The decision comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer to save money and open the pool themselves, while others are willing to pay to avoid the hassle. Give some serious thought to both your budget and time constraints before deciding.
Knowledge is important, too. Opening a pool is more complicated than you might think, and you risk damaging the pool if it’s done improperly. Before attempting to open your own pool, take the time to understand the steps involved.
Generally, opening a pool involves:
- Trimming nearby shrubs and plants, and removing any debris from the perimeter than could end up in your pool and clog the filter.
- Removing dirt, leaves and other debris from the pool cover.
- Removing and storing the cover.
- Inspecting the pool’s surface and components for problems. Make sure the surface is free from cracks (concrete or fiberglass pools) or tears (vinyl pools). Make sure the filter, pump and heater are in good working order.
- Reinstalling any parts or components that have been removed, including light fixtures, railings, plugs, pressure gauges and valves.
- Scrubbing the walls and bottom of the pool.
- Replacing the water.
- Inspecting the pool for leaks.
- Powering the pool by turning on the pumps, filters and the heater.
Note that this is a very general list. There are many detailed steps to the process that are not mentioned. Small missteps such as forgetting to purge the air from the plumbing before powering the pool can lead to damage. If you’ve never opened a pool, consider hiring a professional the first time and having him or her walk you through the complete process.
How Much Does It Cost to Open a Pool?
The cost of hiring a professional depends on the size of the pool, its condition and your location. Budget about $200 to $400, not including chemicals, if the pool is in good shape. For pools with serious algae growth, the price can be much higher. If maintenance or structural issues are uncovered, the price can skyrocket into the thousands.
Some pool services will include in the price a full instruction on how to maintain your pool, while others will charge extra. Some services will come out and just do an instruction, but not actually open the pool, for about $100 or less.