Winter is Coming: How to Winterize and Close Your Pool in 10 Steps
September 21, 2015
Unfortunately, summer is beginning to come to an end, and that also means that pool season is winding down as well. The following is a guide on how to winterize and close your in-ground pool.
- Find your stuff
Find all of your winterizing supplies (cover, plugs for the skimmers, chemicals, air pillow, etc.). Also keep in mind that you’re going to want to keep all plugs, filters and baskets in a safe place so you can find them in the spring.
- Backwash and clean the filter
Blow it out with a compressor or vacuum if necessary.
- Disconnect your pump and filter
Ensure that the pump is completely drained of any water. Remove any drain plugs from the pump. If you have a heater, again, ensure there is no remaining water inside.
- Unscrew any quick disconnect fittings on your pump and filter system
Also remove all return jet fittings.
- Blow out all return jet pipes
Use an air compressor or vacuum to clear out the return lines at the filter system.
- Blow out all skimmer (suction side) pipes just as you did in #5
Also, cover all exposed pipes to prevent anything from getting into them. The goal of winterizing is to prevent cracks due to a presence of water. Liners that have not properly been winterized can lead to costly and time consuming repairs in the spring.
- Mix chemicals and add them into the pool
Make sure any granular winterizing chemicals are totally dissolved. Any undissolved granules can stain the liner, so it’s important to avoid this. Also make sure that at least one of your chemicals is some type of shock.
- Test the pool for pH and Total Alkalinity
Levels: pH should be between 7.2 – 7.6. Alkalinity should be between 100-150 ppm. You generally want your chlorine levels to be above 3.0 during the winter as well.
- Water Level. Should you take any out?
Assuming you properly blew out and plugged the pipes and lines, you do not have to drain any water out of the pool. If you have tile at surface level, where the water would freeze, you should lower the water below that so it does not crack the tile.
- Place the cover on the pool
Now would also be the time to use water pillows/tubes. They should rest in the middle of the pool with the cover over top of them. Ensure that the cover is on tightly and that there are no major tears or holes.