How to Prep Your Pool for the Summer

Opening your pool for the season is a step-by-step process that requires about one week to complete. You should have a supply of test strips and the recommended chemicals, including chlorine and algae inhibitor, on hand before beginning.

First Steps

To open the pool for the summer, begin by draining and removing the pool cover. Check the cover to ensure it is completely dry before storing it until the end of the season.

If your pool is winterized with antifreeze, drain the material into an appropriate waste area, and remove any plugs from the supply lines. Clean the filters, and add more water to the pool if the water levels are low.

Water Testing

Most experts recommended having the water professionally tested before adding chemicals at the beginning of the season. Gather a sample of water from the pool in a clean container, and take the water to your local pool supply store for testing. In general, chlorine levels of 1 to 7 parts per million and a pH balance of 7.2 to 7.4 is recommended before swimming. You should also know your calcium levels and alkalinity levels. Adjust the calcium hardness and alkalinity levels with the appropriate chemicals, and test the water daily to adjust the levels as needed.

Continue Cleaning

Each day for at least one week, clean the filters according to the type of filter that is installed. For instance, to clean a diatomaceous earth filter, remove the materials, clean them thoroughly before replacing the filter. Sand filters are cleaning by allowing the water to backwash in the filter for a short time each day.

When the water is clear, or after at least one week, retest the chemical levels and adjust the chemicals as needed. If leaves or other debris are present, clean the pool with a skimmer. Allow the filtration and circulation systems to run for at least 12 hours after using the skimmer to completely clean the water.

Shock the Water

After the the water is clear, shock the water with the recommended amount of chlorine. The amount of chlorine you need to shock the pool varies depending on the size of the pool and its current chemical levels, but the professionals at your local pool supply store can help you determine the appropriate amount of chlorine to add.

Enjoy Your Pool

After the water has reached the recommended chlorine levels after shocking, your pool is ready to enjoy for the summer. Follow a regular schedule for cleaning and balancing the chemicals in your pool throughout the season to ensure the water stay clean and clear all summer long.