How to Open an Above Ground Pool Step-by-Step

How to Open an Above Ground Pool Step-by-Step

1. Prepare the area around your pool

  • Remove tripping hazards like rocks, leaves, and branches on the ground around the pool.
  • Trim any shrubs or branches that may get in the way or cause debris to fall in the pool.
  • Pick up any tools, toys, lawn ornaments, and other items that may get damaged or cause you to trip.

2. Inspect your pool equipment and chemicals

  • Check equipment for cracks, rust, dirt, and exposed wires.
  • Make sure any small parts and pieces are accounted for, like bolts and screws.
  • Clean, repair, or replace equipment as necessary.
  • Check all chemical expiration dates and replace as necessary.
  • Check bottles for leaks or damage (to avoid spills and chemical burns during use).

3. Remove, clean, and store your pool cover

Winter Pool Cover
  • Spread your pool cover out in a dry area, like the driveway, patio, or grass.
  • Use a hose and a push broom or pool brush to clean any remaining dirt and debris.

4. Check your pool liner for leaks and damage

  • Check for low water levels.
  • Check for standing water around your pool.
  • Check for any noticeable rips and tears in the liner.
  • Check for any cracked or loose tiles/structural damage.

Pro tip: If you do notice any damage to your vinyl pool liner and need a replacement, we've got your back. We have a variety of eye-catching and high-quality beaded pool liners and overlap pool liners to choose from.

5. Remove winter pool plugs

6. Reinstall your pump, filter, and other equipment

  • Skimmer basket, pump, filter, booster pump, spa equipment, and heater.

7. Add water to your pool (if needed)

  • Pools operate best when the water level is at approximately the middle of the skimmer opening.

8. Reinstall your deck accessories

  • Pool ladder, pool stairs, diving board, slides, and deck fittings.
  • When connecting stairs, ladders, and diving boards, be sure you have (and connect) all the grounding wires or straps.

9. Clean your pool

  • Use a leaf rake or net to scoop out large debris, like leaves and twigs.
  • Use a pool vacuum or automatic pool cleaner to tackle dirt, sand, and small debris.

10. Shock your pool

  • Add enough shock to raise the chlorine level of the pool to about 3.0 ppm — or approximately 2.5 gallons of a liquid shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. 

11. Test your pool chemistry.

  • Ideal levels are:
    • Chlorine: 1.0-2.0 ppm
    • pH: 7.2-7.8
    • Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm
    • Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm,
    • Dissolved solids: below 5000 ppm,
    • Cyanuric Acid: 40-80 ppm
    • Chloramine: Below 0.4 ppm

12. Enjoy your pool!

  • Add your pool floats & toys
  • If you have questions about opening your pool, our expert team at LinerWorld is always here to help!
  • Contact us:
    • Emailing direct to, or by calling (708) 489-9932.
    • Business hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Central Time (CST)