The below step-by-step guide outlines the basic procedure for closing a pool for the winter. When in doubt, consult your equipment manufacturer or a pool professional for specific directions.
1. Balance Water: The first step in the closing your pool is to make sure your water chemistry is balanced. You should make
sure that your pH, Hardness, and Total Alkalinity are all balanced to protect the surface of the pool from
staining and etching.
2. Run Filter for 24 hours
3. Remove any remaining Debris: Remove all debris from the pool. If necessary, vacuum the floor, and use a skimmer or
leaf net to remove floating items. Clean the surface of the walls and floor with a stiff-bristle brush to ensure that no residue or dirt is present.
4. Remove Fittings and Accessories: Remove
all of the pool’s fittings, such as wall fittings, solar blankets, skimmer
baskets, cleaners and lights. Pool accessories should be removed as well,
including the ladder and diving board. Store all of these items inside for the
winter to protect them from the elements.
5. Lower Water Level: Using the
filter pump and setting the inlet to pull from the main drain, lower the pool’s water level to approximately 2 inches below the
lowest return line. If your pool is lined with tile along the edge, make sure
the water line falls below the bottom of the tile. In a vinyl-lined pool, it is
not necessary to lower the water.
6. Drain Pump and Filter: Drain all pumping,
filtering, heating, and sanitizing equipment to prevent any damage from
freezing. If any water is left inside these items,
they may freeze and crack when the temperature drops. A small pump and filter
may be stored indoors for the winter. Otherwise, use a compressor or shop
vacuum to make sure that all the water is blown out of the equipment.
Most equipment are fitted with drain
plugs to allow for easy drainage.
7. Blow Out Lines (Inground Pools): In an in-ground pool, the plumbing lines must also be blown out for the winter. Use a vacuum blower for the job, and finish by placing expansion plugs on the lines. If you do not want to blow out the plumbing, add an antifreeze product to the line. With an above-ground pool, simply detach the hoses that connect to the filter and pump, and add plugs to the outlets.
8. Lubricate: Lubricate o-rings,
plugs, and valves; this will make it easier to open the pool in the spring.
Add a preventive algaecide (such as Winter Treat®
) to prevent algae blooms and bacteria, and add a stain inhibitor/chelator (such as Pool Stain Treat®
to prevent staining during winter.
10. Cover Pool: The final step in the winterizing process is to install your pool’s cover. Make sure it fits correctly and inspect it for holes or damage in the surface material where debris may enter. For an in-ground cover, use some type of water bags to secure the cover in place. An above-ground pool cover is usually secured with cables.