Pool winterizing is the process of preparing your pool for the colder months when it will not be in use. The process of preparing your pool for the colder months involves turning off the pool equipment, removing accessories, and draining the amount of water from the lines and vessels. The purpose of winterizing a pool is to prevent debris accumulation, protect the water lines, equipment, and pool walls from damage caused by freezing water, and to prevent algae growth. The pool will freeze and damage the pool structure and equipment if it is not winterized. Winterizing a pool is done by the pool owner and involves cleaning the pool equipment, partially draining the water in the pool, and storing all equipment indoors for the winter. Winterizing a pool costs between $200 to $300.
What is the difference between pool winterizing and pool closing?
The difference between pool winterizing and pool closing is primarily in their purpose and the procedures involved. Pool closing is the process of covering the pool when it is not in use, and can be done at any time. Pool closing involves tasks like cleaning the pool, balancing the amount of water in the pool, and using a pool cover. On the other hand, winterizing the pool is a more comprehensive process specifically designed to prepare the pool for the cold winter months. The process of winterizing the pool involves steps like removing the amount of water from lines and vessels, turning off equipment, removing accessories, and using specific winterizing chemicals to protect the pool from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures. Winterizing is crucial in regions with harsh winters to prevent damage to the pool’s structure and equipment.
- How to winterize an above ground pool?
- Clean the above ground pool pool
- Balance water chemistry
- Add winterizing chemicals to the pool above ground pool
- Add algaecide
- Drain the water level
- Disconnect the pool pump
- Disconnect all the lines
- Remove all drain plugs on the filter
- Unhook the filter hoses
- Place air pillows
- Why should you not drain an above ground pool when winterizing?
- How to winterize an a inground pool?
- How to open a swimming pool for summer?
How to winterize an above ground pool?
To winterize an above ground pool, you need to follow several steps to ensure that your pool is ready for the cold winter months. The list below will cover them.
- Clean the above ground pool pool. Start by giving your pool a thorough cleaning, including vacuuming the floor, and cleaning the filter and skimmer.
- Balance water chemistry. Balance the water chemistry of the pool above ground pool.
- Add winterizing chemicals to the pool. This could be a chlorine-based shock or a non-chlorine shock to remove residual bacteria, algae, and waste products from the pool.
- Add algaecide to the pool above ground pool.
- Drain the water level of the pool to 18” below the skimmer. Do not empty the pool as it will cause significant damage. If you are using skimmer covers, you do not need to drain water from the pool. Just make sure you remove the hose from the skimmer.
- Disconnect the pool pump, along with the motor of the pump, and drain them.
- Disconnect all the lines on the filter coming from the pump.
- Remove all drain plugs on the filter and heater and allow them to drain completely.
- Unhook the filter hoses, and store all pool supplies indoors for the winter.
- Place air pillows (or other floating devices) on the water of the pool and position the pool cover. The pool pillow absorbs the expansion of ice and snow, preventing damage to the pool walls.
Remember, draining an above ground pool for winter is a bad idea as snow, ice, extreme cold, and errant debris will cause significant damage to an above ground pool exposed to the elements.
Clean the above ground pool pool
You should thoroughly clean the pool when winterizing an above ground pool by first removing all leaves, dirt, insects, or other debris. Vacuum the entire pool, brush down the walls, and skim the surface. Cleaning the pool prevents algae growth and makes spring opening easier. After cleaning, balance the water chemistry and add diluted granular chlorine, or non-chlorine pool shock, to your pool water to remove any contaminants. Drain your water no more than 6 inches below the bottom of the skimmer if you plan to use a solid winter cover. Finally, disconnect your pool’s pump, along with the motor, and drain them. Cleaning and winterizing the pool protects it from potential damage and ensures a smoother reopening in the spring.
Balance water chemistry
You should balance the water chemistry when winterizing an above ground pool by first testing the water and adjusting the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels a few days before covering the pool. It is recommended to shock the water chemistry a couple of days later and then add winter algaecide the day of or day before closing and let the winter algaecide circulate. The process of testing the water chemistry, adjusting the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels, shocking the water chemistry, and adding winter algaecide minimizes risks for corrosion and prevents scale buildup. It is also important to lower the water level around 4″ to 6″ below the skimmer to prevent damage to your vinyl liner. Lastly, consider using winterizing chemicals such as a winter conditioner or a winterization swimming pool water treatment kit to keep your above ground pool water chemistry on track during the winter months.
