Pool Winterization

Pool winterization. Above ground and inground pool winterizing using non toxic antifreeze and pool winterizing chemicals.

Proper winter pool care can be a daunting task. That's why many will tell you to hire a pool professional who knows what he's doing.

Proper winter pool care can be a daunting task. That's why many will tell you to hire a pool professional who knows what he's doing.

I for one agree with that idea.

If you're serious about how to winterize your pool, then watch the videos and read on. 

Basically, closing is the opposite of opening a pool.

Close & Winterize Above Ground Pool

Pool Winterization Tips

Pool Tips For Winterizing Swimming Pool

If your going to attempt to pool winterize, just be very careful. If not done properly, you can find a mess come Spring. Cracked plaster and plumbing due to the water freezing and expanding would be a problem for any pool owner. Remember to close as late in the season as you can and open the pool as early as possible.

Balance The Water

  • About 4-7 days prior to closing your pool for Winter, get your pool pH down to 7.2, pool alkalinity (80-100), and calcium hardness (150-250). Shock the pool with a chlorine shock to bring the chlorine level up to 10-12ppm. Allow the pool chlorine to come down to its normal level, about 2 - 4ppm  before adding a PolyQuat 60 algaecide, pool winterizing chemicals, or your pool cover. 


Removal Of Inground and Above Ground Pool Accessories

  • Remove the skimmer baskets, heaters, slide, any wall fittings, vacuums, pool cleaners, ladders, handrails, or anything else that shouldn't be in the pool. Scoop out any debris on the top and bottom of the pool using a good leaf rake.


Clean And Backwash The Filter

  • You'll want to do one final brush and vacuum to winterize your swimming pool. Once this is done, it's time to back-wash your filter. 

Lower The Water Level

  • You can either use your filter pump or a submersible pump to lower your pool water level. You'll need to lower the level about 3"-5" below the lowest plumbing line, normally the water return line. Be sure the water level is at least below the skimmer. You can remove the above ground pool skimmer.
  • If you're using your swimming pool pump to drain the pool, be sure to turn your skimmer valve off because your system will suck in air when it's trying to drain. Turn it back on when blowing out the line.
  • However, partially draining the pool is an area of debate. Some may say to not drain the pool because it exposes the concrete or vinyl to the air which causes undue stress and premature aging of the liner. They will say if you properly blow the lines and plumbing out there is no reason to drain some of the water.
  •  Also, some say with concrete (gunite swimming pool) or pools with decorative tiles, you may want to lower the water level below the tile in order to keep it from freezing and cracking.
  • Check with your local pool store because each part of the country is unique and has different freezing points.
  • If you have a vinyl liner pool, you can use an Aquador over the mouth of the skimmer which keeps the water out of the skimmer so you can leave the water level up for pool winterization.
  • I'm not aware of any dams or Aquadors for concrete swimming pools.


Drain Your Pump, Filters, Heaters, and Chlorinating Equipment

  • Your pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator all have a drain plug. Either drain the water out of these or better yet, get your old Shop-Vac and blow the line out. This will ensure all of the water has drained and none is left inside any plumbing lines. Some who winterize swimming pool will use pool antifreeze. 
  • For a DE pool filter or a cartridge filter, take the grids or cartridge out, clean them, and store them away for the Winter. If the filter housing is small enough, you might be able to take it apart and store it for the Winter.
  • Keep the plugs out of these units. If you plug them back up and water happens to get into them, they might freeze over and crack your equipment.
  • Place all the plugs in the skimmer basket during your pool winterization maintenance. By doing this, you'll know where they are when you need them next Spring.
  • If you have a sand filter, be sure you put the Multi-Port valve in the closed or "winterize" position and remove any pressure gauges.
  • After you drain the pump, turn it on for second or two to get the water out of the impeller. If you run the pump any longer the seal can burn up. 

Blow Out The Water Lines

  • You can blow out the plumbing lines for pool winterization using, again, your Shop-Vac. Use the discharge of the Shop-Vac to blow water from each plumbing line of the filtration system. Bubbles will appear in the pool as the water is purged from the lines. At this point you will need to plug the lines using a threaded plug, if applicable. Make sure each plug has an "O"-ring or gasket to give it a tight fit or the water may get back into the line causing all kinds of issues down the road.
  • Use a swimming pool winterization rubber freeze plug if you can't get a threaded plug.

Skimmer Gizzmo

  • Use a skimmer Gizzmo to seal the skimmer throat. This little guy is a hollow tube that will collapse if the water get into the skimmer and freezes. Be sure to put some plumbing or Teflon tape around the threads to give it a good seal, and it also makes removal of the Gizzmo a little easier at start-up in the Spring.


