How to Open a Pool After Winter: A Comprehensive Guide

Jafar Dhada

Hey there, fellow Long Island pool owner! With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to consider opening your pool for the upcoming swimming season.

We know how important it is to properly open your pool to ensure a safe, clean, and enjoyable swimming experience for your family and friends.

That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide specifically tailored to Long Island pool owners like you.

The Ultimate Guide to Opening Your Pool in Long Island

This article will describe the entire pool opening process, highlighting the importance of getting it done the right way.

While it’s true that you could try to tackle the pool opening yourself, there are numerous benefits to having a professional handle the job.

Trust us; after doing thousands of pool openings for our clients, we can confidently say we’ve seen it all.

Before diving into the pool opening guide, let’s talk about some common questions you may have before opening your pool.

When Should You Open Your Pool in Long Island?

First, you might be wondering the best time to open your pool.

(Hint: The earlier, the better).

Girl Wondering Whether She Should Open Her Pool

The best time to open the pool varies depending on the specific weather patterns each year, but generally, it’s a good idea to open your pool in April or early May. For a more in-depth answer, check out our post on when to open your pool.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Pool in Long Island?

Pool Owner Thinking About Pool Opening Cost

The next question that comes to your mind while considering opening your pool is its cost. Well, it can depend on various factors like the size of your pool, the different features of your pool, the equipment status, and the amount of work required.

On average, you can expect to pay between $300 to $600 for a professional pool opening service.

Remember that getting your pool opened professionally will save you time, effort, and potentially costly mistakes.

How Long Does It Take To Open A Pool?

How Long Does it Take to Get Pool Opened

You might also be curious about how long it takes to open a pool. If you are thinking of doing it yourself, it could take anywhere from 2-3 days to an entire weekend, depending on your experience and the condition of your pool.

If you hire a professional pool services company like Romanelli & Son Pool Service, the process is typically quicker and more efficient, with most pool openings completed within 1-2 hours.

Remember, a professional pool opening service saves you time and properly prepares your pool for a safe and enjoyable swimming season.

How To Open A Long Island Pool For The Season

It’s time to dive into the details! Let’s learn about the pool opening process in a detailed step-by-step manner.

Preparing For Pool Opening

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s start with some essential prep work to ensure a smooth pool-opening process.

Gather Necessary Tools And Equipment


First, gather all the necessary tools and equipment to get your pool up and running.

This includes a pool skimmer, vacuum, brush, water test kit, and any necessary tools for equipment maintenance.

Here’s a list of some essential tools needed for nearly every pool opening:

  • A good pair of channel locks (or 2) is a must!
  • 1/4” nut driver
  • Phillips and flat-head screwdriver
  • Rubber mallet
  • Socket wrench and socket set
  • Toolbox or bucket

Having everything in one place will make the process much more manageable.

Inspect And Clean Pool Cover And Surrounding Pool Area

Before removing the pool cover, please take a moment to inspect it for damage or wear. While at it, thoroughly clean the surrounding pool area, removing any leaves, debris, or dirt that might have accumulated over the winter.

Pro Tip: Make sure your nearby planting beds are well-groomed, and keep an eye out for any tree branches that could drop leaves into the pool. A little garden maintenance and pruning can save you a whole lot of pool cleaning down the line.

Clean The Cover Of Debris And Water

Next, remove any standing water from the pool cover using a pool cover pump. Cleaning the cover before removal will prevent unwanted debris from falling into the pool.

Use a soft push broom or leaf net to remove leaves from the cover.

Hint: If the debris on the cover is dry, you can use a leaf blower to help quickly blow everything off.

Inventory Your Pool Chemicals

Pool Chemicals

Before diving into the pool opening process, taking inventory of your pool chemicals is a good idea. Please list the needed supplies and visit a pool supplies store nearby to purchase them. You can even order pool chemicals from us (and save the hassle of taking a trip to the store) at a discounted rate.

Make sure you have enough supplies to last the entire season.

Safety First: Please wear all the safety gear before handling pool chemicals. Every year, during the swimming season, many pool owners end up in hospital emergency rooms due to poisoning from pool chemicals. Also, store those chemicals safely, far from the reach of curious kids and pets. A cool, dry place works best, and always keep them in their original packaging with containers securely closed.

Fill The Pool

If your pool’s water level is low, now’s the time to fill it up. Aim for a water level that sits halfway up to the skimmer opening. That will ensure that your pool’s circulation system can function properly.

Turn On Electric Power For Pool

Turning On Electric Power for Pool

It’s time to turn on the power for your pool equipment, such as pumps, filters, etc.

