Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season

Get ready to swim with our handy guide for prepping your pool.

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National Pool Opening Day was on April 27, and with Memorial Day coming up, it’s time to get ready for pool season. The process of opening a pool can take a bit of time, patience, and work, though it will pay dividends in the end. To help you through this sometimes complicated process, we’ve compiled the best merchandise for opening a pool, including essential products and opening kits to help get you started on your journey toward summer. 

1. AgiiMan Swimming Pool Brush

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season AgiiMan Swimming Pool Brush
Photot: amazon.com

Over the colder months, debris accumulates on the cover of the pool. Before attempting to remove your cover, it’s important to remove large debris like twigs, leaves, or larger branches. The best way to do this is with the AgiiMan Swimming Pool Brush–one of the best pool-opening accessories you can have at your disposal. This long-handled brush comes with an 18-inch head and an aluminum pole that can adjust on both sides, making it ideal for reaching the entire length of the pool. Use it to push the debris off the cover and away from the pool envelope. This will make the next step easier. 

Get the AgiiMan swimming pool brush at Amazon for $39.99

2. AquaChek 4-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season AquaChek 4- Way Pool and Spa Test Strips
Photo: amazon.com

Once you’re done removing the cover to your pool, you’ll want to have your chlorine testing strips close at hand, as they are an essential step of the pool-opening process. AquaChek Yellow 4-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips are crucial for checking the chlorine levels in your pool and can be inserted directly into the water. Just dip it in for one second, remove it, and then check for results for an instant read for chemical results. 

Get the AquaChek test strips at Amazon for $10.42.

3. Lefree Garden Hose

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season Lefree Garden Hose
Photo: amazon.com

Once the cover has been removed, it’s important to make sure it’s ready to be stored away for the summer. We recommend bringing it to the nearest hardscaping (a driveway works well for this), brushing off any remaining debris, and hosing off the cover. The Lefree Garden Hose expands to 100 feet in just seconds and then retracts to fit easily in a garage or any other storage space, making it a great choice for pool areas. Allow the cover to dry and then begin to roll it or fold it so that it can be compactly stored either in a garage or basement. Pool covers should never be left outside where they are susceptible to damage from rodents, insects, and moisture. 

Get the Lefree garden hose at Amazon for $50.99.

4. Amazon Basics Hex Key Allen Wrench

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season Amazon Basics Hex Key Allen Wrench
Photo: amazon.com

Most pool covers are attached to the ground via metal spring anchors. These can be easily removed with the Amazon Basics Hex Key Allen Wrench or screwdriver, one of several essential pool-opening accessories. This set of Allen wrenches is coated with black oxide, so it’s impervious to corrosion, and it comes in a set of 26, so you won’t have to worry about finding the right size. Unscrew the anchors and store them in a safe place until it’s time for pool closing. If the anchors are unforgiving, hammer them into the ground, but note that they will need to be redrilled in advance of closing.

Get the Amazon Basics Allen wrench set at Amazon for $13.92.

5. Replace Summer-Only Equipment

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season Replace Summer-Only Equipment
Photo: amazon.com

Equipment that was removed at closing will need to be reinstalled before you’re able to use it. This includes rails, slides, ladders, diving boards, and other chrome pieces. You may need to use a metal lubricant to ensure that fittings are securely attached. Chrome can be cleaned in advance with chrome polish. The Star Brite Chrome & Stainless Polish can also be used on stainless steel, copper, brass, and tin, and is easily wiped on and off, leaving behind a brilliant shine. 

Get the Star Brite polish at Amazon for $15.20.

6. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum
Photo: amazon.com

Before the pump is turned on, the pool must be topped off so that it reaches the skimmer’s mouth. If the pool is below the required volume, top it off with a garden hose and use a telescoping wall and floor brush to remove any additional debris that has fallen into the pool during winter. 

Using a pool vacuum—another of many accessories you may find useful in opening your pool—clean the walls and surfaces of the pool, removing all algae prior to pool shocking. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum is our top choice for a pool vacuum and can easily climb the walls of the pool without effort, cleaning your pool for up to 2 hours without assistance. 

Get the Dolphin pool vacuum at Amazon for $799.00.

7.  In the Swim Pool Super Opening Chemical Start-Up Kit

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season In the Swim Pool Super Opening Chemical Start-Up Kit
Photo: amazon.com

Before opening, make sure all of the pool’s valves are open, and then prime the pump by filling it with water. After this, it’s then safe to turn on the power for the pool pump and heating equipment. During this first run, you will want to closely inspect your pool for any damage that may have occurred during the winter, including cracks, leaks, or other issues. If you do notice damage, turn off all power systems immediately and contact a professional service for a maintenance review. Keep in mind, for later on, that some manufacturers make pool-opening kits with all of the chemicals included should you wish to consolidate your shopping.

We recommend using a start-up kit like the In the Swim Pool Super Opening Chemical Start-Up Kit. It includes four bags of 99 percent sodium dichloro for shocking, a clarifier for filter efficiency, algaecide for defense against algae, and Sun Sorb oil to aid against the oils present in sunscreen. 

Get the In The Swim start-up kit at Amazon for $57.99.

8. Champion Pool Shock Chlorinator

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season Champion Pool Shock Chlorinator
Photo: amazon.com

The first chemical step will be to test the water so that you can shock—or high-dose chlorinate—the pool. Using your results, add this Champion Pool Shock Ready-to-Use Liquid Chlorinator (it’s often referred to as an oxidizer) to the pool. You may also require additional chemicals like stabilizers, which help to maintain existing chlorine levels. The filter will need to run for 24 hours and you will want to run a second test before anyone can safely enter the pool. This potent chlorinator from Champion can be poured directly into the pool and will help jump-start the shocking process. 

Get the Champion Pool Shock chlorinator at Amazon for $44.79.

9. Pool Mate Pool Stabilizer and Conditioner

Everything You Need to Open Your Pool for the Season Pool Mate 1-2607B Pool Stabilizer
Photo: amazon.com

Twenty-four hours after the first chemical test, you will want to run a second chemical test. Generally, if the water is clear after 24 hours and your filter has been running, your pool is probably safe, but it doesn’t hurt to test the water a second time just to be sure. However, if the water has any discoloration, you will want to repeat your test and re-shock the pool, waiting another 24 hours. 

You will want to repeat this until your chemicals are balanced and your water is clear. And don’t forget your stabilizer as your last essential chemical pool tool! The Pool Mate 1-2607B Pool Stabilizer and Conditioner can help reduce chlorine loss down the line and can also help improve chlorine’s effectiveness, so it’s a great product to keep on hand as the summer wears on. 

Get the Pool Mate stabilizer at Amazon for $32.25.

Hannah Selinger Avatar

Hannah Selinger

Contributing Writer

Hannah Selinger is a multi-disciplinary lifestyle writer with an eye for design who is constantly involved in a renovation project—and constantly writing about it.