What Is A Reasonable Cost For A Swimming Pool Opening?

This morning, I went to bid on a pool opening.   It was a relatively large rectangle vinyl liner pool.  I met the homeowner who informed me that they had never owned a pool before.

Also, the safety cover was in the pool when they purchased the home more than five months ago.   When I pulled back the over, the pool was green and you couldn’t see the bottom of the pool.

Most likely the cover had been on for more than six months.   There were some months in our late Indian summer in early November when the temperature was in the 80’s.   That is plenty warm for algae to grow in a pool.

I gave the customer a quote of $500 to clean up the pool.  He later informed us that he would be doing the pool opening himself.  He stated that he had never owned a pool.

So, why is it that we would charge $500 to open and clear up a swimming pool?   Well, here are the three factors that determine this charge.   This would likely be the same for any good swimming pool service company.


The main thing when turning around a dirty pool is how much time will it take to get this pool to go from “green to clean?”  This means how many visits will it take before the pool is swimmable and safe?

Well, when opening up and pool, the first steps are to clear off the cover.   Then you have to undo all the screws/straps using a cover tool.

After that, you pull off the cover and carefully fold it up.   A good pool service will carefully fold up the cover, let it dry and then store it away.

After removing the cover, you need to lower all the anchors.  This is best done with a drill.  It will go a lot faster than using a screwdriver.

The next thing is to determine how many trips it will take you in order to get the pool crystal clear for swimming.   If it is going to take a few trips, then this will be a couple hours of work involved, not only in drive time but also in work time at the pool.

When the pool has algae, it can take several vacuums 2-3 times of vacuuming the pool in order to clear it up.

You can’t kill the algae and start vacuuming it on the first visit.  Each vacuum of a good size pool can take more than 30 minutes to do a thorough job.


The more green and dark the pool is, the more time it will take to clear it up.   If you can see the bottom and there aren’t any algae, then you can shock the pool on the first visit.   You don’t need to treat it with an algaecide.   If the pool is very green, then you need to treat it with an algaecide.

When treated with a good algaecide, you need to wait at least 30 minutes after treating before brushing the walls and hoping to see some small results.   (This means that the color of the water should start to turn.)

After treating the pool, then you need to check the other standard chemicals to balance them out after shocking the pool.  It is at this time, that you would normally brush the pool.   This gets all the dirt off the walls and onto the bottom of the pool.

The darker the green, the more treatments, and chemicals you will need in order to see the pool start to turn.

When the pool is in poor shape, then you should not expect it to start turning on the first visit.  It will take some time.


If the pool is very green, then this means that the pool has algae.   Algae can’t just be removed with shocking (high concentrations of chlorine) the pool.   You have to treat the pool with algaecides.  If the pool is large, more than 25,000 gallons, then you need to use at least two bottles of algaecide.

A good algaecide is not cheap.   So, if you have to use more than one bottle, you are already between $50-$100 just in cost for algaecides alone.   That doesn’t even include all the other chemicals.

So, the darker the green, the more chemicals needed.  Hence, the price goes up.


So, it will cost a minimum of $300 to clean up a pool and get it ready for opening.   If you are a homeowner, you may think that it wasn’t too difficult when you watched us work.   But, you need to remember that we learned our system by working on dirty pools for years.   We took the time and sweat equity to learn how to turn around nasty pools.

So, remember when a pool guy gives you a quote to do your pool opening.  It is based upon the time involved, the condition of the pool and the chemicals used.

If you found value, please make sure to comment below.

We Would Love Your Feedback