Above-Ground Pool Opening Instructions

For best results please read these instructions through carefully first and become familiar with the process, before attempting to open your pool!

  • You will want at least 1 other person, possibly 2-3, to help you at times in the process, especially in taking the cover off the pool. Be sure to ask some of the people who enjoyed the pool the previous year.
  • Preventing debris from going into the pool during cover removal will dramatically reduce the time to get your pool up and running.

INSPECT POOL FOR VISIBLE EXTERNAL DAMAGE – If you do notice damage, note details of damage, take pictures and call Beach Pools for advice.

PUMP OR SIPHON WATER OFF TOP OF COVER – BE CAREFUL NOT TO PUMP WATER FROM THE POOL, especially if cover is ripped or porous/mesh. The goal is only to remove water weight so that you can lift the cover off and not allow debris into the pool. An electric cover pump is easy to hook up, relatively inexpensive, and quick. Many people choose to pump the water from the top of the cover directly underneath to the pool, which makes up for any water lost by displacement. This is especially helpful if your water supply is high in undesired metals (iron, copper, manganese, etc.)

REMOVE ALL LARGE DEBRIS FROM TOP OF COVER – This includes tree limbs, branches, etc. If and when you are able to drain all the water off the cover, many people will make short work of leaf removal by using a leaf blower. If one is unavailable, remove as many leaves as reasonably possible with a soft bristle broom.

REMOVE CABLE, WINCH, COVER CLIPS, WATER BAGS, ETC. THAT HOLDS THE COVER TO THE POOL – This includes all weighted milk jugs (Beach Pools does not recommend use – due to possible damage).

CAREFULLY REMOVE WINTER COVER FROM POOL – This is a crucial step and you will want as many hands as possible so as to prevent any debris on the cover from entering the pool water underneath. Remember, the more junk that goes in, the longer it will take you to clear the pool with your filter.

CLEAN, INSPECT AND STORE YOUR COVER FOR NEXT YEAR– Make sure there are no rips, tears, or missing grommets. If your cover is useable, take time to spread out on ground, wash off with a hose (and liquid soap if needed), and allow to dry thoroughly. Then fold cover neatly and store in a container that will protect it from being destroyed by insects, mice and other critters. Many people use a Rubbermaid-style container and put in a few mothballs. Store until needed in the fall.

LOOK FOR EVIDENCE OF LEAKS – Some water loss is normal, due to displacement and evaporation. Water loss more than 8” or more below the return jet may be evidence of a leak. Extremely low level of water is a pretty sure sign of a major leak. If this is the case, inspect visually if you can see the bottom, looking for holes or tears in the liner. If you see any of this, please make note, take pictures and call Beach pools immediately for advice.

HOOK UP FILTER, PUMP AND ALL ACCESSORIES TO THE POOL – Take time to inspect and replace ALL suspect clamps, hoses, fittings and shut-off valves. It is much easier to do this now than later when your pool is full of water and running. Many people choose to avoid possible headaches and change hoses and clamps yearly.

REMOVE ALL WINTERIZING PRODUCTS FROM THE POOL – This includes the air pillow (expect these to burst yearly when they are doing their job correctly), return plug(s), winterizing skimmer doors, and gizmo(s) from the skimmer (BEACH POOLS DOES NOT RECOMMEND THE USE OF GIZMOS IN ABOVE GROUND POOLS IN THE FIRST PLACE!). Open any closed and previously attached shut-off valves.

FILL THE POOL SLOWLY WITH CLEAN WATER UP TO OPERATING LEVEL – Generally ½ to 2/3 of the way up the skimmer opening is a good amount. Be available to observe the pool periodically as it fills, in case of damage and/or leaks.


OPERATE YOUR FILTER 24 HOURS A DAY UNTIL YOU CAN SEE CLEAR TO THE BOTTOM – Make sure your filter is ready to run and you have new and/or plenty of filter media.

  • Sand Filter – Change sand yearly for best results. This is relatively cheap and very effective.
  • DE Filter – Charge the filter with adequate amount of DE (see filter specs for details). Sometimes about ½
  • scoop or so less than the norm of DE allows the filter to run longer in the initial start-up stages of the pool.
  • Cartridge Filter – Make sure your cartridge element is in good shape and clean from the previous season. Average life of a cartridge element is about 3-5 years with good care.

SHOCK THE POOL IMMEDIATELY – Use 2-3X the amount of shock you typically use during the season to clear and sanitize the water. For chlorine pools, liquid chlorine works most quickly and is immediately available. For chlorine pools, add chlorine tabs to your chlorinator to help maintain chlorine levels, once the shock has burnt off. For other sanitizers, see directions on product labels. Run the filter until clear – this may take up to a week on a sand filter, or 3 days or so for a DE filter. If pool fails to clear in this time period, please speak to us about our “4 Steps to Water Clarity”. Remember to maintain high levels of sanitizer until clear.

VACUUM YOUR POOL ONLY WHEN YOU CAN SEE THE BOTTOM – If there is heavy debris, and your filter has a multiport valve with a “WASTE” setting, vacuum to waste. Doing this may drop the water a bit, but will prevent you from gunking up your filter and slowing down the clearing process.

TEST WATER AND ADJUST LEVELS – Remember this should ONLY be done if your pool is clean and clear. Doing otherwise will result in slowing down the clearing of the water. If your water is clear, adjust your levels as needed (pH, alkalinity, chlorine, calcium, stabilizer, etc.). Come see us for fast, free, accurate results!