It can be a bit of a heartache to have to close your pool for the winter, but it is something which needs to be done to protect your pool from the elements. It does take a little bit of work, but a couple of hours are a small price to pay to protect your pool and keep it running for a long, long time. Thankfully, if you know what you are doing, it doesn’t take too much effort to winterize your pool. We have some simple steps which will guide you on how to close a pool for the winter.
How to Close An In-ground Pool
Closing an in-ground pool and an above-ground pool share many similarities and a few differences. Let’s start with the in-ground and then we will advise you on the differences of closing an above-ground pool. Let’s look at how to winterize a pool.
Before you get started with closing your pool, you should assemble the equipment you will need to close your pool. Look over our equipment list and our instructions and then decide on the equipment you will need to close your pool.
You may need:
- Tools to remove pool accessories
- Shop vac, pool cover, rubber plugs, skimmer plug, pool brush, telescopic pole, pool vacuum
- Test strips
- Chlorine or bromine, cyanuric acid, algaecide, shock, metal sequestrant
- (Optional) pH adjuster, alkalinity increaser, calcium increaser
- Pool winterizing kit
- Safety gloves and glasses
Steps to Close an Inground Pool
Step 1: Cleaning
Once you have everything on our extensive list (or what you need), you can begin to clean your pool before you close it up for the season.
Use the pool brush to scrub the walls and floor of your pool. You can vacuum up the debris and particles as you are scrubbing or you can wait until they all sink to the bottom and vacuum them after they have settled. Use an algae brush if needed.
Or you could use an robotic pool cleaner for inground pools to take the hard work out of the task!
Step 2: Testing
Once the pool has been cleaned, you should use your test strip to test the water. If you want to be extra-careful, you can take a sample to your local pool store for analysis. Once you have checked the levels, you can bring the pH, alkalinity, calcium, etc. up to their balanced levels. You want to do this before you close your pool for the season.
Step 3: Treatment
Once the chemicals are at the correct level, you can add the shock to the water. If you think that you are going to have any organic matter get into the pool during the winter or have a problem with algae, you are going to want to add an algaecide to the water before closing up the pool. If you have high levels of metal in the water, you are going to want to add a metal sequestrant too.
Step 4: Clear Pipes
You will want to blow out your tubes to prevent ice from forming inside of them, but it can be hard to get every single drop of water so you might want to think about using antifreeze too. Just be sure to find a non-toxic one for pool use.
Step 5: Check Water Levels
If you live in a cold climate, you are also going to want to lower the water level in your pool to avoid any damage or overflow when the water freezes. Lower the water to just below the skimmer line.
The level of the water will also depend on the pool cover. If the water is used to hold up the pool cover, then you are not going to want to lower the pool water too far. If the pool structure holds the pool cover, you are not going to need to worry about it.
Step 6: Backwash
One of the last things you want to do is to backwash and clean the filter and the pump. You do not want to leave any nasty bacteria or debris in the pump over the winter. Remove the filter and wash it or clean your filter as per your manufacturer instructions.
Step 7: Purging
You also need to purge the lines of water. These lines are not extra-durable, so be careful when you are doing this part. Your pool instructions will come with a guide on how to do this, and you should follow it exactly. If you do this part wrong, it could cause a lot of damage, so you really need to be careful. If you are in doubt, hire a professional to come in and do it for you.
Step 8: Install Pool Cover
Remove any accessories which could get in the way of the cover or will not stay up to the elements. Be sure to wash them and dry them thoroughly before you put them into storage. Once you have removed the accessories, you can install the pool cover. Have a friend help you if they are able. Your in-ground pool is now winterized.
How to Close an Above-ground Pool
Closing an above-ground pool is almost the same process as closing an in-ground pool. Follow these steps, using the detailed information above:
- Clean your pool
- Test the water and add chemicals as needed
- Add winterizing chemicals
- Use a winter closing kit
- Shock the pool
- Clean and plug the lines
- Remove the skimmer basket
- Remove drain plugs from the pool pump
- Winterize your filter as per manufacturer instructions
- Clean and remove your accessories
- Lower the pool water if necessary
- Install a pool pillow (optional)
- Install the pool cover
There you go. Winterizing an in-ground pool and an above-ground pool use almost the same process. By winterizing your pool, you are protecting your pool from the elements and from ice. If you do not winterize your pool and the water freezes, it can overflow, damage the structure, and damage the filter and pump.
A few hours work can be the difference between a working pool when you open it for the season and a few thousand dollars’ worth of damage. Following our instructions and the manufacturer instructions will ensure that your pool is kept in prime condition.