How to Open Your Pool for Summer- Summer Sparkle Series


After 8 long months of hibernating undercover, your pool needs plenty of attention to get it ready for opening day. But with this easy step-by-step guide, you can take your pool from winterized to sanitized in no time at all — and have a sparkling clean pool ready for your celebratory cannonball!

1.Prep Your Pool

  1. Clear off leaves and debris and pump off excess water on your pool cover to keep as much of it from going into your pool water as possible.
  2. Remove the cover, then clean it and let it dry before storing it for the summer.
  3. Make sure all skimmers, filters, pumps, hoses, drains and equipment are clean.
  4. Reconnect your pool pump, filter, hoses and all electrical equipment; re-attach your ladders and diving board.
  5. TIP: Lubricate the bolts to prevent rusting — and to make removing them easy when you’re closing the pool.

  6.  Remove all winter plugs and reattach drain plugs.
  7. Skim the surface of the pool water to remove debris and clean pool walls and floor with a pool brush and vacuum to remove algae and bacteria.
  8. Turn on the power and run the circulation and filtration systems; let the filter run for at least 12 hours.
  9. Check to make sure all equipment is working properly.

2.Prep Your Pool Water

  1. Test your water’s alkalinity first. If it’s below the recommended range (see chart below), add 1. ARM & HAMMER™ Baking to get it in the normal range, which will then help balance your other chemicals.Much gentler than harsh chemicals, these products use the natural power of sodium bicarbonate to instantly balance pH and alkalinity and optimize chlorine performance.

  3. Test other aspects of your water chemistry next, making sure to balance their levels until they fall into the ideal range indicated in the chart below:


    What to Measure



    What it Means



    Ideal Range

    ( ppm= parts per million)


    When to Test




    The water’s ability to resist pH change

    110-150 ppm



    The measurement of acidity or basicity of water on a scale of 0-14. A pH of below 7 indicates water is acidic, above 7 indicates water is alkaline (basic). The correct balance can help minimize eye irritation, reduce odour, help prevent corrosion, keep water crystal clear, and avoid scaling (growth of mineral deposits on pool surfaces and equipment, which can impact their performance.



    Free Available Chlorine

    The amount of active chlorine in water that’s able to destroy bacteria, algae and other organic matter.

    1.0-3.0 ppm


    Calcium Hardness

    Also called calcium carbonate. Although some level of hardness may be desirable to reduce the chance of corrosion, higher levels indicate a greater chance for scaling.

    Below 250 ppm


    Cyanuric Acid


    A stabilizer that helps reduce the loss of free available chlorine due to sunlight and evaporation.

    25-50 ppm (never exceed 100 ppm)

    Twice per season


  5. Shock the water (also called Superchlorination)by adding heavy doses of chlorinating product — liquid chlorine or calcium hypochlorite — to kill accumulated bacteria, algae and other organic matter. Chlorine doses may be in the 5 to 10 ppm range, compared to normal levels. 

    Until the chlorine level drops to below 3.0, keep swimmers out of the pool. But once your pool chemistry is in balance — and the water is sparkling clean — celebrate with the splashiest cannonball of the season!

Check out our other Summer Sparkle Series articles, Maintaining Your Pool and Closing Your Pool.




Have questions? Need help? See our Pool Owner’s Guide


Tips to freshen things up

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