Safety First: Before turning on any electric components, double-check that everything is properly connected and there are no signs of damage. Once you’re confident that all is well, turn on the equipment.

Make Sure All Pool Equipment and Pad is Easily Accessible

Last but not least, ensure that all your pool equipment is easily accessible. This includes your pool pump, filter, heater, and other essential equipment. A clear and accessible equipment pad will make maintenance tasks much more manageable throughout the season.

Now that you’ve completed these essential preparation steps, you can dive into the pool opening process.

The Perfect Long Island Pool Opening Guide

It’s time to get down to business and walk you through the steps for a perfect pool opening. Follow the detailed steps below, and you’ll be on your way to a safe and enjoyable swimming season.

Detach The Cover and Lower The Anchors

Begin by lowering the anchors into the pool deck. This will make it easier to remove the cover without causing any damage to it or the surrounding area.

Remove The Cover

The next step is to remove the pool cover carefully, working with a friend to make this task more manageable. Remember, you’ve already cleaned the debris and water off the cover, so this step should be a breeze.

Pool Cover Removal

Lay The Cover Out and Rinse It Off

Once the cover is off, lay it flat and thoroughly rinse it with a hose. This will help remove any remaining dirt or debris and prepare it for storage.

Fold the Cover And Store It Safely

After the cover is clean and dry, fold it neatly and store it in a cool, dry place away from rodents, insects, and other elements.

Tip: Store the cover in the garage or indoors. A cover left outside WILL be damaged.

Reconnect Pool Equipment

Now it’s time to reconnect all your pool equipment, including the pump, filter, and heater. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for reassembly and double-check that all connections are secure.

Remove Filter Cartridge Or Grids, Rinse, And Inspect (For DE And Cartridge Filters)

Pool Filter Before Cleaning
Pool Filter Before Cleaning
Pool Filter After Cleaning
Pool Filter After Cleaning

For those with DE or cartridge filters, remove the filter cartridge or grids, give them a good rinse, and inspect them for any damage. Replace any worn or damaged components to ensure your filtration system works efficiently throughout the season.

Remove All Plugs From The Pool And Install Fittings

Next, remove all winterizing plugs from the pool’s return lines, skimmers, and other openings. Replace them with the appropriate fittings, ensuring a tight seal to prevent water leaks.

Prime And Start The System

With everything reconnected and in place, it’s time to prime and start your pool’s circulation system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for priming the pump and turning on the system. Watch for any leaks or issues as the system starts up.

Fill And Start Spa

If your pool setup includes a spa, fill it with water and start its circulation system. Be sure to follow any specific instructions for your spa’s requirements.

Inspect Plumbing And Test Equipment

With everything up and running, take some time to inspect the plumbing and test all equipment. Make sure there are no leaks or issues that might cause problems down the road.

Test Gas Heater

If you have a gas heater, now’s the time to test it. Ensure it’s working properly and safely by following the manufacturer’s guidelines for start-up and operation.

Reconnect Electricity For Heat Pump And Any Other Equipment

Finally, reconnect the electricity for your heat pump and other electrically powered equipment in your pool setup. Double-check that everything is connected correctly and functioning safely before diving into your freshly opened pool.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully opened your pool for the season by following these steps.

But before diving in, we must check the water chemistry and other things. Let’s get straight into it.

Balancing Water Chemistry

With your pool open and equipment running smoothly, it’s time to tackle one of the most crucial aspects of pool care: water chemistry. Maintaining balanced water chemistry is essential for a safe, clean, enjoyable swimming environment.

Water Chemistry Testing Kit

Test Water Chemistry And Check Clarity

Start by testing your pool water using a reliable test kit or test strips. Check the chlorine levels, pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness, and note any imbalances. While you’re at it, observe the water’s clarity. Clear water is a good indicator of proper water balance and filtration.

Here are the ideal levels for perfect water chemistry:

Total Alkalinity: 80 to 150 ppm

  • If total alkalinity is low, add an alkalinity increaser.

pH: 7.2 to 7.6

  • If pH is low, add a pH increaser.
  • If the pH is high, add a pH reducer.

Total Hardness: 175-270 ppm

  • If total hardness is low, add a hardness increaser.

Pro Tip: Balanced water chemistry is essential to keep your pool in top shape. Make it a habit to check your water at least once a week and adjust as needed to keep everything running smoothly. Alternatively, you can also opt for one of our weekly pool maintenance plans to make it a breeze.

