How Much Does It Cost to Open a Pool?

Average range: $175 - $300
Average Cost
(Full opening and cleaning a pool, including removing and storing the cover)

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Reviewed by Sophia Fennessy. Written by

If you do not use your pool year-round, you will likely winterize and close it for the colder months. When the weather warms up, you want to get your pool ready for use again. This process opens the pool for the season and may be simple or involved, depending on the pool’s condition and how long it has been closed.

The national average cost of pool opening is around $175 to $300. Most homeowners pay $225 for a full opening and cleaning with cover removal and storage. Prices vary based on the amount of work and whether you open the pool or hire a professional. Partially opening a pool on your own and treating the pH averages $90. Fully opening and cleaning a pool by a professional costs up to $400.

Pool Opening Cost

Cost to Open Pool for the Season
National average cost$225
Average range$175-$300
Minimum cost$90
Maximum cost$400

Pool Opening Cost by Project Range

Partial opening, treating the pool’s pH, and balancing the water
Average Cost
Full opening and cleaning a pool, including removing and storing the cover
Full opening and cleaning of a poorly closed pool with a non-visible bottom

When to Open your Pool

There is no set time to open a pool. Depending on where you live, you may not winterize it entirely and keep it covered when not in use. In other areas, you may not open it until the summer is underway.

A good rule is to open the pool when the ground is no longer frozen, no threat of freezing weather, and you plan on using the pool within the next few weeks. The pool may take time to get the correct pH balance, be cleaned properly, and reach a comfortable temperature.

If you hire a professional, you may want to book them slightly early. This is due to the demand that follows when the weather warms. If you do not schedule early enough, you may need to wait longer to open your pool.

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Cost to Open a Pool by Type

One of the factors that influences your pool opening’s cost is the pool type. The opening processes for different pools are similar but can have variations. Opening a saltwater pool is slightly different from opening an above-ground chlorine 1 pool, which affects the total costs. The table below shows average opening costs for three common types:

Cost to Open an In-Ground, an Above-Ground, and a Saltwater Pool

Cost to Open an In-Ground, an Above-Ground, and a Saltwater Pool

Type of PoolAverage Opening Costs
In-Ground$90 - $325
Above-Ground$90 - $350
Saltwater$90 - $400

Cost to Open an In-Ground Pool

Opening an in-ground pool costs between $90 and $325. Depending on the pool condition, the pool owner or professional cleaner may first need to use a broom or skimmer net to clean the cover. The cover is carefully removed, cleaned, and checked for holes and rips before being stored elsewhere. The next step is to add any necessary accessories, refill the water level, and get rid of any winter plugs for the cold season.

After that, the pool needs to be reconnected, and the pump 2 turned back on. The filter and pump may need to be cleaned, and the pool walls and floor should be scrubbed. After that, the pH and chemical levels must be measured, and the pool must be treated or shocked and left to settle before being safe to use. If the pool has been closed a while, more dirt may have built up, requiring a more thorough cleaning. If it was only closed briefly, the opening process can be cheaper and simpler.

Opening an Above-Ground Pool Cost

Opening an above-ground pool ranges from $90 to $350. This process is similar to opening an in-ground pool. It follows the same basic process, involving cleaning the cover, storing the cover, cleaning the walls and floor, and adding treatments to restore the correct balance of chemicals. The only real difference with an above-ground pool is you might need to spend more time cleaning the outer walls, which are exposed to the open air and may be dirty. This can result in a slightly higher cost.

Opening a Saltwater Pool After Winter Cost

Opening a saltwater pool averages $90 to $400. This process is similar to above-ground and in-ground chlorine pools. However, several differences lead to a slightly higher cost. With a saltwater pool, you need to cover all the basics like reconnecting the filter, cleaning the walls, and refilling the water level. You also need to make sure your saltwater generator is working, and you are using a saltwater test kit to check the levels. You also need to use specialized saltwater products to adjust the water levels and pH, along with a special saltwater-friendly shock treatment.

Wrapped Pool Cover

Pool Opening Service Cost

Most pool professionals charge by the job and base their prices on the pool size and how much cleaning is required. Prices for professional opening typically range from $175 to $300 for most pools. However, your costs are higher if the pool has algae growth and requires additional chemicals and scrubbing, closer to $400. For the average pool that was winterized properly, the labor portion is around $175 to $200, with the chemicals making up the difference.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs


If your pool is in poor condition, it may need to be vacuumed. This is due to sediment or debris settling at the bottom. Most professionals vacuum the pool as a part of the opening process, but if you open it, you may want to invest in a pool vacuum for around $300 to $500.

Pool Maintenance

Pool opening is just a small part of overall pool maintenance. There are many other duties to keep your pool in top condition and ensure the water is safe. Without proper maintenance, including daily and weekly pool treatment, bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens build up. This can put pool users at risk, and the water can also get very dirty if the pool is not cleaned often.

From lubricating the fittings and valves to running the filter, adjusting water levels, and ensuring the pH is right, there are many maintenance parts to consider. Pool owners can do many tasks alone or choose to bring in a professional maintenance company. On average, expect to pay between $475 to $800 per month for professional maintenance.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Unless your pool was in poor condition, missing a cover, not closed properly, or closed for a significant period, it is likely ready for use in 1 to 2 days for above-ground pools and in-ground pools with a heater. Some large in-ground pools may need a few additional days to warm, while saltwater pools need an extra day to filter.
  • If maintenance or structural issues are uncovered when you open your pool, you need to address them. Typical pool repairs cost around $900.
  • If you have a cement or gunite pool, open it sooner. This is to balance the pool’s pH because your water leaves deposits on the concrete with a level that is too high. Water that is too low in pH pulls what it requires from the concrete or grout 3, causing tiles to fall off.
  • If your pool has been closed for years, prepare to have a longer process. It needs an inspection and possibly repairs if it has not been maintained. Expect an opening to cost at least $400, more if repairs are needed.
  • Pool chemicals can cause burns or poison the user. These injuries often occur when the person handling the chemicals does not wear protective gear. Always protect your eyes and use any other necessary precautions when handling pool chemicals.


  • What month should I open my pool?

This depends largely on where you live, but most people can open their pool in May or June.

  • How do I treat my pool for the first time?

Your pool should be shocked the first time you open it to kill any bacteria or algae.

  • How much shock do I need to open my pool?

Usually, three bags of chlorine are necessary to shock a pool. ​

  • What chemicals are used to start up a pool?

The chemical selection varies from pool to pool but usually consists of a scale remover, shock, a pH balancer, chlorine tablets, stabilizers, and algaecides. You should purchase a test kit to find out what your pool needs​​.

  • How much does it cost to open an above-ground pool?

Opening an above-ground pool costs between $90 and $350.

  • How long after pool opening can you swim?

Typically, experts recommend waiting 24 hours after opening the pool and applying chemical treatments before swimming in it.

Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Chlorine: A chemical added to the water in a swimming pool to kill bacteria and microorganisms that can make people sick
glossary term picture Pump 2 Pump: A device used to move air, liquid, or gas by mechanical means
glossary term picture Grout 3 Grout: A fluid form of cement used to seal the joints between tiles. It also makes the surface stronger because it bonds the tiles together

Cost to open a pool varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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Man Vacuuming a Pool after Opening It for the Summer


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The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources, including specialized publications and websites, cost studies, U.S. associations, reports from the U.S. government, contractors and subcontractors, material suppliers, material price services, and other vendor websites. For more information, read our Methodology and sources