Add winterizing chemicals to the pool above ground pool
You should shock your pool when winterizing an above ground pool by first ensuring that the pool is thoroughly cleaned and the water is balanced. Then, add the appropriate amount of shock to the swimming pool. Shocking a pool involves adding 1 lb of granular shock or 1 gallon of liquid shock per 5,000 gallons of pool water. If you are using a winter chemical kit, add the correct amount of algaecide or winterizer as directed. If you are using a “Winter Pill,” add the “Winter Pill” right before you put on your pool cover. It is also recommended to shock your swimming pool at night to prevent the sun from interfering with the active chemicals. After shocking, allow the chlorine levels in the swimming pool to fall below 5 ppm before adding any other chemicals. Over shocking your swimming pool leads to high chlorine levels that are harmful.
You should add algaecides to the pool when winterizing an above ground pool by first removing all visible debris and thoroughly brushing, shocking, and sanitizing your pool water. It is recommended to add 10 ounces of algaecide 60 per 10,000 gallons of pool water, and one bottle of metal remover or sequestering agent for the entire pool, or according to any usage instructions on the bottle of metal remover or sequestering agent. Start running your swimming pool pump while pouring the algaecide dose into the pool water, depositing the algaecide dose in different areas around the pool to get rid of algae on your pool walls, floors, etc. Allow the swimming pool pump to continue to circulate for approximately two to four hours to help the algaecide spread well within the pool water. It is also recommended to use a three-part algae treatment: brush and then perform a heavy shock on your pool, add an appropriate algaecide to the pool water while letting the pool equipment (pump, filter, etc.) run continuously, and vacuum your pool within 36-48 hours.
Drain the water level
You should lower the water level of the pool when winterizing an above ground pool by adjusting it to just below the skimmer. This action prevents water from entering the skimmer during the winter. Use your filter pump or a submersible pump to lower your pool water level. The water level should be 4 to 6 inches below the lowest plumbing line, which is the water return line. Be sure the water level is at least below the skimmer. Draining an above ground pool for winter is not recommended as it will cause significant damage. Instead, maintain your water level to just below the midway point of your skimmer to keep your water level in balance with groundwater throughout the freezing weather.
Disconnect the pool pump
You should disconnect the pool pump, motor of the pump and drain them when winterizing an above ground pool by first disconnecting the hoses from the skimmer, return, pump, and filter. Then, open all the drain plugs on the pool pump and filter to let all amount of water drain out of the system. Open up the pool pump, remove the pool pump basket to rinse off any leftover debris, bugs, or leaves. Use the pool pump basket as storage for all plugs. If you live in a harsh winter climate, consider bringing the pool pump inside to prevent damage. However, ensure that all amount of water is drained from the pool pump and filters before disconnecting (the pool pump and filters). Use an air compressor to ensure there is no remaining water. The pool pump is fine if it is properly drained and protected from the elements.
Disconnect all the lines
You should disconnect the lines on the filter coming from the pump when winterizing an above ground pool by first turning off the pump. Then, disconnect the hoses from the skimmer, return, pump, and filter. Open all the drain plugs on the pump and filter to let all water drain out of the system. After the water has drained, open up the pump and remove the pump basket to rinse off any leftover debris, bugs, or leaves. Clean the pump basket and use it as storage for all plugs. Make sure all equipment is completely dry before storing to prevent any damage during the winter months.
Remove all drain plugs on the filter
You should remove drain plugs on the filter and heater and drain them when winterizing an above ground pool by first setting your multiport valve to “Winterize.” Then, remove the drain plug at the bottom of the filter to allow the filter to drain completely. If your multiport valve has a bleeder valve and a sight glass, remove those too, and store (bleeder valve, sight glass) in the pump basket for easy retrieval next season. For the heater, look for the drain plugs at the bottom, remove (drain plugs), and allow the heater to drain. Once the heater is drained, unscrew any hosing or pipes connected to the unit. Remember to store all small parts such as drain plugs in a safe place for easy retrieval when you reopen the above ground pool. Do not completely drain your above ground pool for winter. Instead, lower the amount of water level about four to six inches below the skimmer.
Unhook the filter hoses
You should unhook the filter hoses and store all pool supplies indoors when winterizing an above ground pool by first disconnecting the hoses from the pump and filter and allowing all the water to run out. Ensure the filter hoses (thing1) dry completely before storing to prevent mold build-up. If the filter hoses are coiled, the filter hoses are recommended to take apart piece by piece to ensure all water is completely drained and kinks are prevented. Store all the pieces together in a sealed, plastic box.
