Swimming Pools

How to Close Your Pool for Winter

Learn the steps you need to take to successfully close your swimming pool for winter.
Learn the steps you need to take to successfully close your swimming pool for winter. Image source: Leslie's Pool Blog

When the night begins to get a bit cooler at about 40 degrees, homeowners who have pools in their homes realize that they must consider this as a sign that the fall season is getting closer. Days when it's warm enough to be able to swim and enjoy around the pool reduce gradually until it comes a time when it’s already too cold to take a dip. When you can already feel that the season is changing, then that’s when the pool season officially ends.

When you get ready to close your pool, you must take your time in doing it so you can make sure that you won’t have any problem when winter comes. It will also help you avoid any delays when warmer temperatures set in and you have to open your pool back again. Start preparing 3 to 7 days before you need or plan to close your pool. To do so, adjust the chemical balance of the water to the ranges that we have listed below.

Related: How to Build Your Own Natural Swimming Pool

Adjust Chemical Balances

Carefully check the pH levels and other chemical levels of your pool.
Carefully check the pH levels and other chemical levels of your pool. Image source:
  • pH: 7.2 to 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 180 to 220 ppm

Also, you need to reduce the filtering times. Gradually do so in a span of 1 week.

Shock the Pool

As soon as you reduce the filtering times, the next thing that you need to do is to shock the pool. Of course, you need to follow the directions that come with the package. As soon as the chlorine level reaches 1.0 to 3.0, then you can move on to the addition of winter algaecide. You have nothing to worry about as there won't be any interference with the algaecide's effectiveness.

Related: Your Guide to DIY Swimming Pool Maintenance

Remove Certain Items

In order for you to prevent damage due to snow and/or freezing, the items that we will enumerate below must be removed from your pool. Store them so that they can be used when you want to open the pool again.

  • Skimmer baskets
  • Wall fittings
  • Ladders
  • Cleaners
  • Solar covers
  • Decks and rails

Some pool covers require you to lower the water level. Check the manufacturer's recommendations regarding the use of your pool cover. If needed, use the filter pump or the submersible pump to lower the water level.

Prepare Equipment

Next thing you need to do is to remove the plugs from your pool equipment including the chlorinator, heater, and pumps. Drain the equipment completely and if needed, blow out the equipment to ensure there's not a single drop of water left to freeze. Otherwise, the freezing will damage the equipment.

Whenever possible, take out the pump and make sure you store it in a cool, dry place. DE filter grids also have to be cleaned and removed. Most pool professionals would recommend homeowners to lubricate each o-ring. The threads must also be lubricated for those who use gas heaters that have cast iron plugs.

Clean the Pool

Cleaning your swimming pool before closing it is essential.
Cleaning your swimming pool before closing it is essential. Image source: Simple Pool Tips

Remember that your swimming pool has to be as clear and clean as possible. If you maintained your pool properly and regularly, then this should not require much work from you. If you hadn't, then ask help from anyone in your family to vacuum and skim the swimming pool. You can also hire professionals to do the task for you.

Add Anti-Freeze

If you have an in-ground pool, add antifreeze if you can't seem to blow the lines out. Just follow the directions that came with the antifreeze package. As soon as the lines are all safe from freezing, that's the perfect time for you to install the expansion plugs.

For an above ground pool, the lines can just be disconnected. If you want help in protecting the liner, then simply add large air pillows in your above-ground pool.

Cover the Pool

Cover your swimming pool.
Cover your swimming pool. Image source: Homeowner Offers

By the time that you are done clearing up your wall and the water is at the desired chemical levels, then you can cover it. Of course, you will need a pool cover that fits your pool properly as that’s essential to a successful pool closure.

Related: 8 Ways to Celebrate the Last Days of Summer


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