How to Close Your Above Ground Pool for the Winter

How to Close Your Above Ground Pool for the WinterWhen the days get shorter and the temperatures drop heading into the Fall weather, it is time to close up the swimming pool until the next warm season. Closing is not difficult if you follow some basic steps and it makes opening the following season easy as well.

Our Pick for Pool Closing Needs

Learning how to close your above ground pool for the winter is extremely important. It needs to be done properly or there is a risk that the pool be damaged as well as the pumps and lines. Following the proper procedure and buying the proper items needed is part of pool ownership. Our pick for finding the best options for these items is found under pool closing supplies. There is a wide range of items that are specifically designed for winterizing above ground pools and the various sizes and types that they come in.

Steps to Closing Your Pool

Taylor K2005 Swimming Pool Chlorine Bromine Alkalinity Hardness pH DP Test Kit

Taylor Technologies K-2005 Compete Test Kit, High Range. Maintaining a safe pool/spa water for the public is an important responsibility.

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1. Balance the Chemistry of the Water – This step takes some pre-planning. The water needs to have the proper balance of chemicals that needs to be set a week before you actually close the pool. Use a test kit to make sure the levels of chemicals are in the range that is needed for closing. pH needs to be between 7.2-7.6, the alkalinity range is 80-120ppm (parts per million) and the calcium hardness should range between 180-220ppm.

In The Swim Super Pool Shock

Super Pool Shock is our most powerful shock treatment. It will kill the toughest algae and bacteria as well as other harmful water contaminants. 

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2. Shock the Pool – Once the pool water has the proper chemistry confirmed then it is time to add granular chlorine or non-chlorine to it. This is called pool shock. It is used several days ahead of closing to get rid of contaminants that might leave stains or start algae growing over the winter. Put in one bag which equals approximately one pound for every 10,000 gallons of water in the pool. You will need to double or triple this if your water already has a haze or is green. Once you have put in the shock, then brush the walls and floor to make sure all the contaminants are treated.

The Wall Whale Classic Swimming Pool Brush

The Wall Whale provides an effortless and powerful brushing force. Just like the spoiler on a car helps it hug the road, the Wall Whale's Wall hugging action directs power to where it is needed, reducing the strain on the user and increasing cleaning effectiveness.

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3. Closing up means cleaning up. The day that you decide to close the pool, it needs to be vacuumed, brushed and skimmed. This should be done before the water is lowered and then again right before you cover the pool. This is to make sure nothing gets in at the last minute. Any type of debris left in the pool can cause stains and affect the water’s chemical balance.

4. Take out all accessories. Removing the skimmer basket, fittings, solar covers, ladders, and cleaners are important as they can get damaged over the winter. Dry them off and put them somewhere safe for the winter months.

Simpooltech Wide Mouth Skimmer Plug

Keep your wide mouth skimmer dry all winter long without draining your pool. No need to replace the faceplate, simply press the plug in to close off the skimmer. 

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5. Reduce the water level. This needs to be done if you do not have a skimmer plug. Even with the plug you still need to drain the pipes and hose to the pump. If you do not use the plug, then the water needs to be drained to below the skimmer so frozen water will not harm it. 3” below should be fine. Clear all lines, the skimmer, and valves of water.

Greenworks 24V wet/ dry shop vacuum

Greenworks 24V wet/ dry shop vacuum features a 3-gallon tank, 20 Min run-time, crevice & Floor nozzle accessories, & wet/ dry capabilities.


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Make sure the pipes are drained and plugs are in. The return line needs to be plugged and the hose drained. If you have PVC pipes on your pool, use a shop vac to blow the water out of the pipes and then add pool antifreeze to protect them.

6. Drain all the pool equipment. Any pump, filter, heater, or chlorinator needs to have all the water blown out of their lines. If you do not do this step, any leftover water can freeze and break the equipment. Once drained then put in plugs as needed.

Climate Shield OSCS-HPC Heat Pump Covers

Climate Shield Covers are Universal. "One Size Fits All" by designing "Hook and Loop" seams, adjustable straps, and cinch drawstrings into each cover; you can adjust the cover to custom fit any make or model of Pool Heater or Heat Pump. 

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7. Shut off any power or gas supply to your pool heater. If it is outdoors then a heater cover is helpful. It will prevent damage from snow, cold and animals.

8. Make sure to lubricate the O-rings or any other threaded pieces so they maintain their integrity over the winter and do not crack.

In The Swim Ultimate Winterizing and Closing Chemical Kit

To help simplify and save you time in winterizing and closing your pool, we recommend using one of our kits.

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9. Add winterizing chemicals as the final step before putting the cover on. Add in algaecide and a chemical floater so the water will stay clean over the winter and leave you less of a mess when you open the pool back up. You can buy a winterizing kit that will work with your pool size. It usually includes algaecide, shock, and other preventative chemicals.

In The Swim Round Ultimate Above Ground Winter Pool Cover

The cover is a generous size and reinforced around the edges, but the material is extremely light weight.

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10. The final step on how to close your above ground pool for the winter is to put the winter cover on the pool. It needs to be tight to make sure that debris can not get in over the winter months. Buy a winter cover that is a good fit for your size pool. Closing the pool should also include items such as wall bags to make sure that the winter pool cover will stay on in high winds and bad weather.

Extras for Closing an Above Ground Pool

While you do not need to buy a bunch of extra items, some can make reopening the pool in the spring easier while also taking care of your pool over the cold months. An can be used to make sure and ice sheet will not form beneath the pool cover if the temperature drops below freezing for an extended period of time. It will protect the walls and skimmer of the pool.

A leaf catcher on top of the cover is also helpful. They tend to be made of light yet tough mesh that will make sure you can pull off any debris easily before taking the cover off in the spring. Using this can save you hours of cleaning the swimming pool.

Mastercraft 1/6 HP Pool Cover Pump

The lightweight pool cover pump hose features a detachable base, so you can also use it with other water applications around the home. The power to do the job whatever the size of your pool cover, this swimming pool cover pump can handle the job. 

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The final item you may find useful in your winter closing routine is a pool cover pump. This is a way to get rid of rainwater or melted snow if it builds up on the cover. It will take the weight of the water off, so the cover does not get moved off the pool itself.

Source of Featured Image: canva.com

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