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Opening Your Swimming Pool

When the warm weather is upon us, the annual ritual of opening your pool has come. Hopefully, the winter treated your pool well during its seasonal nap

Some things you will need to have on hand to get started.

  • Garden Hose
  • Leaf Rake
  • Leaf Bagger
  • Skimmer
  • Screwdriver or Nutdriver. Check the style of your hose clamp
  • Vacuum
  • Magic Lube
  • All Purpose *Cleaner
  • Water Sample Container ( if not testing your water yourself)
  • Test Strips or Test Kit
  • Alkalinity adjusters
  • pH adjusters
  • Chlorine

Optional Items

  • Submersible Pump
  • Phos Free
  • Aqua Smarte startup kit
  • Pool Magic

Your first step is to remove all the water and debris from the winter cover. You can use a submersible pump or siphon to drain the water. For leaves and other large debris, a Leaf Rake is recommended. For smaller debris, your skimmer can be used.

Remove the cover and winterizing plate, and return the plug. I recommend cleaning the cover with our product, *Martin’s All-Purpose Cleaner. Allow the winter cover to dry thoroughly before storing. Do not put it on the Grass. If it’s a sunny day, it might burn the lawn

Opening Your Swimming Pool

Before attaching your filter hoses, check for splits and cracks. Now might be a good time to replace the sand if you have a sand filter. It is recommended to change the sand every 2-3 years. Sand should fill the tank 2/3 full or 8” from the top. Backwash new sand before filtering. If you have a cartridge filter, insert a new or cleaned cartridge element. Cartridges are usable for 2-3 seasons.

Reconnect your filter hoses to the pool. The hose from the skimmer goes to the front of the pump. The hose from the valve head labeled ” return” (sand filter) goes to the return jet on the side of the pool. On a Cartridge filter, the hose connects to the main canister.

Fill the pool to a proper level. The water should fill the skimmer, opening about 2/3 to the top.

Before starting your pool remove any leaves or large debris in the bottom of the pool with a Leaf Rake or Leaf Bagger.


Start your filter system. Make sure the main breaker is switched on inside your panel box. You may need to prime your filter pump. It might take several tries to bleed all the air out of the filter system. It is a good idea to lubricate all filters O-rings with Magic Lube at this time and anytime you open any filter. (Never Use Vaseline or any Petroleum-based Lubricants)

Vacuum any small debris from the pool bottom using a manual vacuum. If you have fine silt, vacuum using waste (sand filters only). Cartridge filters should be able to remove the finer material and should be cleaned after you have finished.

BEFORE ADDING CHEMICALS, test alkalinity, pH, and phosphate level OR analyze your water at a pool store. Adjust as required. This should be done before adding chlorine.

To control algae from the start, I recommend PhosFree by Natural Chemistry to eliminate high phosphate levels, which cause algae growth (follow directions on the bottle).

Once your water is balanced, you can add chlorine to the pool water. You can use liquid or granular (shock) to raise the chlorine level quickly. Granular chlorine use one bag per 10,000 gallons or one ¼ gallon liquid chlorine per 10,000 gallons. If you have the AquaSmarte systems should use the AWAKE pool opening kit.


Conditioner: Proper conditioner levels are crucial for maintaining beautiful pool water, as it prevents the burn-off of chlorine due to intense sunlight. Use a test strip to determine how much you need to add.

If you have the AugaSmarte system, insert a new Mineral Reservoir and Bac Pac into your AquaSmarte feeder system.

I also recommend Pool Magic by Natural Chemistry to remove winter organic build-up that chlorine will not affect.


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