How to Close Your Pool in 7 Easy Steps

The colder months are upon those of us who live in climates where pools are closed in Fall or Winter, so if you haven’t closed your pool yet here’s a quick “how to” get it done that will help you keep your pool and equipment in good shape. If you live where it just gets a little cool, remember: even if there are no swimmers, if the pool stays filled with water it's good practice to keep the water circulating as normal, and to keep the water chemistry balanced. This will likely take much less work (and certainly less chlorination) in cool months. If you’re in a borderline climate area, be prepared to protect your plumbing during the chance periods of flash freezes!

“Winterizing” the pool will protect it from the damage that freezing can cause when water expands as it turns to ice. Even better, your pool water will stay well-balanced and clean for next year, and you’ll save a lot of time and effort when swimming season comes ‘round again!

We’ve put together a seven-step action plan to make the job easier:

Tools & Materials

  • Air Compressor or Shop Vac
  • Skimmer freeze protection kit
  • Water Testing Kit
  • Aqua Blocks or Water Tubes
  • Winter Pool Cover
  • Winterizing Chemicals
  • Winterizing Plugs

Step 1. Balance the water

Unbalanced pH can be destructive and may corrode the pool and pool equipment. There is also a good chance that staining will happen.

Step 2. Cleaning

Clean the pool walls by scrubbing them thoroughly. Let the water settle, then run the cleaner to make sure the bottom is spotless. Any debris or dirt that is left in the pool is likely to cause staining.

Step 3. Chemical Winterizers

Add the winterizing chemicals per the manufacturer’s instructions, then run the pump and circulate the water for an hour or two to distribute the chemicals evenly. Remember, these chemicals will keep the pool clean and safe all winter long.

Step 4. Remove Major Accessories

Remove and store ladders, cleaners, solar covers, eyeball return fittings, skimmer baskets, and other accessories.

Step 5. Winterize Pool Lines

Use an air compressor or a shop vac to blow air via the skimmer to the equipment and back to the pool. Once air is coming out of the suction lines, the skimmer lines, and the return-jet lines, plug the returns using the appropriate winterizing plugs. Use a skimmer freeze protection plug kit to protect the skimmer line from cracks and breaks caused by ice expansion.

Step 6. Pool Equipment Removal

All water must be drained from the chlorinator, filter, heater (or heat pump), and pool pump. Remove the drain plugs from this equipment and let the water run out to prevent freeze damage or cracking. You may also want to cover the heater with a special winter cover.

Step 7. Winter Pool Covers

Now it’s time to cover the pool. Fit the cover over the pool so that there are no gaps. The idea is to keep debris from getting in - remember, foreign matter in the water is likely to cause stains. Secure the cover with aqua blocks or water tubes to keep the pool cover in place, especially on those windy winter days. Note that the aqua blocks have a max. fill line – don’t over fill them. Fill the water tubes to only about two-thirds full.

Success

You’ve successfully prepped and winterized your pool to battle Old Man Winter. And the great thing is, it will take a lot less time and effort to open the swimming pool in the Spring!

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