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Pool Opening Tips
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Pool Opening Tips

Pool Opening Tips

The following general information is suggested, based on over 50 years of pool maintenance experience. At time of pool opening, water temperature should be between 55 to 60. Each pool's specific needs may vary.

FOR BEST RESULTS: Plan ahead and shop at Gary Pools & Leisure for all chemicals and accessories before starting to open your pool.

  1. Drain water off winter cover, using pump or siphon. Remove winter cover along with any ice protection devices (pillow, Gizzmo, skimmer cover plate, etc.).
  2. Clean the liner with a brush and Gary's Tile & Vinyl Spray Cleaner.
  3. Check the skimmer for tightness. Replace any hardware if necessary. Make sure all gaskets on skimmer are in good condition. Replace any gaskets, which are worn or have dry-rot.
  4. Connect your type of filtration system:
    1. SAND FILTER - For best filtration, new sand should be used at the start of each season (check manufacturers specifications for how much sand is needed). Make sure the filter's standpipe (underdrain) is seated properly (vertical and connected to laterals) and that the underdrain is clean and free of debris.
    2. EARTH FILTER - The elements of any Diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filter should be soaked for 24 hours in a Muriatic acid-and-water solution of 5 parts water, and 1 part Muriatic acid. Make sure that you have new earth on hand for start-up. As an option, Gary Pools & Leisure can "clean your fingers" better and easier, without mess, for a small charge. See coupon on back!
    3. CARTRIDGE FILTER - If cartridge element appears worn, replace it. If it is dirty, clean it with Cartridge Renu, available at Gary Pools & Leisure.
    4. Make sure that all gaskets, fittings, baskets, and "O" rings are in good condition and sealing properly. Lubricate with 'O' ring lube.
  5. FILL THE POOL! - Correct water height on an above ground pool is 5 to 6 inches from underside of top-rail. After water height is correct, turn the filter on, briefly, and check for proper circulation.
  6. Remove all debris from pool. If you allot of leaves in the pool, don't try to use your pool vacuum -- you'll only plug up your filter. Instead, remove as many leaves as possible with a leaf rake, or use a leaf-vacuum-head-and-garden-hose combination. After pool is cleaned, sand filters should be backwashed, and earth filters should be drained and re-generated.
  7. Adjust PH levels if necessary using PH+ Increase or PH- Decrease, available at Gary Pools & Leisure. The proper pH level is between 7.4 to 7.6. Make sure that you have new testing kits for the season- either Phenol red and OTO solutions (drops), or testing strips.
  8. Super-chlorinate (or, shock) the water. Wait for chlorine level to drop down to 1.0 to 3.0 before entering the pool. The time varies greatly with temperature, sunlight, and water volume. You must measure it.
  9. Add Algaecide for preventive maintenance.
  10. If you are using liquid chlorine a stabilizer should be added now. This is normally a one-time task and the amount is relative to the new, fresh water you are adding. Granular and tablet chlorine already have stabilizers in them. If you have questions, stop in to see your Gary Pools & Leisure representative for advice.
  11. From this point on, even if you don't go in the water right away, begin routine chlorination and checking of proper chemical levels on a regular basis.
  12. Throughout the season, the water chemistry should be checked at least once a week. A chlorine reading of 1.5 to 2.0, and a PH level of 7.4 to 7.6 should be maintained. Algaecide should be used to prevent against algae buildup. Shock should be used after many people have been swimming, to kill green algae blooms, or to increase chlorine levels.
  13. If you have a water chemistry problem, or have any questions, it is best to bring in a small sample of water (baby-jar size) to any one of the three Gary Pools & Leisure store locations for FREE WATER TESTING.
  14. An easy, and recommended way to keep you pool clean and fresh is the ENJOY Pool Care System. It's easy, does not smell like chlorine, and will not bleach out blonde hair!


  • Pump or siphon
  • Test solutions, kit, strips
  • Shock
  • Algaecide
  • Chlorine
  • Chlorine stabilizer, if nec.
  • Sand or Diatomaceous Earth
  • PH+ Increase
  • PH- Decrease
  • Gary's Tile & Vinyl Cleaner
  • Cleaning brush
  • Hoses
  • Hose clamps
  • Gaskets
  • "O" Ring lube
  • Liner wall brush
  • Leaf rake
  • Vacuum pole
  • Vacuum hose
  • Vacuum head
  • New liner
  • Floats, games, toys
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