How to Close a Pool in the Winter

Winterizing a pool may seem complicated, but with a little preparation, it can be a very simple and pain-free process. Leisure Times has created a Top 10 Pool Closing Tips to help you close a pool quickly and easily!

1. Begin Winterizing One Week Before Closing Your Pool

One week prior to closing your pool, add a phosphate remover to help keep algae out and prevent any potential algae blooms. We recommend waiting to close your pool until the water temperature is consistently below 65 degrees. Closing too early will run the risk of algae growth.

2. Brush and Vacuum To Remove All Debris

Cleaning your pool before closing for the winter prevents algae and makes your spring opening even easier. Make sure to thoroughly brush the sides and floor, skim the surface and clean out the skimmer and pump baskets after vacuuming the pool.

3. Manage Your Water Level

FREEZING AREA – Water should be 4-6 inches below: skimmer (vinyl-lined) or tile line (plaster)

NON-FREEZING AREA – Water should be filled to the top, almost to the point of overflowing

4. Balance the Pool Chemistry

Measure water balance using a test kit or bring it in to Leisure Times for a Free 9-Point Water Test. Total Alkalinity should be between 80-120 ppm, pH level should be between 7.4-7.6

5. Shock and Chlorinate Your Pool

Shocking kills any bacteria that might linger in your pool during the winter. We recommend shocking a few days before you close the pool. If that is not possible, make sure to shock the pool the night before you close it for winter.

6. Backwash Your Pool Filter

Allow the pump to run for a full cycle before backwashing and chemically cleaning your pool filter

7. Drain Pool Lines and Add Pool Antifreeze (for freezing temperatures only)

This prevents the costly repairs that come from bursts of damaged pipes. Most pool equipment has a drain plug to allow water to drain out. Make sure that you drain the pool pump, pool filter, pool heater and any other pool equipment you may have. DE Grids and Filter Cartridges should be removed from the pool filter and fully cleaned. A small shop vac or liner vac can be used to quickly blow any remaining air out of the pump and filter. We recommend storing the drain plugs in the pump basket over the winter. After the plumbing is drained, we recommend adding Pool Anti-Freeze to protect your system during the harsh winter months.

8. Install an Air Pillow (for above ground pools)

Inflate the air pillow using an air pump and place it in the center of the pool. The air pillow can be tethered to an anchor to keep it in place. Another option is the Pillow Pal, which creates a lock between the air pillow and bottom of your winter cover.

9. Install A Safety Cover, Winter Cover or Leaf Net

Protect your pool and family with a secure pool cover. No matter what type of cover you choose, make sure that it is tightly sealed across your pool.

Safety covers provide the highest level of protection against accidental intruders, as well as winter storm debris, since they are anchored into the surrounding deck. Take all worry out of unwanted entrance into your pool with a Pool Safety Cover.

Winter covers, on the other hand, will not protect against people or pets from falling into the water, since they are not secured around the pool. You have the option of a mesh winter cover or solid winter cover. Mesh winter covers protect your pool from debris, while allowing water to filter through the material. This is to alleviate heavy weight caused by standing and/or freezing water. Solid winter covers create a stronger seal against debris getting in your pool, but may require a cover pump to help remove water throughout the winter.

Pool leaf nets are typically used in areas with milder climates. These are mesh pool covers that allow water to fully pass through the material, while blocking large debris, such as leaves and acorns, from entering the pool.

10. Monitor Chemical Balance Monthly

Using a test kit, routinely check water chemistry, and contact Leisure Times if chemicals become unbalanced. You can also bring in a sample of your pool water for a Free 9-Point Water Test. Our friendly staff will help you read the results and recommend the proper chemicals to bring your water chemistry to a balanced level.