Avoid These 10 Common Mistakes When Opening Your Pool This Season

As the weather warms up and summer approaches, we’re looking forward to a season of enjoyment, relaxation, and fun by the pool. But opening your above-ground pool after the winter months requires careful attention to detail to ensure it’s clean, safe, and ready for use. 

We see many pool owners make common mistakes during the opening process, often leading to issues later on. We’re sharing some of the key pitfalls to avoid when opening your pool this season:

1. Not Planning Ahead

One of the biggest mistakes pool owners make is failing to plan ahead for the opening process. Starting early and having a clear plan will help you avoid delays and ensure your pool is ready when you want to use it.

  • Get any tools or supplies you may need so you don’t have to stop in the middle of the process. 
  • Enlist a few family members or friends to help. An extra set of hands or two makes the process go smoother. 
  • Check the weather forecast. A general rule of thumb is to wait for clear skies and consistently 70°F or higher temperatures before opening your pool for the season.
  • Review all manuals and guides to re-familiarize yourself with the equipment and maintenance.

2. Incomplete Cleaning & Yard Preparation

It’s essential to thoroughly clean your above-ground pool and the area around it to remove any debris, leaves, and algae that may have accumulated over the winter. Neglecting or rushing through this step can result in poor water quality and an increased risk of algae growth.

  • Clear rocks, leaves, branches, lawn ornaments, and outdoor toys on the ground around the pool to avoid injury or damage to pool parts and accessories.
  • Trim branches, trees, and shrubs that may interfere with your pool.
  • Carefully scoop large debris (like leaves and twigs) out of your pool with a net. 
  • Use a pool vacuum or automatic pool cleaner to tackle dirt, sand, and other debris in your swimming pool.
  • Properly balance the chemicals in your pool, including pH, chlorine, and alkalinity levels for clear and safe water.

3. Not Inspecting Your Pool Liner

You may think your liner is all set and good to go. However, it’s important to check your pool liner closely early on to avoid nasty surprises, like leaks, later on in the pool season. Taking a few minutes to inspect your liner could save you tons of time and money. 

  • Look for signs of standing water around your pool, as this might be a sign of a liner leak.
  • Carefully search the liner for noticeable rips, tears, or fading so you can order a replacement liner if needed.
  • Check around your pool and deck for cracks, loose tiles, or structural damage.

4. Overlooking Equipment & Accessory Inspection 

In addition to the liner, inspect your pool equipment, including heaters, pumps, and filters for damage or wear and tear. Addressing any issues early on will help prevent costly repairs and ensure your equipment functions properly throughout the season.

  • Make sure all parts and equipment are accounted for — including instruction manuals and guides. 
  • Look for any cracks, rust, or exposed wires that could pose a safety risk.
  • Check all chemical expiration dates and replace bottles as needed.
  • Inflate and clean all pool floats and toys so they’re ready for summer fun along with your pool. 

5. Delaying Ordering Liners & Pool Accessories

Don’t wait to order your new pool liner or other pool accessories. Shipping delays and out-of-stock items are common during the busy pool season. Ordering early helps ensure you can open your pool as soon as possible and don’t miss out on specific pool liner sizes or designs. 

  • Order pool liners 2-4 weeks before you plan to open your pool to account for shipping, exchanges, backorders, etc. At LinerWorld, we pride ourselves on fast and free shipping. Most customers receive their orders within three business days! 
  • Review return policies and warranty information before placing an order to avoid any surprises or frustration. 

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6. Not Taking Safety Seriously

Safety should always be a top priority when opening your pool — especially if children or pets will be around the pool area. Make sure you’re protecting yourself and others during every stage of the pool opening process. 

  • Never leave your children or pets unattended near the pool, even for a moment. Designate a responsible adult as a designated “water watcher” to actively supervise swimmers at all times. 
  • Wear appropriate protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, when handling chemicals and follow all manufacturer instructions. 
  • Have emergency equipment — such as a first aid kit, reaching pole, and flotation devices — readily available near the pool. 
  • Review our swimming pool safety guide and go over safety and emergency situations with your kids.

7. Mishandling Winter Covers

When removing your winter pool cover, take care to do so properly to avoid tears, mold growth, and damage to the cover. Cleaning and storing it correctly will ensure that it remains effective for future seasons.

  • Clean it before you put it away. Use gentle cleaners and a non-abrasive scrubber to avoid damaging it. 
  • Allow the cover to completely dry before putting it away. We recommend laying it out on your driveway or a clothesline rather than damp grass.
  • Store your winter cover in a cool, dry place to avoid mold, mildew, and rodent damage. 

8. Opening Your Pool Too Early or Too Late

Opening your pool either too late or too early in the season can both present challenges and potential issues:

Delaying the process and opening your pool late shortens your swimming season. Algae growth can also become a significant problem. Algae thrive in warm, stagnant water; an untreated pool can quickly turn green and cloudy.

Opening the pool too early, especially in colder climates, can result in damage from freezing and wasted resources. Running the pump and heater to maintain water temperature in cooler weather can be costly and unnecessary.

What Month Should You Open Your Pool?

The ideal month to open your pool varies depending on your location, local climate, and personal preferences. 

Generally, you should open your pool when temperatures are consistently around 70°F or higher. Outdoor temperatures should be warm enough for swimming, and there’s minimal risk of freezing.

Here are some guidelines based on different regions and climates:

  • Northern Climates/Colder Regions: Late May or June (late spring) 
  • Southern Climates/Warmer Regions: March or early April (early spring)  
  • Moderate Climates/Mid-Latitude Regions: April or May (mid-spring) 

Monitor local weather forecasts and temperature trends to determine the optimal time to open your pool each year. 

9. Avoiding Professional Assistance

Many pool owners are DIY gurus and want to save a few bucks. However, seek professional assistance if you need clarification on any aspect of pool maintenance or opening procedures. 

Pool service professionals can provide expert advice, troubleshooting, and assistance to ensure your pool is opened safely and efficiently. Ultimately, this can save you money on repairs, damage, and replacements. 

10. Rushing the Process

Finally, don’t rush the opening process. Take the time to complete each step thoroughly, from cleaning and balancing chemicals to inspecting equipment. Rushing can lead to mistakes and issues that may take longer to fix later on.

  • Reserve a full day or weekend in your calendar. That way, you won’t have to worry about other obligations if the process doesn’t go as quickly as planned. 
  • Don’t plan to host pool parties or backyard gatherings around the time you’ll be opening your pool. This can put unnecessary pressure on the opening process, causing you to rush. 

Kick Off the Pool Season with LinerWorld

By avoiding these common mistakes and following a careful opening process, you can ensure that your pool is clean, safe, and ready for enjoyment throughout the swimming season. 

If you encounter any issues or need assistance with your pool liner, don’t hesitate to reach out to LinerWorld for expert guidance and support. Let’s make this swimming season the best one yet!

PS: Don’t forget to check out our handy pool opening guide to start the season out right! 

If you have any questions or need assistance in selecting the ideal pool size and liner for your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts. Your dream backyard oasis is just a splash away!


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