7 Steps to Open Your Aboveground Pool

How to Open Your Aboveground Pool 

Did you know that the last Saturday in April is National Pool Opening Day?  Getting your aboveground pool ready is a time to rejoice and celebrate the fact that summer fun is fast approaching. 

At Parnell Pool & Spa, we want to help make Pool Opening Day a little easier with a handy-dandy outline of all the steps needed to open an aboveground pool properly. 

Step 1: Remove and Clean your Cover

The majority of aboveground pools are covered with a solid tarp held in place with a cable and winch. During the winter, most covers will accumulate rain water, leaves, and other debris that needs to be removed before taking the cover off the pool. Make sure to remove as much debris and water as possible to prevent accidentally spilling the debris into the pool when removing the cover.

  1. Loosen the winch and cable that is securing the cover in place
  2. Begin to fold the cover in on itself (towards the center of the pool) being careful to trap any remaining water or debris. Once the pool cover is more manageable to move, begin to slide the cover off the pool surface. 
  3. Slowly pull the cover towards one side of the pool and secure it so the cover can be lifted without spilling dirty water or debris into the pool. 
  4. Once you have removed the cover, spread it out on a large flat surface to be rinsed and cleaned.  At Parnell Pool and Spa, we recommend applying a liberal amount of “Stow Away” to the cover and cleaning the entire surface using your pool brush and pole. 
  5. Once the cover has been cleaned and dried, store it in a shed or garage out of direct sunlight. 

Step 2: Prepare your Pump and Filter for Operation

Gather all of the supplies removed during the closing of your pool and have them at the ready. If you took the entire pump off at closing, locate it and reinstall it on the equipment pad next to the filter tank.

  1. Starting with the pump, use Teflon plumber’s tape to wrap the two freeze plugs (hair and lint pot plug and pump housing plug). Checking the threaded openings in the pump to make sure they are free of dirt and debris, install the plugs into the pump.   

 Helpful Hint:  Tighten the plugs by hand only. Over tightening can cause the hair and lint pot or pump housing to crack.

  1. Locate the hair and lint basket that goes inside the hair and lint pot. Place the basket into the hair and lint pot and make sure to check the O-ring and lid lip for cracks, dirt, and debris. Reinstall the lid to the hair and lint pot making sure to have an airtight seal. 

Helpful Hint: If needed, apply a thin coat of Magic Lube (Teflon lubricant) to the upper lip of the hair and lint pot, the threads, or lip of the hair and lint pot lid, and the O-ring and install the lid securely onto the hair and lint pot.

  1. If you disconnected the hose between the pump and the filter tank loose, reconnect at this time. 
  2. Locate the drain cap for the bottom of the filter tank and screw it back on, checking to make sure the drain and cap are clean and free of debris. 
  3. Locate the pressure gauge that you removed from the dial valve on top of the filter tank. Inspect the gage to be sure it is not cracked and the opening in the threaded stem is not clogged with debris. Next, wrap the threads on the gauge several times with Teflon tape. 
  4. Check the gauge receptacle opening on the dial valve to make sure it is clean and free of debris. Then, thread the gauge into the dial valve and hand tighten.
  5. Locate the clear sight glass and the air relief valve. Check the gasket on the sight glass and the O-ring on the relief valve for cracks or other damage and reinstall them into the correct openings on the dial valve. 
  6. Once you have reinstalled all the parts back into the dial valve, press down on the handle and turn it in a clockwise direction until the pointer on the handle lines up with the “filter” slot on the valve.

Step 3: Reconnect the Hoses

  1. Reconnect the hose from the bottom of your skimmer to the front of the hair and lint pot. 
  2. Reconnect the hose from your filter tank back to the return opening in your pool. 
  3. If your system has a “knife valve” in front of the hair and lint pot, make sure the handle on the valve is pulled all the way up.
  4. Do not turn the pump on yet. You still have to prepare the pool for operation.

Step 4: Prepare your Pool for Opening

Next, remove all items installed to keep your pool safe during the winter months. Remove the items such as

  • Plugs
  • Floaters
  • Gizzmo
  • Debris/obstructions

Check the flap (wier) and make sure it moves freely and is not obstructed. After placing the skimmer basket back in your pool and reinstalling the skimmer lid, use a garden hose to fill the pool until the water level is 1/2 way up the mouth of the skimmer, minimum. 

Step 5: Get Your Pump Ready

Once the water level is at the proper level, plug your pump in and turn it on. The hair and lint pot should begin to fill with water and air bubbles should begin to flow into your pool through the return jet. Once the hair and lint pot is filled with water and there are no more bubbles, place your hand over the return jet and make sure you are getting a good flow of water back into the pool. 

Step 6: Check Pressure Gauge

Once you have the system up and running, check the pressure gauge to see if it is registering normal water pressure on the system. 

Step 7: Water Sample

Let the water run for about 4-6 hours to properly mix the water in the pool and bring a water sample to one of our Parnell Pool & Spa stores to have it tested. We will help you to better understand what chemicals need to be added to make your water safe and balanced. 

Need Help?

At Parnell Pool and Spa, we know that opening an aboveground pool the first time can be a daunting task. If you have a question about the proper running of your pool or any questions about opening your aboveground pool, stop by our Fayetteville or Lumberton location. Visit us online at www.parnellpoolandspa.com or take a look at our Facebook page.  

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Take a look at the following blog for some helpful maintenance hints when it comes to opening your pool.

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(910) 425-6138

4206 Cumberland Rd
Fayetteville, NC 28306

Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Sunday: Closed


(910) 738-8110

1380 Linkhaw Rd
Lumberton, NC 28358

Mon-Fri: 9am to 6pm
Saturday: 9am to 3pm
Sunday: Closed

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