How To Winterize A Pool? Maybe it’s your first year owning an above-ground pool, maybe you’ve moved somewhere with a colder climate, or maybe you’ve just been slacking on winterizing your above-ground pool for a while now.
What I will tell you is that there’s no reason to slack when you can winterize your above-ground pool in just a few steps.
Don’t believe me?
Well, you should.
Roll the thing.
Everyone has their own way to close an above-ground swimming pool.
But in the end, we all just wanna make sure that your pool is clean, clear, and properly winterized so that you open it in the spring
and it’s nice and clear.
If I missed anything, please leave a comment to let me know and to help out your fellow pool owners.
Okay, so the first question you probably have is, why do I even need to winterize my above-ground pool in the first place?
Well, if you live in a mild climate where you can swim year-round, you don’t really have to.
But if you live in a climate that comes with frost, snow, and freezing temperatures, or kinda like where I live, winterizing your pool is necessary to keep it in good working order and in good condition.
Winterizing your above-ground pool minimizes your risk of contamination and cold damage to your equipment, and it’ll save you time, money, and frustration, especially in the spring.
So now that you know why you need to winterize your above ground pool, the next question is,When?
The ideal time is when the temperature falls below 65 degrees Fahrenheit 18 degrees Celsius.
Even if you might get the odd warmer day in early winter, it’s still a good idea to go ahead and get your winterizing done before the temperature drops and any damage is done.
Okay, so step number one, you wanna gather all your pool winterizing supplies and you’re gonna need a winterizing chemical kit, or just a supply of winterizing chemicals.
This includes PH increaser, alkalinity increaser calcium hardness increaser, Pool shock, algaecide, and a clarifying winter enzyme supplement.
Of course, this is optional but I recommend it.
Protective eyewear, protective gloves an above ground pool winter skimmer cover, more on that later, expansion plugs, return line plugs an above ground pool winter cover, then cover with the winch and the cable, cover clips, water bags, if you have a walk around deck or a deck at all, and a pool air pillow, which I believe is an absolute must, and I’ll explain why in a little bit.
Now I know that sounds like a lot of stuff, but once you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to close your above-ground pool.
So step number two, you wanna clean your pool by vacuuming it, brushing down the walls, and skimming the surface to get rid of any leaves and other debris.
And yes, you need to manually vacuum it, you cannot use your automatic pool cleaner, I’m sorry.
Step number three, test and balance the water using test strips or a water testing kit and you wanna try to get your pH between 7. 4 and 7. 6 and your alkalinity between 100 parts per million, and 150 parts per million, with 125 parts per million being ideal.
Also, make sure that the calcium hardness level is between 175 and 225 parts per million, and that your chlorine level, is between one and three parts per million, ideally three parts per million.
If you use a different sanitizer, just make sure that it’s at the proper level for what you’re using.
Now, since you won’t be adjusting the water during the offseason, it’s better to be on the high side of these ranges when you close your pool because they’ll naturally decrease over time.
Step number four, adding the winterizing chemicals to your water.
It’s that simple.
If you’re using a kit, which is a lot easier, all you have to do is follow the directions on the label and you’ll be good to go.
If you decide to be more hands-on and add individual chemicals yourself, you’ll need to go in a very specific order.
First, balance the alkalinity as if it wasn’t already in the right place when you test the water, then balance the pH and then the calcium hardness, then add your sanitizer.
Once the water is balanced, give it a good shock to kill any algae or other remaining organisms that might be lurking in your pool.
But before you use pool shock, remember as always, put on protective eyewear and gloves.
Safety first, my friends, safety first.
And that pretty much goes for all pool chemicals as well.
Finally, you wanna add a dash of algaecide.
While I don’t recommend using it on a regular basis, it’s not a bad idea when you’re closing it because it can help keep any new algae from forming while the water is covered and not being circulated.
If you decide to use a clarifying enzyme treatment to go one step further to reduce algae and contamination, now’s the time to add it.
Step number five one of the keys to winterizing an above-ground pool is to keep the plumbing from freezing.
So to keep that from happening, just remove all the hoses from your pump and filter.
And if it’s possible, I recommend storing your pump filter hoses and other filter equipment in a warm, dry place all winter long.
