It’s time to put away the summer fun and button-up the pool for winter.
Even if you are located where it rarely freezes, if you’re not using it, you may as well cover and close the pool for winter. It saves energy and water and reduces wear and tear on equipment, and prevents costly freeze damage from a cold snap.
Here’s How to Winterize an Aboveground Pool ~ in just 7 Steps! 🙂
The first thing to do before putting the pool to bed is to make sure that the pH is 7.4 – 7.6 and the Alkalinity is 80-120 ppm. Low levels can damage pool liners and high levels can cause a dirty scale to form. Calcium Hardness should be at least 150 ppm. Good water chemistry prevents stains and allows the winter chemicals to work most effectively.
After you test the water and make any water balance adjustments, you can shock the pool with a double-dose of shock. Pre-dissolve chlorine shock by pouring it into a bucket of water (not needed with Lithium or Non-Chlorine Shock), and then adding it carefully around the edge.
Vacuum the pool or run the pool cleaner. If you don’t have a pool vac hose and head, you can use a garden hose powered pool vacuum, and pool leaf rake nets to remove leaves and debris. Brush the pool with a good pool brush several times in the days before closing, to help the filter remove the small particles.
Don’t close a pool with algae blooming or any sort of non-blue colors. Before closing the pool, the water should be in the best shape it’s been all summer. Over-Filter, Over-Sanitize and Over-Circulate the water in the days and weeks before closing an aboveground pool.
A winter kit or closing kit is the best for closing an aboveground pool. The floater is guaranteed not to stain the pool, like chlorine floaters, and Closing Kits also include winter algaecide, stain & scale protectant, pool shock and an oil absorbent sponge. All for under $19, for a kit that covers up to 7500 gallons.
Once you have the pool clean and chemical-ed, it’s time to cover the pool to keep it clean and block out the sun. Use a quality aboveground pool cover, inspecting it closely before installing for holes or seam separation. Use an air pillow under the cover to absorb ice expansion, reduces cover stress and reduce water warming during spring time. Use a Leaf Catcher for larger pools with even larger trees.
Not too low! The pool needs the support of the water during winter. It’s best for aboveground pools to be mostly full, or lower it just below the skimmer opening. Install an Aquador face plate or use a Skimmer Plug and you don’t have to lower the water level at all, just snap on the skimmer cover to keep water out of the skimmer during winter, preventing costly damage from ice.
For above ground pool systems with hoses from the skimmer and to the returns, just plug the pool using winter plugs, and drain the hoses. Underground pipes can be blown out with a wet/dry vac and then plugged, or you can pour in non-toxic pool antifreeze before plugging the pipes.
Drain the pump, filter and heater if you have one. Just remove the drain plugs on the bottom, and it should drain out on it’s own. Cartridge or DE filters need to have the elements removed and cleaned thoroughly before storage. Small aboveground pool pump and filter systems should be disconnected and stored indoors, if possible.
7 Steps to close an aboveground pool. Now you know! Give us a call if you have any specific questions about winterizing your own above ground pool!
InTheSwim Blog Editor