Closing your above-ground swimming pool for the winter may not be an easy job, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With a little preparation, you can be ready to tackle this fall project. To start off right, have everything you’ll need for the task on hand.
You will need:
- Pool chemicals or a pool winterizing kit
- An air compressor or shop–vac
- A pool brush and vacuum
- A telescoping pole
- A winter pool cover and accessories
Now that you have all the products you need, it’s time to get to work. By following our seven simple steps, your pool will be ready for winter in no time. From pool cleaners to above-ground swimming pool maintenance and everything in between, we have you covered.
STEP 1 — BALANCE YOUR WATER
This part of the job needs to be done ahead of time. A week before you plan to close your pool, grab a test kit and check the chemistry of the water. If you’ve religiously followed your summer pool maintenance schedule, your water shouldn’t need a ton of work.
Once you have the test results, strive to have the water’s pH levels fall between 7.2 and 7.8, the alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm and calcium hardness between 180-220 ppm. Add chemicals as needed to achieve this balance. You may also need to add shock and some algaecide if you detect any slime.
STEP 2 — CLEAN THE POOL
Once a week has passed, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Begin by setting the filter to the drain or waste position and then brush down your pool’s walls. This will help rid your pool of dirt and debris. Vacuuming, the next step, will suck up any remaining dirt. If, however, you detect algae in the water, you’ll need to give the problem areas another scrub with the brush. Once that is done, grab your vacuum and go over the pool again to get rid of any remaining grime.
STEP 3 — CLEAN AND STORE EQUIPMENT
After a busy summer, your pool ladder or drop-in steps are bound to be a bit grimy. Remove them from the water and give them a good cleaning. Once they are dry, you can store them away for the winter. Next, on the list is your skimmer baskets and solar blanket. They also will need to be cleaned, dried and stored. Slides, diving boards and other large items can remain outside, but may require cleaning in the Spring.
STEP 4 — DRAIN WATER
Finding the right water level is crucial to proper winterization. The right amount of water will protect your pool from frost and ice damage. Before draining, check out the instructions from your pool cover manufacturer or check with WCI Pools & Spas. Once winter hits, avoid using shovels or other hard items to clean your cover.
STEP 5 — DRAIN THE PUMP AND FILTER
Now that your pool water is at the right level, you can move on to draining your pump, filter and other equipment. Each piece of equipment will have a drain plug or cap that needs to be removed. These are typically located near the lowest point of the equipment. Remove each drain plug or cap and store them in a safe place where you can find them in the Spring.
STEP 6 — BLOW OUT THE LINES
If your pool is plumbed with rigid or flexible PVC lines, you will need to remove all the water from these lines. This job requires air pressure to remove water from your pool’s plumbing. This protects the lines from freezing and cracking. But blasting air from your lines too forcefully can be just as damaging. Due to the delicacy of the job, we suggest hiring a professional pool technician. Only tackle this job if you are completely confident in your skills.
If your pool uses corrugated plastic hoses that are connected to your pool and equipment with hose clamps, you can simply remove these hoses by loosening the hose clamps and removing the hoses from the fittings they are connected to.
STEP 7 — INSTALL A WINTER COVER
Your pool cover will offer protection from the winter elements while also keeping your water free of dirt. To get the most out of your cover, consider using a cover pillow and a pool cover pump as well. The pillow will help keep your cover afloat and lessen the pressure placed on the pool walls when water sits on top of the cover. While some water on top of the cover can help keep the wind from catching the cover, a pump can be used to prevent excess water from collecting on the cover.
WCI POOLS & SPAS
If you’d rather not tackle the job, give us a call at WCI Pools & Spas. We specialize in above-ground swimming pool closings and pool maintenance. We have everything you need to care for your pool, from covers and accessories, to pool cleaners and more. Visit our Ames or Urbandale showrooms or message us to learn more about our pool services.