If you’re pump and filter are too cumbersome or heavy to move, just make sure that you remove all the drain plugs so ice doesn’t build up inside of these units and crack them.
You can store those drain plugs right in the pump housing with the basket.
That way you know where they are when you open your pool in the spring.
Now if you have a sand filter, you wanna set the multiport valve to winterized.
If your multiport Valve has a bladder valve or a sight glass, remove those as well and store them in the pump basket, along with your drain plugs.
If you have a DE filter you wanna drain it, rinse off the grids or fingers if you have a Hayward filter with a hose to remove any excess DE powder, and then leave those valves open.
That’s all you gotta do for that.
For a cartridge filter, you wanna drain it and then rinse the cartridge with a hose and spray nozzle.
Leave all the valves open and store the cartridge indoors for the winter, or if it’s too dirty to clean and keep for next season.
Just throw it out and start with a new one in the spring.
Now if your pool uses a saltwater system, switch the chlorine generator to the Winter setting, if it has one, and if it doesn’t, most chlorine generators have a removable electrolytic cell that you can access by unscrewing the end caps.
Remove the cell and store it inside for the winter or you can just store the whole thing inside if you want to.
Another quick tip, take the time to clean the cell before storing it.
It’ll prolong its life and it’ll help reduce the risk of hardware problems when it’s time to reopen your pool in the spring.
Now, the last thing you need to do is protect your skimmer if the water builds up and freezes in it, Well, I mean it’ll crack.
And the easiest way to do this is with that thing I mentioned earlier, which is called an above ground skimmer cover.
I highly recommend that you invest in one.
It’s packed, I promise you, packed with money-saving tips, so you don’t break the bank on your swimming pool every year.
And I swear this is the ultimate manual for every single type of pool, above ground, inground, intext, doesn’t matter.
And the best part, we always keep it up to date.
So once you buy it, it’s always updated.
Okay, step number six, don’t forget about all your pool accessories like the ladder or any pool toys that you have.
Remove them from the pool,clean them and then store them in a clean, dry place directly out of sunlight.
Step number seven,pop-quiz hot Shot, should you lower the water level in your above-ground pool before you close it?
Well, the answer is, like everything, it depends.
If you don’t use that above-ground skimmer cover as I mentioned earlier, then yes, you have to drain the water from the pool until the level falls just below the skimmer and the return lines if you do use that skimmer cover that I highly recommend, just remove the host from your skimmer and put the cover on, and then you don’t have to drain the water from your pool.
By the way, keeping your water at its normal level is better for your winter cover because it’ll keep the cover a float. and if you weren’t gonna add a skimmer cover, you might wanna rethink that.
Okay, this is super important and I say this pretty much with every above ground pool video.
Never drain an above-ground pool completely when you close it.
The vinyl liner can dry out making it susceptible to damage.
Step number eight. Now that we’ve come to my favorite above ground pool winterization tip, it’s time to use a pool pillow.
A quick warning if you don’t use a pool pillow, two members of your family might act like a couple of (beep) holes and try to skate on it when it freezes and completely destroys your above-ground pool.
So I can’t say you can’t use it anymore.
Actually, a pool pillow helps us with ice compensation if your water freezes, the ice will expand into the pillow, rather than into the pool walls thus reducing the pressure on your pool and possibly saving your pool from total destruction. consider it an insurance policy.
Now here’s the secret about a pool pillow, you wanna inflate it only 50 to 60% of its capacity. which gives the pillow some give to expand and contract in the cold weather and not to be popped by heavy snowfall.
Step number nine, the last thing to do is cover your pool.
Just place the cover over your pool and don’t forget the pillow, and then secure it with the cable and winch.
You can also secure it with clips and the cable and I highly recommend you use both the cable and winch and the clips, It’s just extra secure.
If your pool has a deck, you can use water bags to help secure the cover just don’t use anything like bricks or rocks or anything that can fall into the pool and you know damage it.
Keep water and debris off your covers throughout the winter to prevent damage and you can use a pool cover pump to remove any access water or melted snow.
All right, here we are.
I told you we get your above-ground pool winterizing, in just a few steps.
Aren’t you glad you stuck around?
if I missed anything or you have any other questions, please leave a comment below.