1. Take the Cover Off
The very first thing you need to do is remove the cover from your pool. If you have a safety cover, you will need an installation rod and hex key to remove the springs from the anchors and screw them down flush to the concrete.
If you have a standard tarp cover with water bags, just remove the water bags and empty them to store for the winter.
Make sure you drain the water off the cover and remove any large debris before taking off the cover. It will make your job a lot easier and it will prevent that stuff from getting into your pool water.
Next, take the cover from one end of the pool and continually fold in half until it’s easy to remove the cover from the pool.
Remove the Winter Plugs
Walk around your pool and find all the return lines. Remove the winter plugs from the return lines and step jets.
Remove the ice compensator from the skimmer buckets. Depending on how you closed it, there should be a plastic bottle, sponge, or “gizmo” in your skimmer that prevents the ice from cracking it. Replace the baskets.
At this time, make sure your pool is filled mid-way up the skimmer opening before starting your filter system.
2. Get Your Filter System Ready
Before you start your filter system, make sure all of the drain plugs are properly installed. Your filter system should have one main drain plug and your pump may have two.
Replace the pressure gauge on your filter as well as any other parts that belong.
Check the o-ring on your pump lid to make sure it’s in good condition. Bend it between your fingers to check for cracks. If everything looks ok, just apply a Teflon-based o-ring lubricant before screwing the pump lid back on.
Once everything is in place, start your filter system.
Note: Your pump may have to be primed if no water is coming through. Turn off the pump and remove the lid. Fill the pump housing with water. You can use a hose or a giant bucket of pool water to do this. Replace the lid and your pump should prime itself.
3. Test and Shock
Once your pool is up and running, take a water sample to your nearest pool dealer to get a professional water analysis done. Make sure you pH and alkalinity are properly balanced.
At this point, it’s a good idea to add the proper sanitizer to your water (i.e. chorine). Also, shocking your pool right away is a good idea too.
4. Cleaning Up
Make sure you clean your winter cover before storing it away for the season. Check your local pool supply dealer for winter cover cleaner.
Also, vacuum your pool using a manual vacuum at first to get all the heavy debris out (if there is any). After that, you can continue to use your automatic pool cleaner.
Opening up your pool is easy and takes no time at all. Ask a friend or neighbor to help and drink plenty of water, or beverage of choice, while working in the heat.