How to winterize and close an above ground pool

How to winterize and close an above ground pool

Winterizing and closing your pool is necessary if you live in a climate that sees temperatures below freezing for longer periods of time. Water expands when frozen and can result in costly repairs to your pool plumbing and equipment unless you winterize prior to freezing weather. Let’s turn up the heat and look at how to winterize an above ground pool

Why Winterize Your Pool?

Each pool is different and winterizing can be different depending on factors such as whether or not you have a heater, how long your temperatures remain below freezing, or whether or not you have water features that need to be winterized. 

In the end, the principles of winterization are the same, thoroughly clean your pool and balance your water to prevent staining or other unwanted effects. Also, shock to remove any existing contaminants to prevent unsafe or green water, and remove water from your pipes and winterize pool equipment to prevent damage. 

It’s important to wait until temperatures are consistently below 60℉ to prevent the risk of algae growth while your pool is closed.

If you do not live in a climate where the temperature gets below freezing or stays there for several days at a time, there may be no need to winterize your pool. In such a case, you should simplymake sure that water circulates periodically when the temperature is below freezingand hopefully you have a pool heater so that you can keep enjoying your pool year round.

How to winterize an above ground pool – Pool closing in14 steps

*Adapted from post on Facebook by Rigby Pools

Winterizing your pool is necessary if you live in a climate where temperatures drop below freezing
  1. Thoroughly clean your pool. This includes brushing and vacuuming, cleaning skimmer baskets, and any items you have like ladders. 
  2. Shock your pool to make sure that you kill all contaminants that may linger around and surprise you when you reopen.
  3. Backwash your filter or if you have cartridge filters clean them.
  4. Lower the water level about 4 inches below the skimmer return.
  5. Add winterizing chemicals and/or a chlorine floater. Algaecide will help prevent algae growth
  6. Remove hoses from skimmer-pump, pump-filter, filter-return and late the out to dry before storing.
  7. Remove ladders/steps and any other attachments.
  8. Inflate and install your winter pillow if using one.
  9. Remove plugs from the pump (usually 2) and the bottom of your filter and then remove your pressure gauge (optional). Place plugs, hose clamps, pressure gauge in pump basket and close the pump lid.
  10. Inspect and Make sure all O-rings/gaskets are lubed with Silicone or Teflon lube  – NO Vaseline!
  11. Remove the return eyeball fitting (aka “the jets” and If it’s stuck then tool # SP1419T will help remove it.  Plug the return with rubber plug, or threaded winter plug
  12. You may opt to leave the skimmer open or thread a Gizzmo in it.
  13. Place a cover on the pool. Feed the cover wire and tighten and then wrap with cover wrap or use clamps for added strength.
  14. Place a pump on the cover to keep the water off of it when it rains. It’s best to put it where the water is most likely to collect on the cover so you may want to put some water on it to make sure you get it in the right place. 

Safety Information About Winterizing Your Pool

  • Do not perform any activities that you do not have experience with or are not comfortable doing. Pool plumbing and electrical equipment can be dangerous if not maintained appropriately. 
  • Gas heaters require special attention when winterizing and if done improperly can be ineffective or dangerous. Consult a professional if you have a gas heater to make sure it’s properly taken care of.
  • Do not store extra pool chemicals indoors over the winter. Read manufacturer labels to understand proper storage techniques and shelf life. Pool chemicals can outgas and create hazardous conditions inside inclosed spaces.

If this is your first time closing your pool, take a look at our pool closing tips, frequently asked questions and useful suggestions for closing your pool.

So there you have it, how to close an above ground pool for the winter. And when it’s time to open the pool again, Sutro pool monitoring system has you covered! Our monitor will test your water and tell you exactly what and how much to add based on your favorite chemicals.
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