How to Properly Close Your Pool


Above Ground Pool Winterization

  • 1. One to two weeks prior to closing, add Natural Chemistry’s Pool Magic Spring & Fall.

  • 2. Vacuum and skim pool so it is free of leaves and other debris. Backwash sand filters, and clean D.E. and element filters.

  • 3. Adjust pH of water to between 7.2 and 7.6 ppm and alkalinity from 80 - 120 ppm.

  • 4. Remove ladder, over-the-wall light, and alarm from pool. Pool entry systems should be drained and removed from pool. Store chemicals, test kits, and other equipment in a cool, dry place away from sun and freezing temperatures.

  • 5. Inspect pool and equipment for any repairs or cleaning that may be necessary. If a pool is not resin coated, it is a good idea to apply a coat of high-quality auto wax onto the frame and sidewall for added protection.

  • 6. Super chlorinate with liquid chlorine or another chlorine source, and add Swimway winterizing chemical kit to pool. Allow filter to circulate 2 - 4 hours to evenly distribute chemicals before covering. (Use chemicals per manufacturer label.) Note: Using more liquid chlorine than the recommendation will damage your winter cover.

  • 7. Remove the return eyeball and ring. Insert a winterizing plug in its place. Either:

    1. Lower water level 1” below skimmer using a submersible pump or waste setting on filter, remove skimmer basket and place styrofoam inside skimmer, or

    2. Use an Aquador winterizing plate and cover skimmer door opening with plastic snap-on lid. Note: It is not necessary to lower water level in pool when using this method. To winterize a return inlet light, follow manufacturer’s instructions.

  • 8. Disconnect, drain, and clean filter. Bring it inside to keep from freezing. Refer to manufacturer’s filter instruction for your particular unit. This is a good time to put pool lube on O-rings for longer life. With element filters, soak cartridges in Leisure Time Filter Clean.

  • 9. Clean liner above the water line with Swimway Tile & Vinyl Cleaner or Natural Chemistry's Clean & Perfect. (Use as label indicates).

  • 10. Pad sharp corners and rough edges with old towels, plastic foam, etc. to protect the cover from damage. Pools with decks may require additional padding and the use of water tubes in place of tie downs.

  • 11. Inflate an air pillow to approximately 2/3 full with the exhaust from household vacuum cleaner. Install air pillow in center of pool as an ice compensator and to distribute water around the outer edges of the cover for a more secure hold.

  • 12. Cover pool so that the cover rests loosely on the surface of the water and drapes over the side (see illustration below).

Pool Cover
  • 13. Attach cable or tie down system and tighten around the pool.

  • 14. Add 1” of water to the top of the pool cover to hold it down and prevent flapping in high winds. For extra protection use Cover Clips at the rate of 2 clips between each set of uprights. Never use weights (i.e. milk jugs) as this will cause unwanted wear and tear.

  • Notes for during the winter:

    • 1. If water accumulates more than 3” on the cover, remove it with a Cover Care Siphon or submersible pump.

    • 2. As water is removed from the cover during winter, you need to add additional fresh water under the cover at the same rate.

    • 3. Make certain no one is allowed near the pool when pool water is frozen, as any sharp blows against the side wall might permanently damage the liner.

    • 4. Never use pool as a skating rink.

    Should you have additional questions about closing your above ground pool, please contact one of our pool experts.  

Inground & Semi-Inground Pool Winterization

 

  1. One to two weeks prior to closing add Natural Chemistry’s Pool Magic Spring & Fall.

  2. Vacuum and skim pool so it is free of leaves and other debris. Backwash sand filters, clean D.E. and element filters.

  3. Adjust pH of water to between 7.2 and 7.6. Total Alkalinity should be between 8.0 - 120 ppm. Concrete, gunite, and plaster pools should maintain alkalinity closer to 120 ppm.

  4. Remove ladder and handrails, etc. Store chemicals and plastic equipment in a cool, dry place away from sun and freezing temperatures.

  5. Inspect pool and equipment for any repairs or cleaning that may be necessary.

  6. Super chlorinate with liquid chlorine or other chlorine source and add winterizing chemical kit to pool; allow filter to circulate to evenly distribute chemicals. (Use chemicals as labels indicate.) Use 1 gallon of liquid chlorine per 10,000 gallons of pool water.

  7. Clean liner above the water line with Swimway Tile & Vinyl Cleaner or Natural Chemistry's Clean & Perfect. (Use as label indicates.)

  8. Install Extension Blow Out(s) or Gizzmo(s) in skimmer(s). Make sure that you use teflon tape on fittings.

  9. Connect air compressor to pump housing, if possible. If housing has no drain plug for a connection, you should connect compressor to pressure gauge inlet on valve head. A shop vac can be used in place of an air compressor by hooking it to an Extension Blow Out that has been threaded into the skimmer.

  10. Make sure valve head is on “recirculate” mode for sand filters. If you have a D.E. filter rather than a sand filter, you must remove the “fingers” or “grids” and reassemble the tank. From this point on, you will need two people to complete the winterizing process. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning D.E. fingers or element cartridges.

  11. Leave skimmer and main drain lines open. Turn on air compressor or shop vacuum to purge all lines. Hold plug by the return line that begins to empty first to build up pressure, then remove. Repeat this process until all of the water is out of the line (normally 3-4 times). You can tell when the line is properly purged by sticking your finger in the return.

Cap off the return line with the proper plug. Repeat this process for all return lines. Turn off air compressor or shop vac when last line is purged.

  1. Pour one gallon of non-toxic antifreeze into the Extension Blow Out(s), using a shop vac. Blow air into the Extension Blow Out until antifreeze appears in hair and leaf housing. Cap Extension Blow Out.

  2. The skimmer and main valves are to remain open. Position the multiport valve handle (sand filters) between any two settings. This ensures all ports are partially open to allow for freeze expansion.

  3. After purging all plumbing lines be sure the water level is half way up the skimmer or the summertime water level.

  4. Pull cover across pool with the colored side of cover facing up. Center cover on pool so overlap is even all of the way around the pool. DO NOT stretch the cover tight.

  5. Place water tubes on cover or through loops, if available. Place water tubes end to end to prevent wind from getting under the cover. Fill each water tube approximately 3/4 full with water. This keeps it from rolling and allows for ice expansion.

  6. Add 1 inch of water to the top of the cover to hold it down and to prevent it from flapping in high winds.

  7. Allow no more than three inches of water to accumulate on top of any cover. Remove excess water with a cover pump. Since the weight of water on top of the cover will displace water in the pool, it is necessary that fresh water be added to the pool itself as water is taken off the cover. This is very important; if not done serious damage can occur to the pool, including floating liner or ground upheaval, which is not covered under most inground swimming pool warranties.

  8. Never use a pool as a skating rink.

Should you have additional questions about closing your inground pool, please contact one of our pool experts.