Next, remove the filter from the filter cleaner solution and thoroughly rinse the filter to remove any remaining solution. Allow the paper cartridge to dry completely before storing. Store the filter tank and paper cartridge, as well as the pump and motor assembly, in a climate-controlled environment for winter.
Disconnect the filter hoses from the skimmer, return, pump, and filter. Open all the drain plugs on the pump and filter to let all water drain out of the system. Open up the pump, remove the pump basket to rinse off any leftover debris, bugs, or leaves. Then use the pump basket as storage for all plugs.
Always store your pool cleaner and filter hoses in a cool, dry place such as a shed or garage once the pool cleaner and filter hoses have been removed from the pool. Avoid placing stress on the filter hoses to preserve the filter hoses for a long time.
Lastly, if you live in a harsh winter climate, the pump is recommended to bring inside. Drain all the piping to and from the pump completely, cover the pump, and leave it outside. Blow compressed air through the pipes and the pump to remove as much water as possible.
Place air pillows
You should place air pillows (or other floating devices) and position the pool cover when winterizing an above ground pool at the center of the pool. Center the air pillow within the pool to allow for even distribution of ice and snow. This positioning helps protect your pool liner and walls throughout the winter and prevents debris from accumulating in the middle of the pool cover. Position the pool cover to lay on top of the air pillow, creating a void between the water and the cover. This setup helps to protect your pool from expanding ice and promotes even weight distribution. If you live in extremely cold climates, the air pillow also protects the sides of the pool cover and the pool walls from potential damage.
Why should you not drain an above ground pool when winterizing?
You should not drain an above ground pool when winterizing because exposure to snow, ice, extreme cold, and errant debris can cause significant damage to the pool. The above ground pool, when left empty, is vulnerable to the harsh winter elements. Additionally, the water in the above ground pool, especially when properly winterized, helps protect the pool liner, keep the pool liner clean, and prevent unnecessary damage from debris and harsh weather. Draining the above ground pool causes the liner of the above ground pool to shrink and tear, especially if the liner is old, leading to expensive repairs. Refilling and chemically balancing a new above ground pool full of water in the spring is costly and time-consuming.
How to winterize an a inground pool?
To winterize an inground pool follow the steps bellow.
- Drain the pool about four to six inches below the skimmer
- Add a skimmer cover
- Place an air pillow in the middle of the inground pool
- Secure the inground pool with a cover using winter cover clips
- Remove the ladder and other deck equipment
- Shock the inground pool before closing it for the season
- Balance the water chemistry
- Clean the inground pool thoroughly before covering it
Drain the pool
You should drain the pool water for winterizing and inground pool by partially lowering the water level below the skimmer and return lines. Use a submersible pump or siphon to adjust the pool water level. Reduce the pool water level to about 1-2 inches below the skimmer and pool lines. Never completely drain the pool, especially for fiberglass pools, as it can cause damage. Once the pool water level is appropriately lowered, remove all drain plugs to completely drain the equipment (the equipment), including the pool pump, chlorinator, and hoses. Bring all equipment indoors for storage over the winter to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. If your pool has a separate main drain, use it to drain the pool. Also, remember to disconnect your pump and filter and ensure that the pump is totally drained out of any amount of water. Turn the pump upside down to make sure. Lastly, never drain pool or spa water into a septic system or onto the street. Instead, drain your pool or spa water to your vegetated landscape, lawn, or rocky areas on your property that allow the pool or spa water to percolate into the ground.
Add a skimmer cover
You should add a skimmer cover for winterizing an inground pool by first removing the skimmer basket and storing it in a safe, dry place. Then, drain the pool water to about four to six inches below the skimmer. Secure the gasket (white foam) and the winter plate over the skimmer face plate with the winter plate screws, but be careful not to over tighten the screws. Put a garbage bag or a small tarp over and around the skimmer, and secure the skimmer with a bungee. The garbage bag or a small tarp keeps the skimmer free of dirt and leaves that block the skimmer basket and extend the skimmer basket’s useful life. Additionally, pour one gallon of non-toxic swimming pool antifreeze down the skimmer for each 25 feet of underground line to and from the pool. The non-toxic swimming pool antifreeze protects the skimmer from freezing.
