When winter is approaching, it’s the ideal time to learn how to winterize a pool.

The key purpose of winterizing your pool is to protect it from damage due to freezing water and pipes, which potentially leads to cracking and expensive pool repairs. Therefore, knowing how to winterize an inground swimming pool protects your investment and can save you time and money when it’s time to reopen for the next swimming season.

Below are the steps required to winterize a pool: winterize a pool

Balance the pH

Adjust your pH levels in the pool. We recommend doing this a few days to a week prior to closing your pool, to make sure that further adjustment isn’t required. Shocking the pool with granular chlorine is best done before closing the pool, but this also should be done 1 week prior to closing.

This allows the chlorine level to drop before you put your pool cover on. High chlorine levels can and will weaken your winter pool cover. Be careful not to allow highly chlorinated pool water to contact your winter pool cover.

Clean your pool thoroughly

If you want your pool looking clean when you take off the cover, it’s best to clean it before you put it on the cover. Debris and algae left in the pool before closing will dilute the strength of your pool chemicals, as these chemicals work on the organic matter left in the pool, there is less available for preventing algae growth during the winter.

Lower the pool water

For mesh safety covers, this level should be 8-12″ below the tile. For solid pool covers, 3-5″ below the tile.

If you have an in-ground vinyl liner, you can also use a product called an Aquador, which is much like Tupperware for your skimmer. It snaps on the front of the skimmer so you don’t need to lower the water level at all.

how to winterize a poolAdd your winter pool chemicals

Many pool owners use a pool closing kit that contains: algaecide, borate floaters, stain & scale, and some non-chlorine shock. Following the instructions on the package. It is usually recommended that chemicals are added before lowering the pool water, however, we recommend adding them after lowering the water level, so that the concentration is stronger. Distribute the chemicals evenly over the pool surface, and use your pool brush to help.

If you have a mesh safety cover, we recommend using a pool enzyme product to help control algae growth during the winter. It’s also helpful to check the water chemistry during mid-spring, about a month before opening, and add another quart of algaecide or refill the floating chemical dispenser.

Clean the pool filter thoroughly

For DE filters, remove the assembly from the filter tank and hose it clean to remove all DE powder. DE powder left to dry on the grids during the winter can cause clogging of the fabric, creating filtration problems next spring.

If you have a cartridge filter, the same rule applies. Remove the cartridge and hose it thoroughly. After you’ve blown out the lines, place your grid assembly or filter cartridge back in the tank for safekeeping during the winter. Make sure that you secure the filter lid and clamp the band tightly before and after blowing out the lines. Loose or improperly secured filter clamp bands can cause the filter lid to blow off during start-up, with disastrous results.

Remove drain plugs

Remove the plugs from pump(s), filter, heater, chlorinators. Inspect all the pipes and every piece of equipment, looking for and removing any drain plugs. Open all directional valves to allow the water level to fall to the level of the water in the pool.

Blow out the lines

Blow out lines with compressed air. This is the most important step in the “how to winterize a pool” process. Blowing out the equipment and plumbing will ensure that there no water is left that can freeze and cause damage. If you don’t blow out the lines, make sure your equipment is completely drained, and that you add non-toxic pool antifreeze to your plumbing lines.

Plug the lines

Use freeze plugs, or expansion plugs to plug all skimmers, returns, and cleaner lines.

Add skimmer bottles

Plug the skimmers with rubber freeze plugs, using a 1 qt or 1-gallon bottle empty except for a few inches of either antifreeze or small pebbles. This will weigh the bottle down and allow it to float partially submerged. When the water rises in the skimmer and freezes, the expansion of the ice will collapse the bottle and not the outside walls of your skimmer.

Shut off power to the pump

Shut off the power by turning off the circuit breaker. It’s also a good idea to remove any timer dogs on the timeclock, just in case someone turns the breaker back on during the winter.

Closing the swimming pool at the end of summer may be sad, but Premier Pools and Spas wants to ensure you winterize your pool successfully so you can spend many more summers jumping in and hosting parties. If you winterize a pool successfully, you will be rewarded with a healthy pool and more swimming pool memories.

If you need more help with how to winterize a pool, contact a local Premier Pool Service provider. Looking to build or rebuild the pool of your dreams? Use the form below to contact us today for a free quote.

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