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Pool Opening Cost

Pool Opening Cost

National average
(full opening and cleaning of the pool including removing and storing the cover)
Low: $90

(partial opening, treating pool’s PH, balancing the water)

High: $400

(full opening, cleaning of a poorly closed pool with a non-visible bottom)

Cost to open a pool varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from swimming pool builders in your city.

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Pool Opening Cost

National average
(full opening and cleaning of the pool including removing and storing the cover)
Low: $90

(partial opening, treating pool’s PH, balancing the water)

High: $400

(full opening, cleaning of a poorly closed pool with a non-visible bottom)

Cost to open a pool varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from swimming pool builders in your city.

The average cost of opening a pool is $225.

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Pool?

If you do not use your pool year-round, then you will likely winterize and close it for the colder months of the year. If this is the case, then when the weather warms up, you will want to get your pool ready for use again. This process is known as opening the pool for the season and may be simple or involved depending on how long the pool has been closed and what condition it is in.

Many people choose to open their pool themselves, spending around $50 on chemicals and needing an extra pair of hands for the heavier work. Others prefer a professional opening, which costs about $225 on average for a 12x24-foot inground pool.

When to Open the Pool

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

A good rule of thumb 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 warm up enough to be comfortable to use.

Keep in mind that if you hire a professional you may want to book them slightly earlier in the season. This is due to the demand that follows when the weather warms up. If you do not schedule early enough, you may need to wait longer to open the pool than you wanted.

Opening Process

The opening process is fairly simple but varies from pool to pool. Your pool professional will clean and remove the cover, storing it for later. They skim the bulk of the debris from the top of the pool and remove any winter plugs. They lubricate the fittings and get everything in working order before adding more water to the pool. At this point, they will likely scrub down the pool walls and floor. If the pool was closed for a period of time, this process could take longer. A pool that was kept closed a short time may have little to clean.

The filter will be run to clear the remaining debris, and the water will be tested. Depending on how off the PH is, the pool may need to be shocked with extra chlorine 1 or simply need some balancing from the chemicals. This may take one to several tests to get right. Finally, the professional should help get your accessories back in order, including ladders, slides, and diving boards.

Labor Costs

Most pool professionals charge by the job, which includes the size of the pool and how much physical cleaning it needs, averaging $225. If the pool has a lot of algae growth and requires additional chemicals and scrubbing, your costs will be higher, being closer to $400 to open the pool. For the average pool that was winterized properly, the labor portion is around $175 to $200, with chemicals making up the difference.

Saltwater Pools

Opening a saltwater pool is a lot like opening a standard chlorine 1 pool. The biggest difference is in the timing. A saltwater pool needs to run for a minimum of 12 hours after opening to let the water circulate and the salt do its job. Then, the water can be tested and treated if necessary. Otherwise, the process is similar for the two pools.

Enhancement and Improvement Costs


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

Balancing Chemicals

Your pool specialist will likely shock your pool to kill any algae or bacteria that grew over the winter. You may need to purchase some additional chemicals to help balance out the chemicals after the initial shock. This costs between $20 and $30 on average.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Unless your pool was in poor condition, missing a cover, not closed properly, or closed for a significant length of time, it will likely be ready for use in 1 to 2 days for above ground pools or inground pools that have a heater. Some large inground 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 $300.
  • Your pool may be partially opened by a professional, meaning they may administer the chemicals while you clean, or they may do the hard work and let you balance the chemicals yourself. These costs range from $70 to $150 on average.
  • If you have a cement or gunite 2 pool, you want to open it sooner rather than later. This is to balance the PH level of the pool because with a level that is too high your water leaves deposits on the concrete. Water that is too low in PH pulls what it requires from the concrete or grout, causing tiles to fall off.
  • If your pool has been closed for years, prepare to have a longer process. It will need an inspection and possibly repairs if it has not been maintained. Expect an opening to cost at least $400, more if repairs are needed.
  • Once your pool is open, you need to keep it clean and PH-balanced throughout the entire season. You can hire a professional to do this for around $750 for the season or do it yourself.
  • Pool chemicals can cause burns or poison the user. These injuries most 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 find they 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 1 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 1 tablets, stabilizers, and algaecides. You should purchase a test kit to find out exactly what your pool needs​​

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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 Gunite 2 Gunite: A type of concrete used for building concrete pools, lining tunnels, and structural repair. It is applied by being sprayed through a pressure hose, and produces a dense, hard layer of concrete

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

L-shaped swimming pool and a flower pot

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