If you want to know how to winterize an in-ground pool, then you are at the right place. When the last summer days arrive, it’s time to prepare your pool for the cooler months. This guide will teach you how to winterize in-ground pool as well as above-ground pools.
After a fun summer in the pool, make sure you properly “winterize” it before closing it up for the season. These steps are part of proper pool maintenance and will help ensure that your pool is in top shape when reopening.
When Should You Begin Winterizing Your Pool?
Begin the winterizing process after the season has ended, when the temperature consistently falls below 65 degrees F.
If you begin too soon, you may encounter algae, which thrives in warmer temperatures. Allow yourself a week to complete this process because several steps must be completed over a few days.
How to Winterize an In-Ground Pool: 8 Easy Steps
To prepare your pool for the winter months, follow the following steps.
Step 1: Take away all pool accessories
Begin by removing pool accessories such as skimmer baskets, cleaners, ladders, steps, and solar blankets. Hose off any dirt or algae, allow the items to dry, and store them in a secure location for the winter.
Loosen the bolt on the ladder anchor socket. When it has risen about 1/2 inch, use a heavy wrench to bring it back down. Wiggle the ladder loosely so that the pool cover fits properly. Inspect the treads of your ladder for cracks and tighten any loose ladder bolts. Most ladders can be stored outside, but plastic steps may last longer if kept indoors. Handrails, fill spouts, eyeball fittings, pool cleaners, and skimmer baskets should also be removed. Keep them in a safe place where you can find them again in the spring. This is #1 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Step 2: Thoroughly clean the pool
Remove all leaves, silt, and other debris from your pool to keep it as clean as possible. This will make balancing the water chemistry and preventing mould and algae growth easier. Clean the pool’s surface with skim nets and remove all debris from the bottom with a pool vacuum. Then, brush the pool’s floor and sides thoroughly.
Keep your clean pool covered between steps so that it doesn’t become dirty again while you’re winterizing. This is #2 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Step 3: Change the chemistry of the water
Test the water chemistry a week before closing the pool to ensure that the alkalinity is between 80 and 150 parts per million (ppm), the pH is between 7.2 and 7.6, the calcium hardness is between 175 and 225 ppm, and the chlorine level is between 1 ppm and 3 ppm.
Adjust as needed, and balance the alkalinity before tackling the pH. Err on the side of caution with each of these measurements, as the levels will naturally decrease over time. This is #3 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Step 4: Reduce the water level
If you do not use a skimmer cover and live in an area where the water freezes during the winter, you must lower the water level of your pool before closing it.
If you have a mesh cover, the water level should be about a foot below the skimmer and half a foot below the skimmer if you have a solid cover. This process may take a day or two, depending on how you remove the water from your pool. This is #4 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Step 5: Drain and store the machinery
It is critical to drain all equipment so that water does not expand and cause damage when temperatures drop below freezing.
Blower the water out of the pool lines, then plug them up with expansion plugs. Consider adding pool antifreeze if you want to be extra cautious about preventing burst pipes.
Drain all filters, pumps, and heaters (most of this equipment will have drain plugs). Furthermore, all filters must be removed and cleaned. Store the filter and pump indoors for the winter if possible. This is #5 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Step 6: Mix in the shock and algaecide.
Add shock, which kills bacteria, and algaecide, which kills algae, before covering the pool. Depending on the type of shock you purchase, you may need to do this a few days before officially closing the pool. Follow the package directions, and evenly distribute the chemicals throughout the pool rather than pouring them in one spot. If you’re using chlorine shock (rather than non-chlorine shock), don’t mix it in with the algaecide. This is #6 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Step7: Protect the Pool
If necessary, skim the pool again to ensure it is as clean as possible. To avoid bringing dirt and debris into your freshly cleaned pool, clean the pool cover. Inspect the cover for tears or rips as you spread it over the pool. Move these problem areas to the deck or close to the edge if possible, and avoid placing your cover pump over the tears.
Apply cover patches as needed — for solid winter covers, use poly patches, and for safety covers, use mesh or solid patches. Depending on the type of pool cover, secure it with water bags (inground winter cover), straps and anchors (safety cover), or a cable-and-winch assembly. This is #7 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Step 8: Disable System Components
Turn off your pool heater’s pilot, turn off the gas supply, and turn the gas valve to OFF. Disconnect the pressure switch on gas heaters with pressure switches hanging down connected to a siphon loop to drain the copper tubing. Make sure your heater is free of pool water by opening the drain plugs on both the intake and outlet headers.
At the circuit breaker box, turn off the power to the pump, light, and heater. If your pool pump has a clock, turn it off and remove the timer dogs. Turn off any other electrical components you don’t want to use during the winter, such as a salt system or chemical pump. This is #8 step on how to winterize an in-ground pool.
Even though winterizing a pool is relatively simple, especially if you’re a seasoned do-it-yourselfer, some steps are more difficult. Blowing out the lines correctly can be difficult, but it is especially important if you live somewhere with harsh winters.
Whether you handle all other aspects of pool care on your own or not, closing your pool for the winter may be the one time of year when you hire a pro. That’s perfectly fine! When you ensure that your inground pool is properly closed, you will avoid costly freeze damage, and re-opening your pool in the spring will be a breeze.
Q1. How to winterize an inground saltwater pool
8 Steps for Winterizing a Salt Water Pool:
1. DO NOT Add Salt.
2. Balance the Water.
3. Clean the Pool.
4. Remove Equipment from the Pool.
5. Add Winter Chemicals.
6. Lower the Water Level.
7. Winterize the Salt Generator.
8. Properly Drain and Clean All Equipment.
Q2. How do I winterize my above-ground pool?
Here are some steps on how do you winterize your above-ground pool.
Step 1: Deep Clean.
Step 2: Balance your Water.
Step 3: Add Winterizing Chemicals.
Step 4: Add Pump Protector.
Step 5: Protect Your Return and Skimmer.
Step 6: Prepare Your Filter for Hibernation.
Step 7: Clear the Pool.
Step 8: Set Up Ice Equalizer Pillow.