Place an air pillow
You should place an air pillow when winterizing an inground pool by ensuring it remains in the center of the pool. The air pillow helps to evenly distribute ice and snow, protecting the pool liner and walls. To keep the air pillow in place, use the grommets on the air pillow to attach a string to the air pillow. If you own a large pool, you need to use multiple air pillows. In the case of having a large pool, tie the air pillows (them) together using the grommets. Do not over-inflate the air pillows; inflating the air pillows (them) to 70-80% of the full capacity of the air pillows is recommended. Once the air pillows are in place, install and secure the winter cover.
Secure the inground pool
You should secure the pool with a cover when winterizing an inground pool by first ensuring that the pool cover is the correct size for your pool. If you have an anchored cover, start by setting the folded cover at one end of the pool. Back out a few anchors in the concrete and secure a few of the cover’s loops to these anchors (the anchors in the concrete). Unroll the pool cover, and attach every other loop to its anchor. Use sand bags or water bags as weights to hold the pool cover in place so that nothing floats into the pool. For added security against heavy winds, use cover seal or cover clips. If you are using a traditional winter pool cover, fill and place water bags or winter cover blocks around the edge of the pool to secure your pool cover. If you are using a safety cover, consult your manual on how to place the safety cover on. Remember, a winter pool cover is designed to float on the surface of the water, so the winter pool cover is normal for the winter pool cover to touch the water. The winter pool cover helps to keep debris out of the pool and also prevents water and chemical evaporation during the winter months.
Remove the ladder and other deck equipment
You should remove the pool ladder and deck equipment when winterizing an inground pool by first carefully lifting the pool ladder or step over the pool wall. The task of lifting the pool ladder or step over the pool wall is easier with two to three people. Once the pool ladder is lifted, lay the pool ladder on the pool ladder’s side and remove the caps located at the top of the pool ladder legs to drain the amount of water. For pool steps, lean the pool step onto the pool step’s back edge to drain the amount of water. After draining, remove all deck and skimmer equipment from the poolside, including diving boards, ladders, rails, and safety equipment. Once the deck and skimmer equipment are removed, hose off any dirt and algae, let the deck and skimmer equipment (them) dry, and store the deck and skimmer equipment (them) in a safe place for the winter. Turn off and winterize pool equipment. If needed, partially drain your pool to lower the amount of water level below the skimmer and return lines. Remove all drain plugs to completely drain the pool equipment, then remove the pool pump, chlorinator, and hoses. Bring all pool equipment indoors for storage over the winter.
Shock the inground pool before closing
You should shock the pool when winterizing an inground pool by using granular chlorine. The night before you close the inground pool, triple shock the inground pool with granular chlorine. Follow the instructions on the package for how much of granular chlorine to add, but generally, most bags suggest adding 1 lb. of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water. A triple shock is 3 lbs. of shock. It is recommended to shock the inground pool a few days before closing to give the granular chlorine time to drop to the right level before you add balancing and winterizing chemicals. If you use a non-chlorine shock, add the other chemicals immediately afterward and close the inground pool.
Balance the water chemistry
You should balance water chemistry when winterizing an inground pool by first testing the pool water for pH, Chlorine, Alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels. Raise the pH level to a range of 7.6 – 7.8 as the pool water will be stagnant over the winter months and pH lowers the pool water over extended periods of time. It is also important to adjust the alkalinity level, pH, and chlorine a few days before covering the pool. Shock the pool water and then add winter algaecide the day of or day before closing and let the winter algaecide circulate. Additionally, treat the pool water with 1–2 pounds of Fresh ‘N Clear non-chlorine shock per 10,000 gallons of water during the closing process. Regular testing and balancing of your pool water is crucial, ideally, at least two or three times per week. Maintaining the proper chemical balance during the winter months prevents staining or damage to your equipment or finish.
Clean the inground pool thoroughly before covering it
You should clean the inground pool before covering it when winterizing an inground pool by first removing all leaves, silt, and other floating debris. Vacuum the inground pool thoroughly and brush the walls to ensure all dirt and algae are removed. If your inground pool is particularly dirty or has a lot of algae, bypass the filter and vacuum waste out the backwash line to prevent having to keep removing and cleaning the filter. It is also important to balance the pool water, ensuring that the amount of pH level in the pool water is between 7.6-7.8, the amount of pool alkalinity is 80-100, and the amount of calcium hardness is 150-250. Shock your inground pool with a chlorine shock to bring the amount of chlorine level to 10-12 ppm. Once the inground pool is clean, cover the inground pool for the winter. The inground pool cover prevents algae growth, maintains water quality, and protects the inground pool from freezing temperatures and debris.