Shock The Water

Next up, give your pool a good shock treatment. This helps to eliminate bacteria, algae, and other contaminants that may have built up during the winter. Follow the product instructions and use the appropriate amount of shock for your pool size.

Pool Professional Shocking the Pool

Safety Tip: When it comes to handling chlorine shock, safety first! Always wear gloves and safety gear while adding it to your pool. And remember, mixing different types of shock in the same bucket can be a big no-no as it could even cause an explosion.

Brush Out Any Settled Chemicals And Stuck On Algae

After shocking the pool, grab your pool brush and give the walls and floor a thorough scrub. This will help dislodge any settled chemicals or stuck-on algae, ensuring your pool is squeaky clean for the season ahead.

Pro tip: Be sure to spray down your pool deck with a hose to rinse away any stray chemicals. This will keep the swimmers’ feet safe from any potential hazard.

Add Necessary Chemicals To Balance Chemistry

Now that your pool has been shocked and brushed, it’s time to balance any imbalances you might have noted in your pool water. Based on your test results, add the necessary chemicals to adjust chlorine, pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for application to avoid over- or under-treatment.

Address Any Algae, High-metal, Or Other Water Chemistry Issues

With your pool’s basic chemistry in balance, it’s time to tackle any specific water issues that might have emerged. This could include algae growth, high metal content, or other water chemistry concerns.

For algae, use an algaecide or specialized algae treatment to eliminate the growth and prevent it from returning. If your pool has high metal content, consider using a metal sequestrant to keep the metals in solution and prevent staining or discolouration.

If you are opening the pool yourself, you might miss addressing some water chemistry concerns. We recommend hiring a pool service like ours for appropriate water chemistry and treatment.

Pool Equipment Inspection

As a fellow pool owner, keeping your pool equipment in tip-top shape is crucial for an enjoyable and stress-free swimming season. So, look closely at some essential pool equipment inspections you should perform.

Inspect Pool Pumps, Heaters, Filter, etc.

Pool Professional Inspecting Pool Equipment

Inspect your pool pumps, heaters, filters, and other equipment thoroughly. Look for any visible signs of wear, damage, or leaks. Ensuring your pool equipment is in good working order will save you time, money, and headaches.

Lubricate Fittings And Seals As Needed

It’s essential to lubricate fittings and seals is essential to keep your pool equipment running smoothly. This helps to prevent leaks and prolongs the life of your equipment. Be sure to use a lubricant designed for pool equipment to avoid issues.

Repair Or Replace Damaged Equipment If Necessary

If you discover any damaged equipment during your inspection, it’s important to repair or replace it as soon as possible. Operating damaged equipment could lead to more significant issues or potential hazards for swimmers.

If you are getting your pool opened by Romanelli & Son Pool Service, we will address and fix any equipment-related issues during the pool opening appointment if it requires 20 minutes or less. If fixing requires more than 20 minutes, we’ll schedule a separate appointment to repair/replace the broken pool equipment.

Final Step: Safety Checks

We have completed all the steps in our pool opening, but now’s time to give everything a final safety check and ensure everything works smoothly. Pool safety is a top priority for all pool owners. So let’s dive into some critical safety checks you should perform before jumping into your pool this season.

Safety Check List

Inspect Pool Ladders, Diving Boards, And Slides For Damage

Take some time to inspect your pool ladders, diving boards, and slides for any signs of damage or wear. Loose bolts, cracks, or splintering materials could pose a risk to swimmers, so address any of those issues before opening your pool.

Check Pool Fencing, Gates, And Alarms For Proper Function

Lastly, ensure your pool fencing, gates, and alarms function correctly. This is crucial in preventing unauthorized access to your pool, especially for young children or pets. Ensure gates latch securely, alarms function, and fencing is free from damage or gaps.

Following these pool equipment inspection and safety check steps ensures you are set up for a safe, enjoyable, and worry-free swimming season.

Cheers to a fantastic summer by the pool, fellow Long Islanders!

Start Swimming

Congratulations! You’ve completed all the essential steps to open your pool for the season.

You can be confident that your pool is safe, clean, and ready for endless fun under the sun. Now, it’s time to reap the rewards of your labour and dive into that sparkling water!

Child Swimming in a Pool

Go ahead and invite your friends and family over for a refreshing swim or a laid-back poolside barbecue. After all, you certainly deserve it.

Remember to keep up with routine maintenance throughout the season so your pool remains safe and enjoyable for everyone. But for now, it’s time to grab your favorite swimsuit, slather on some sunscreen, and make a splash in your paradise.

