pump baskets, skimmers, directional jets, ladders, and handrails.
  • Plumbing Setup: All plumbing is expertly connected to the pump, filter, chlorinator, and heater for seamless operation.
  • Equipment Check: Our technicians start the pump and meticulously inspect all pool equipment to ensure it functions correctly.
  • Chemical Balancing: We add the required amount of liquid shock and perform water testing upon request.
  • Chlorinator Setup: Upon request, we fill the chlorinator with the owner’s chlorine tablets.
  • Cleanup: After completing the opening services, we leave the area clean and tidy.

In certain cases where pool water clarity is severely compromised, our technicians may perform a blind vacuuming process to remove as much debris as possible on the opening day. Additionally, for pool owners who prefer a hands-off approach to pool maintenance and cleaning, The Swimming Pool Store offers ongoing pool maintenance and cleaning services such as one-time pool cleanings or weekly pool maintenance.

To ensure a smooth pool opening experience, we recommend checking the water level before our arrival and filling the pool up to at least halfway past the skimmer line. This ensures we can start the pump and vacuum the pool if necessary. Please follow all homeowner requirements prior to our arrival for a quick and successful swimming pool opening. 

With an impressive legacy spanning over half a century, The Swimming Pool Store is renowned for its wealth of experience and expertise in delivering high-quality swimming pool products and services. With more than 50 years of satisfied customers, we are the go-to choice for anyone looking to prepare their pool for the upcoming swimming season. Contact us to learn more and secure your slot for a hassle-free swimming pool opening.