How to close an inground pool for Winter: Is it really time?
Knowing how to close in ground pool for winter is integral to preserving the quality of your pool environment in the off season. It helps you preserve your investment and maximize the fun. By closing your pool the right way, you ensure it’s ready to be used immediately when you open again next year.
By closing properly, you also help ensure your above ground pool and its equipment stay in great condition when the cold winter weather arrives.
When should you close your pool and how can you do it? Here’s a look at our top facts and tips as well as the best steps to follow for a seamless and comprehensive process when closing your pool.
When should I close my pool for winter?
The warm weather is coming to an end and those crisp fall nights are easing in. Is it time to close the pool? As a general rule, it’s important to wait to close your pool until the water temperature drops to a consistently low temperature. You want it to be below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In New York, this point often comes sometime in September or October and finding the right moment is a bit of a balancing act.
Closing your pool when the water and weather is cooler helps ensure you keep algae and bacterial growth at bay. This reduces your chances of developing a “green pool” when you reopen next season, which is important because algae in your pool in spring will require a lot of extra maintenance and can be expensive to get rid of. If you wait too long to close, however, you risk encountering the first frost, and this can be dangerous. You don’t want to wait too long as this can result in your equipment and water lines freezing up, causing damage.
So, when is the right time? The optimal time to close your pool is after the water cools to below 60 degrees Fahrenheit but before the first frost.
How to Close an Inground Pool for Winter
Closing a pool properly for winter involves several steps that must be completed accurately. If water is left inside plumbing lines, pumps, or filter systems, for example, it can freeze and this can permanently damage your equipment. You also want to make sure you’re using the right type and amount of winterizing chemicals to keep your water clean and fresh for reopening next spring.
Drain some of the water
First, you need to drain some of the water from your pool. You don’t need to empty it completely-in fact, this isn’t recommended- but it can help to drain some of the water. Take the water level down to below the skimmer level. This allows your lines to be winterized properly. (this can’t be done well if water can still enter them).
Assemble all needed equipment
You want to ensure all your equipment is in good working order and that you have everything you need for closing. To do this, collect your:
● Winter cover
● Skimmer plugs
● Water bags
● Return jet plugs
● Air compressor/Shop vac
● Winter chemicals
Check over your cover to make sure there aren’t any rips or tears. Repair spots that need attention. For a new cover, turn to our superior standard Loop-Loc Pool Safety Covers for the best in durability and safety. Theres no better pool cover than a Loop-Loc.
Next, inspect your skimmer plugs and return jet plugs for cracks and holes. If you’re using a vinyl cover, make sure you have enough water bags to run the perimeter of your entire pool when it’s installed. Ensure your air compressor or powerful shop vac is working and can clean out your lines.
Remove and stow your deck hardware
In order to protect plastic and metal from the harsh winter, remove handrails, ladders, and your diving board and stow them away for the winter. You also want to make sure to collect all flotation devices, ropes, pool accessories and toys. Clean, disinfect and dry these before storing them for the season.
Prepare your pump and filters
Next, disconnect and drain your pump and filters. Make sure you drain these completely. Pull out the drain plug from your pool pump and empty it. Store your drain plug in the basket for next season. Drain your filter tanks and clean the filter, leaving the backwash valve open. Remove your jet fittings and skimmer baskets and use your air compressor or a shop vac to remove all the water from the multiport valve.
Finally, find a dry, protected space to store your pump and filter for the winter. Place your drain plug and other small fittings in your pump basket for easy finding next season.
Purge your plumbing lines
You want to ensure you’ve removed all the water from your plumbing lines so they don’t freeze. Use your air compressor or a shop vac to blow out the lines. You can do this by hooking up your shop vac or compressor to the return lines of your filter system. Drain each line completely and plug each line once emptied. If your system has a main drain line, you can blow it out until bubbles appear from the drain and then close the valve after this.
Prepare your pool heater
Next, turn off the power and the gas valves on your pool heater. Disconnect the pipes and drain your heater by blowing out the lines with your shop vac or compressor. Remove the plugs and store them someplace you can recall next spring. Remove the heater tray if needed. Cover the heater with a protective layer to prevent rust and corrosion.
Plug your skimmer hole
As with other parts of your pool, your skimmer hole also needs protecting. To keep water from freezing and breaking the skimmer, plug it. You can do this with a skimmer plate set over the mouth of the skimmer, or an item like a Gizzmo skimmer plug. Be sure to blow out your skimmer pipes before plugging the hole.
Winterize and balance your chemicals
Every pool needs balanced chemistry in the pool water before being closed for the winter. This ensures the water is kept in the best condition for next year and protects your pool liner from staining. You need to balance the pool’s total pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness to do this.
Winterization chemicals can be purchased as a closing chemical kit, or you can buy all elements individually. Make sure all granular chemicals are fully dissolved to ensure the entire water area is well balanced and that you read and follow all product instructions to make sure your pool stays protected.
Winterize your spa
You also want to ensure you prepare any spa located on your property for the winter as well. Do the same as you do for your pool so that it’s ready for use in the spring. If left untreated, you could find yourself with a “green spa” next spring and this is something you want to avoid so you can maximize your use.
Install your pool cover
Finally, it’s time to install your winter pool cover. This can help keep your pool free from debris over the winter and help the water avoid exposure to sunlight. You want to conserve the winter chemicals you’ve applied, and this can help.
To install the cover, lay it over the pool and secure it around the edges using water bags. Place the water bags through the loops of your pool cover and tuck them into corner pockets on the cover for a secure fit. The water inside the bags will freeze, and so you want to avoid overfilling them, so they don’t rip and burst. Maneuver your cover so that it sits flush with the pool walls and water and isn’t drooping in the middle.
Are you looking for a superior pool cover that doesn’t need bags? The Loop Loc safety cover is easily installed as a snap cover using anchors. It complements the look of your backyard with a sleek finish and is easily installed.
Contact Majestic Pool and allow us to close your pool for you
Closing a pool takes time, effort, and attention to detail. If you don’t wish to close your own pool this season and would prefer to leave the work to the professionals, please contact us. We offer comprehensive pool closing services to match your needs with fully trained technicians ready to do the work. We ensure your pool is treated and protected so it can withstand the winter and will be ready for use next spring.