Opening Your Pool Yourself vs. Hiring A Professional Pool Service Company

Long Island pool owners, we know you take pride in your pool, and you might even be tempted to tackle the pool opening process independently. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of doing it yourself versus hiring a professional pool service company like ours.

Let’s dive into the differences.

The Drawbacks Of Opening Your Pool Yourself

While going the DIY route might seem appealing, there are some potential downsides to consider:

Time-consuming: You might have realized by reading our extensive pool opening guide that the process involves several steps. Doing it yourself can eat up a significant chunk of your precious time. A professional company like ours can do the job more efficiently, giving you more time to enjoy your pool.

Lack of expertise: Without experience in pool maintenance, it’s easy to make mistakes that could lead to costly repairs down the line. A professional pool service company has the knowledge to identify and address potential issues before they become major problems.

Safety concerns: Handling pool chemicals and equipment without proper training can be hazardous. A professional knows how to handle these materials safely and responsibly.

The Benefits Of Hiring A Professional Pool Service Company

Romanelli & Son Pool Service Logo

When you entrust your pool opening to a professional company like Romanelli & Son Pool Service, you get much more than convenience. Here are some of the key benefits:

Saving time and effort: A professional company like ours handles all the heavy lifting, allowing you to enjoy your pool instead of handling chemicals and equipment.

Precision and expertise: We have the experience and knowledge to handle every aspect of pool opening with precision.

We can spot potential problems quickly and fix them before they become costly, ensuring your pool remains in top shape all season long.

Peace of mind: Hiring a professional pool service company means you can relax, knowing that your pool is in expert hands. No more second-guessing yourself or worrying about whether you’ve done everything correctly – the pros have got you covered.

Long-term savings: You can avoid costly mistakes and potential damage from DIY pool opening. This means fewer headaches and more savings in the long run.

Tailored service: We can offer customized services to meet your specific needs and preferences to ensure your pool is maintained exactly how you want it.

Opening your pool by yourself might seem like a cost-saving measure, but the potential drawbacks and risks far outweigh the benefits. By hiring a professional pool services company like Romanelli & Son Pool Service, you’re investing in your pool’s longevity, safety, and overall enjoyment of your swimming experience.

Treat yourself to a hassle-free pool opening and a fun summer by booking your pool opening appointment by clicking the button below. Remember, it’s always better to open your pool earlier than anticipated because of potential unforeseen issues that might arise, such as equipment failure/repair.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Pool Opening

As a Long Island pool owner, you might have questions about opening your pool for the season. Let’s address some of the most common ones:

Q: How long should I run the filter after opening the pool?

A: It’s generally recommended to run the filter continuously for at least 24 hours after opening your pool. This helps circulate the water and any added chemicals, ensuring proper balance and clarity.

Q: What chemicals do you need to open a pool?

A: To open a pool, you’ll typically need chlorine, pH increasers or reducers, alkalinity increasers, calcium hardness increasers, and shock treatment. Always test your water first and follow recommended guidelines.

Q: How do I clean the filter on a pool?

A: The cleaning methods depend on your pool’s filter type (cartridge, sand, or DE.) Each type requires a specific cleaning process, so it’s better to consult a pool service company like ours for guidance.

Q: How much chlorine to add to the pool when opening?

A: The amount of chlorine needed depends on your pool’s size and the water’s current chlorine level. You’ll want to test the water and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the appropriate dosage.

Q: How to shock a pool when opening?

A: To shock your pool, dissolve the shock treatment in a bucket of water and add it to the pool. Make sure to run the filter continuously while shocking. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for appropriate dosage based on your pool’s size and water chemistry.

Q: What can I do if the pool water bubbles when turning on the pump?

A: If you notice water bubbling when turning on the pump, it could indicate air in the system. Check for loose fittings, leaks, or blockages and ensure sufficient water level. If the problem persists, consult a professional pool service company.


A well-executed pool opening sets the stage for a fantastic swimming season. Following the proper steps and promptly addressing any issues, you can enjoy crystal-clear water and healthy swim sessions in your backyard.

We hope this article has given you a clear overview of the pool opening process.

While a DIY pool opening might seem tempting, the drawbacks and potential risks make hiring a professional company like Romanelli & Son Pool Service a smart choice. By entrusting your pool opening to experts like us, you can save time and effort and enjoy peace of mind.

With Romanelli & Son Pool Service, you can dive into a summer of fun, relaxation, and cherished memories with family and friends.

Photo of author
Jafar Dhada
Hey there, I am an avid swimming enthusiast coming from a coastal city in India. In my free time, I like to play snooker, and of course have a dive in the sea or a pool.