Blog originaly found on poolcenter
Balance the water chemistry:
Approximately 3 – 7
days prior to closing the pool, adjust your water balance within the ranges
- pH: 7.2 – 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
Then, shock the pool
with a Chlorine Shock or a Non-Chlorine Shock, at least 1lb per 10,000 gallons (follow
package directions). Allow the chlorine level to return to 1.0 – 3.0 ppm before
adding any winter algaecide and your pool cover. Chlorine tends to break down
both algaecides and [floating] pool covers.
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.
Lower water level in pool.
Using the filter pump,
or a submersible pump, lower the level 12″ – 18″ below the skimmer
for mesh covers, and 3″ – 6″ below the tile for solid, floating
covers. If you are using an Aquador skimmer cover on aboveground or inground pools for some vinyl lined pools, the water level
will not need to be lowered.
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,
compressor or Mighty Vac is good to blow out any water that may still be in
Fall closing of the pool
is a good time to lubricate the pump lid o-ring o-rings with Magic Lube. If you have a push-pull valve (also known as a
slide valve) on the filter, lubricate it’s o-rings as well. If you have a gas
heater with cast iron plugs, lubricate these threads or leave the plugs in
after draining to prevent rusting.
Skim pool, vacuum pool, brush pool. Leaf rake (bag) types skim nets are best. Also useful for scooping large amounts of
leaves/debris from pool floor. If pool is especially silty or has lots of
algae, Vacuum 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 to waste
position (usually 2pm, if viewed as a clock face) 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.
Winterize the plumbing to and from the pool
If you have an inground
pool, you should blow out the lines using a Mighty Vac to blow air from the skimmer, through the
equipment, and back to the pool. Then plug the lines at the pool using expansion plugs. If you don’t blow the lines, add Swimming
Pool Antifreeze into the line (follow package directions). Above
ground pools usually just need to disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and
filter, and plug the wall outlets.
Add winterizing algaecide and other floaters.
Remember not to add
algaecide and shock at the same time. This tends to result in the chlorine
breaking down the algaecide. High chlorine levels can also be harsh to floating
solid pool covers. For winter chemical kits, click here.
Cover the pool.
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 are not safe and will require a cover pump
or siphon to remove rain water and snow melt. Water Bags or AquaBloks 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. Air Pillows are used in above ground pools to absorb the
expansion of ice inside the pool. In areas of high wind, an above ground pool
owner will find wall bags or cover seal useful products. A leaf net is very useful if you have a lot of trees surrounding
In areas where it rarely gets below freezing
temperatures, many people simply reduce the amount of filtration time per day,
and also will find that the pool needs fewer chemicals. Covering the pool, even
if not winterizing, will reduce cleaning and chemical and filtering demand even