How to open a swimming pool for summer?
To open a swimming pool for summer, you need to follow a series of steps and use specific items. The list below will cover them.
- Start by choosing a kit based on your pool size to get the necessary pool startup chemicals.
- The pool startup chemicals should include a Stain, Scale and Rust preventer, a concentrated Clarifier, chlorine shock, Algaecide and an oil absorbing Sun Sorb sponge for your skimmer.
- Essential chemicals for pool start-up also include Scale and stain solution, Alkalinity increaser, pH increaser or decreaser, Calcium hardness increaser, Chlorine tablets, Shock chlorine, Cyanuric acid, and Algaecide.
- Shock your swimming pool at night, so the sun cannot interfere and destroy the active chemicals before they can do their job.
- Add your chlorine post-shock after the chlorine levels have fallen below 5 ppm of chlorine.
- The best time to shock a swimming pool is during opening and closing activities, and once a week during the swim season.
- Try to shock your swimming pool around the same time and on the same day of the week.
- Run the pool pump for three hours in the morning before you leave for work and another 5 hours in the evening.
- Ensure the pool water is clear, debris removal takes 1-2 visits to make the swimming pool clear, blue and free of debris.
- Plan to open your swimming pool at least an amount of 10 days before you actually plan on using the swimming pool, especially if you have a sand or cartridge filter.
Is it possible to keep a pool open during winter?
Yes, it is possible to keep a pool open during winter because with the right maintenance and equipment, you can prevent freezing and potential damage. If you live in a region with milder winters, you keep your pool warm during the winter to extend your swim season. However, it is important to keep the pool and the pool’s equipment from freezing, as freezing causes significant damage. Freezing is achieved by ensuring your pool is equipped with winter-ready heating equipment and set to the appropriate temperature. It is also recommended to run your pool pump continuously when temperatures are near or below freezing. If you decide to keep your pool open, you run your pumps to prevent the pool from freezing and causing structural damages to the pool. Using a heater and covering the pool with a solar cover when not in use helps keep the pool water warm. However, leaving an above ground pool uncovered during the winter is not recommended, as this leads to various issues such as debris accumulation, water contamination, and potential damage to the pool structure.
Is antifreeze used in pool return lines during winterization?
Yes, antifreeze is used in pool return lines during winterization because it helps to prevent the lines from cracking or splitting due to freezing in the winter. However, antifreeze is not necessary if the pool return lines are properly blown out to remove an amount of water. The antifreeze used is a propylene glycol-based product, which is safe for pool water and does not damage rubber seals or plastics. The standard advice is to use one gallon of pool antifreeze for every 10 feet of 1.5 inch pipe, assuming the 1.5 inch pipe is full of an amount of water. If the 1.5 inch pipe is empty or nearly empty, less antifreeze can be used.
When is best time to close a swimming pool for winter?
The best time to close a swimming pool for winter is during September and October. The period of September and October is when the weather is still warm enough to be outside, but temperatures are starting to drop. It is recommended to close the swimming pool when the temperature is consistently around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Closing the swimming pool at the period of September and October helps to prevent issues such as algae blooms and potential damage from freezing temperatures. It is also important to properly winterize the swimming pool by draining an amount of water from pipes, filters, and pumps (they represent pipes, filters, and pumps) to eliminate the risk of damage from freezing.
What is the freezing point of a saltwater pool during the winter season?
The freezing point of a saltwater pool during the winter season is around 28 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezing point of a saltwater pool is slightly lower than the freezing point of regular chlorinated water, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it is important to note that despite the lower freezing point, saltwater pools freeze, especially in severe winter weather. Therefore, it is crucial to take appropriate measures to protect the saltwater pool, the saltwater pool’s pipes, and equipment from potential freeze damage.
Is an air compressor recommended for pool closing?
Yes, an air compressor is recommended for pool closing because it can be used to blow out the water from the pool’s plumbing lines. However, using an air compressor is risky as the air compressor could over-pressurize the pipes and fittings. Using an air compressor is crucial to use a compressor that can put out a moderate pressure to clear the lines safely. Some pool owners (they) prefer using a pool line blower, which has a lower, consistent pressure and is ideal for safely blowing the amount of water out of the pool’s plumbing lines without damaging the system.