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Pool Winterizing

1. Balance the water chemistry:
Approximately 3 - 7 days prior to closing the pool, adjust your water balance within the ranges below:
pH: 7.6
Alkalinity: 100 - 150 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 180 - 220

2. Clean Pool:
Skim pool, vacuum pool, brush pool.. If the pool is especially silty or has lots of algae, Vacuum the pool to Waste. This means to bypass the filter, and vacuum dirt from floors/walls out the backwash line. This prevents constant clogging/cleaning of filter. Place the multiport filter valve on drain or waste position If you have a push-pull filter valve, or a cartridge type filter there is no easy way to vacuum to waste, except for cutting the pipe coming out of the pump and then reconnecting afterwards. Brush the pool thoroughly. The pool should be as clean and clear as possible before covering.

3. Add winterizing algaecide and other winterizing Chemicals
Add chemicals at least 24 hours before closing and allow to circulate.

4. Remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets, ladders from the pool. Put these in a safe location during the winter. Don't coil pool cleaners hoses tight.

5. Lower water level in pool.
Using the filter pump, or a submersible pump lower the level 3" - 4" below the skimmer. This allows for easy winterizing of the skimmer and leaves room for rain water. It is not necessary to lower the water below the return jets but if you feel more comfortable doing this then fill it back up when finished.

6. Drain all pumping, filtering, heating and chlorinating equipment.
Every pump, filter, heater and chlorinator has drain plugs to allow water to drain out. All water must be drained or blown out or it will freeze and crack. After draining, D.E. filter grids or Cartridge filters should be removed and cleaned thoroughly. If the filter and pump is small enough to remove it and store it indoors, this may be desirable. If not, using a small amount of air from a shop vacuum or compressor is good to blow out any water that may still be in the equipment.

7. Lubricate
Fall closing of the pool is a good time to lubricate the pump lid o-ring o-rings with a silicone based lubricant. If you have a gas heater with cast iron plugs, lubricate these threads or leave the plugs in after draining to prevent rusting.

8. Winterize the plumbing to and from the pool
If you have an inground pool, you should blow out the lines using a shop vac or compressor to blow air from the skimmer, through the equipment, and back to the pool. Then plug the lines at the pool. Above ground pools usually just need to disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and filter, and plug the wall outlets. Protect you skimmer from freezing by adding a GIZZMO and empty plastic bottles (your winterizing chemicals). The Skimmer will fill up with water before the spring. The Gizzmo and the empty bottles will absorb any freezing.

9. Cover the pool.

Pool Covers


A tight fit of your pool cover is essential. Your cover should not have holes or gaps where leaves and debris may enter the pool. A mesh safety cover provides the highest protection and safety. Solid pool covers will require a cover pump or siphon to remove rain water and snow melt. Water Bags are used to secure an inground solid pool cover. Above ground pool covers use a cable/winch device to secure the cover around the pool. In areas of high wind, an above ground pool owner will find wall bags an asset. A leaf net is very useful if you have a lot of trees surrounding your pool.

See also

Winter Liner Care