Empty Your Chemical Feeder

  • If you have a chemical feeder, now would be a good time to drain and empty it. By leaving chemicals in your chemical feeder during swimming pool winterization, you might end up damaging your equipment. Remember to put the top back on the chemical feeder and be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves.
  • The smell of chlorine tablets will stay on your skin long after your pool winterization stops.

Winter Pool Covers

  • Now is the time to break out your above ground pool winter cover or inground pool winter cover to keep the debris out of the pool. I recommend using a solid cover that keeps out all debris and sun.
  • These solid covers should keep the pool clean and reduce algae growth. I also recommend using an air pillow.
  • These air pillows hold the pool cover up like a tent so water and debris fall off instead of collecting on the top. This does work, but not completely.
  • They also help to take up any water expansion which could occur from freezing and possibly cause your above ground pool wall to split.

Well, there you have it.

Pool winterization is somewhat time consuming and if not done properly, can turn into a nightmare, not to mention an added expense that you don't need. This is why I tell people who might be thinking about swimming pool winterization to hire a professional pool service.

Please remember, these pool closing tips and swimming pool winterization guidelines are just that, tips and guidelines. They are by no means written in gold and I don't assume any responsibility for your inground or above ground pool winterizing.

If you're the least bit unsure of what to do or are not experienced in swimming pool closing or how to winterize a swimming pool, I highly recommend hiring a swimming pool professional. Good luck.

Can't wait until Summer!!

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Possible Leave Water Contamination  
My question has to do with rusty colored water. I winterized my pool like I do every year although I am not sure on the choline level before I closed it. …

Winterize Salt Water Inground Pool & Winterization Plug Popped Out 
I want to closed my pool for the winter, what I need before I do so my I check in my pool store and they said only needs is super shock , my readings …

Frozen Pool Pipes 
I have a 3 yr old in ground salt water pool that we keep open year round and run the pump 24/7. This winter the temps are getting down to zero and over …

Winterize & Close Down Pool Very Confusing Commercial Swimming Pool 
I am planning to close down the pool whole year round for the long term. Simply because we don't use the pool but we want to keep the pool as a feature …

Green Algae and High Phosphates 
Chemical readings Free Chlorine 3.0 CYA 30 Phosphates 1000 PH 7.6 Alka Pool Store said OK, test kit said around 170 Acid - OK Last Friday …

Swimming Pool Opening Or Not Can I Leave It For The Winter 
We have a 20'x40', 33,000gal. vinyl lined pool. We are wondering what would we need to do (if anything) on not opening our pool this season, we live in …

Inground Pool Not Winterized & Pool Closing & Filling In 
WE PURCHASED A FORE-CLOSED HOME W/INGROUND POOL IN 2008. IT WAS WINTERIZED IN MARCH 2008, BUT HAD GONE THRU THAT PREVIOUS WINTER WITHOUT BEING WINTERIZED. …

Winterization Pool In Medford, Oregon 
My pool guy did not do the winterization. He comes once a month in winter to check the water, clean leaves and cover the pool (automatic cover). …

Leaving My Pool Permanently Closed Not rated yet
I have a 16 x 36 inground. Last summer I left it closed after winterizing it. How many years can I leave it closed and what should I have done in preparation …

Newly Painted Pool Ready For Winter Care? Not rated yet
Hi there, from southern Oregon! I just got turned on to your techniques the last few weeks of summer and was happy with the preliminary results I had. …

How Much Bleach To Use Winter Chemicals Closing for Alkalinity & pH Not rated yet
I live in the Northeast, NY to be exact. I have an in ground pool about 17' X 33', eight foot deep at the deep end. When closing the pool for the winter …

Trying To Close Pool But Need Help Just Shock & Aalgaecide Not rated yet
I am trying to close my pool but I don't know how much shock to add to it, it is 16 ft x 32 ft x 4 ft and it holds roughly 170,000 gallons of water, I …

Blowing Out A Pool Slide Line Not rated yet
We have an underground line leading from the return line of our sand filter to our pool slide. (our pool is a radiant pool. It has only one return line. …

Above Ground Pool Winterizing No Liner & Pool covers Info. Not rated yet
My husband drained our above ground pool & was going to replace the liner this summer. Now that the summer is nearly over, he is busy & is thinking of …

Cold Weather Saltwater Pool Closing Winterization Not rated yet
I have a salt water pool which I keep running year round. It has a cold weather program that keeps the pump and the waterfall running when the temp gets …

Winterizing with ALGECIDE - Above Ground Salt Water Pool Not rated yet
First let me say your website is very imformative and I have bookmarked it. I purchased a home in Northern Canada in May with a SALT WATER (Aqua Trol) …

swimming pool care, basic pool care, above ground pool maintenance, inground, salt water

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