Countdown to Summer – A Week by Week Pool Opening Checklist

Running a seasonal pool?

Don’t wait until May to start your summer season prep work. Follow our week by week pool opening checklist and you’ll be ahead of the summer crowds.

Ten Weeks Out – Early Season Considerations

  • Begin your seasonal staff hiring process if you haven’t already done so.
  • Check in on winterizing efforts. Do a poolside audit examining the status of your pool cover and pump room equipment.
  • Contact your local health department and begin the seasonal permitting process.
  • Prepare required forms and logbooks that will be used during the season.
  • Gather equipment manuals and set up an operations and maintenance (O&M) binder. Determine which equipment is essential to daily operation and develop backup plans, including rebuild kits, spare components and replacement equipment sourcing.

Nine Weeks Out – Get Things Done Indoors

  • Audit your chemical usage from previous seasons. Request quotes and compare pricing on seasonal chemical delivery from at least three providers.
  • Update manuals and staff training documents.
  • Determine any seasonal labor that is set to be outsourced. Set up contracts with vendors for delegated tasks.
  • Present hiring offers to seasonal staff, begin HR paperwork.

Eight Weeks Out – Wrap Up Indoor Work  

  • Order start up chemicals and set up delivery schedules.
  • Order uniforms, medical supplies and lifeguard equipment.
  • Check the status of the probes used by your chemical controller. If they have not been stored per the manufacturer’s instructions (typically in distilled water) plan to order new.
  • Order a new test kit and take the time to read the manual.
  • Request schedules of availability from your team and begin to block out their summer shifts. Be sure to look ahead for their late-summer availability.
  • Hire additional staff if needed.
  • Work with other department leads to schedule daily maintenance and housekeeping tasks (emptying garbage, stocking towels, general cleaning, etc.).

Seven Weeks Out – Heading Outdoors

  • Bring in early-season staff to assist with deck prep work.
  • Audit and repair fencing, gates and barriers to entry. Keep barriers locked at all times throughout the startup process.
  • Organize and inspect pool equipment such as ladders, handrails, ropes, depth markers, backstroke flags, starting blocks and diving boards. If items are in poor condition replace or repair.
  • Unpack and clean programming equipment and deck furniture. Replace and repair as needed.
  • Clear the deck of seasonal debris. Make room for easy removal of the pool cover.
  • Verify delivery date of startup chemicals and new equipment.
  • Organize and prepare materials needed to clean and refinish the pool.
  • Perform a full audit of existing pump room equipment. Schedule mechanical repairs if needed.

Six Weeks Out – Drain and Clean

  • Remove, clean, dry and store your pool cover. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to keep it in good condition during the summer season.
  • Begin to remove large debris from the pool water.
  • Pump out wastewater while verifying the working status of your hydrostatic relief valve.
  • Rinse the pool surfaces and flush the gutter systems to waste.
  • Drain and clean surge or balance tanks, verify operation of all floats and valves.
  • Prepare your pool surface as needed (acid wash, power wash, patch work etc.)
  • Pressure test all lines, repair as needed.
  • Paint, patch and repair the pool surface allowing for appropriate cure time.
  • Schedule seasonal heater maintenance with a factory-trained professional.

Five Weeks Out – Before You Fill

  • Record the details of your main drain. Audit it’s expiration date and VGB compliance. Note the model and serial number, as well as the installation date. Store this information in a safe location.
  • Verify the removal of all winterizing plugs.
  • Visually inspect the gutter system, bolts, gaskets and inlets.
  • Clean and replace skimmer baskets, weirs and lids.
  • Reassemble pumps, motors, filters, chemical delivery systems, heaters, flow meters, pressure and vacuum gauges and other mechanical equipment. Replace O-rings and gaskets. Lubricate equipment as needed.
  • Clean filter and replace filter elements if needed, return filter to operational status verifying all plugs and valves are appropriately set
  • Inspect pool lighting and electrical grounds. Repair as needed.
  • Install ladders, handrails and other equipment that may be hard to access when the pool has been filled.

Four Weeks Out – Starting the Pool

  • Flush your fill lines to waste. Begin your fill once water quality has been verified.
  • As return lines start to submerge you may begin to turn on circulation system and filtration components. Keep skimmer lines closed until they are fully submerged.
  • Adjust return inlets and eyelets to maximize circulation pattern. Perform dye tests if needed.
  • Treat your pool with chlorine as it begins to come up to temperature.
  • Run firing cycles to ensure the working order of your heater.
  • Begin the process of balancing your water. Manually treat the water to ensure calcium hardness, alkalinity and pH are within appropriate levels.
  • Begin daily skimming and vacuuming of the pool. Set regular schedules to inspect filter performance and backwash as needed.
  • Perform a factory reset on all mechanical equipment. This ensures controllers, heaters and pumps are working in the safest possible settings.
  • Run factory updates on any mechanical equipment that runs on software.

Three Weeks Out – Almost There

  • Begin usage of your automated chemical delivery equipment. Audit performance and fine-tune set points.
  • Begin daily testing of pool water chemistry.
  • Verify all state required signage, repair and paint deck markers if needed.
  • Audit grounds maintenance and landscaping. Confirm cleaning schedules with auxiliary department heads.
  • Verify the working order of all locker room utilities. Stock locker room amenities.
  • Inspect the working order of pool deck electrical systems including phones, speakers, public address systems, lighting and alarms.
  • Perform factory-recommended inspections of all diving boards, starting blocks, slides and play features.
  • Audit on-deck emergency equipment and medical supplies.

Two Weeks Out – Sweat the Details

  • Adjust heater setpoints and firing differentials. Bring pool up to desired temperature.
  • Record all utility meter starting points to catalog seasonal usage.
  • Finalize cleaning of the deck. Sweep, scrub and pressure wash as needed.
  • Perform touchup paint work on outbuildings, fencing, gates and pool structures.
  • Add ropes, depth mark lines, backstroke flags, starting blocks and lane lines.

One Week Out – Last Minute Prep

  • Arrange pool equipment and furniture. Create deck maps for nightly resets.
  • Set out pool toys and floatation devices.
  • Conduct self-audit using your state’s inspection form.
  • Run in-water team trainings.

Ready for more? Add a spring Certified Pool Operator training to your checklist.

Click here for our full list of upcoming classes in your area.