As the colder seasons come rolling in it may be time to winterize your outdoor pool. Cold temperatures can cause damage to your pool due to freezing water. Now that you are preparing for winter and your home’s location may have some harsh weather conditions, closing up your pool properly and in a timely manner will benefit both you and your home. Winterizing your pool will help protect your pool equipment, maintain clean pool water, and save you money in the long run with efficiency. Follow our step-by-step guide to adequately closing up your pool at the end of the season.

1. Turn off heater and remove accessories

The first step to preparing your pool for winter is to turn off the heater to stop the line of heat from the pump and filter. Then remove all pool toys and accessories so that the pool area is cleared for cleaning and closing.

2. Adjust pH levels

Although it is unlikely that a lot of algae will grow during colder seasons, adjusting your pH between 7.2 – 7.8 will help reduce the chance of mold or stains from developing. Balancing the acid-alkalinity will help prevent calcium scale build-up, while also sustaining the health of your pool until it’s reopened.

3. Shock your water

Shocking your pool should be a regular maintenance step that you do, not only when winterizing your pool. Shocking involves chlorinating your pool with excess amounts of chlorine to rid of bacteria and pollutants. This will burn the chloramines that are no longer effectively killing bacteria and revive your pool water. You’ll want to buy a stronger product for shocking your pool when closing up for the winter and it can either be chlorine or non-chlorine depending on your preference, like Lowe’s Kem-Tek 5-Pack 67.5-oz Pool Shock that treats a 20,000 gallon pool for a quick and strong shock.

4. Filtration

After balancing the chemicals and shocking your water, run your filter for at least 24-48 hours.

5. Clean and remove debris

Remove any leftover debris floating atop your pool water to clear the surface. In addition to the surface, make sure to sweep the floor by vacuuming. Wipe off corners and sides of your pool to get a thorough cleaning.

6. Algaecide

Algae is a plant that can easily bloom in your pool water and increasingly grow over time by clogging your filters if not properly taken care of. Add an algaecide like Lowe’s Kem-Tek 128-oz Algae Prevention and Algaecide for less than $10 to prevent algae growth during the months your pool is closed.

7. Lower water level

Not all pools need to be emptied completely so make sure to follow your pool instruction manual before lowering the water level. Generally pools will be lowered a certain amount depending on the type of cover, inches below the skimmer. If you have tile in your pool there is the possibility that once the water freezes it can crack the tiles, which will require you to lower the water level below the tiles to prevent this from happening. Lowering the water level of your pool depends on personal preference and the type of pool that you have so make sure to read your manual carefully or consult a professional if you are unsure.

8. Drain plugs

Drain all pumps, heaters, filters, and other water lines to make sure that the water doesn’t freeze. Some equipment may need to be blown out to remove all water inside. This will help pumps and equipment stay clean and damage free. Apply winterizing drain plugs and store the removed drain plugs in the same place so they’re easy to find in the spring. After everything is drained, continue by winterizing the drains and pipes by vacuuming to dry up water so they don’t crack or freeze. There’s also the option of using antifreeze as an alternative to blowing out your lines.

9. Shut off power

Turn off the main power supply along with other equipment power and the circuit breaker.

10. Cover

Complete your pool winterizing process by covering your pool. Make sure all rips or tears in your cover are patched. Whether you have a mesh safety cover or a heavy-duty cover meant specifically for winter, seal your pool with a water, weather, and chemical resistant cover. The type of cover necessary for proper coverage will depend on your location and weather conditions.

Top Image Credit: Benco Construction