Closing an inground pool can be an overwhelming process, but it doesn’t have to be. There are nine simple steps for preparing your pool for the colder months that, with care, can have your pool ready for the spring. Keep reading to learn the steps behind how to close an inground pool.
1. Clean the Pool Surface
It is essential to clean the pool surface before winter to avoid buildup and contaminants while the pool isn’t being used. Scrub the walls with a stiff brush and clean the ladder, handrails and all other additional equipment. Vacuum the floor of the pool and make sure to check the skimmers and clear any debris.
Testing the Water
Before adding any chemicals, test the water and adjust the alkalinity, pH level and chlorine content if it is needed. This will help ensure that the water quality of the pool is balanced when you reopen it next spring.
Adding the Chemicals
Once the levels are balanced, you can start to add the winterizing chemicals. This can include algaecides, defoamers, clarifiers and more. Read the labeling on each product and follow the guidelines for proper usage. After adding the chemicals, allow the water to circulate for 4-5 hours.
2. Remove All Equipment
It is essential to remove all drain plugs, ladders, handrails and additional equipment. All above-ground items and diving boards should be stored in a safe, covered and dry area.
Winterizing an Above-Ground Pool
An above-ground pool should never be left full of water for the winter and should instead be drained. Make sure to also remove any filters, hoses, ladders and other attachments from the pool.
Winterizing an Inground Pool
All equipment should be removed and stored, but an inground pool should not be completely drained–just lower the water level. Additionally, if the pool has an auto cleaner, remove the cleaner, hose and any attachments and store them in a safe place.
3. Winterizing the Pump and Filter
The pump and filter in your pool are essential to not only help keep the water clean but also to help circulate the chemicals. It is important to winterize these elements before the pool is closed.
How to Disconnect the Pumps
The steps for disconnecting the pump will depend on the type of pool. For an above-ground pool, you will need to disconnect the hoses from the pump and remove any additional items. For an inground pool, disconnect the pump, remove the filter, drain the hoses and pump and store them in a safe dry area.
Cleaning the Filter
After each season, the filter should be cleaned and inspected for any damage or issues. Any cycling changes should also be finished at this point.
4. Winterize the Heater
If your pool has a heater, it will need to be winterized or drained. This can vary based on if it is a gas or electric system.
For a gas heater, you need to turn the pilot system off and disconnect the propane or natural gas line completely.
An electric system can be left alone, but it is recommended to shut off the power to eliminate any potential damage.
5. Covering the Pool
Covering your pool is an important step for maintaining it during the winter months. A good cover can help keep contaminants out and ensure that your pool is safe and ready for the spring. There are a few different types of covers to choose from, so you need to consider the shape of your pool and the climate of your home.
Solid covers are typically heavier and more secure, but they may require more labor for installation as it involves more pieces. They also provide more security for your pool.
Mesh covers are easier to install, but they might not provide the same protection level as a solid cover. They are held on by the weight of water, so it is important to make sure they are installed correctly.
6. pH Levels and Water Balance
After the pool has been cleaned, the next step is making sure the pH levels are balanced. Use a pool water test kit to examine the levels and then adjust the water accordingly.
Chlorinating the Water
The last step for balancing the pH levels is to chlorinate the water. This will help make sure there are no contaminants and that the water will be safe when it reopens in the spring.
7. Check for Leaks
Before closing the pool, check for any potential leak and make any necessary repairs. That could include checking the filter housing and inspecting the strainer baskets for any cracks. Taking care of any problems before closing the pool will save money and time come spring.
8. Close the Returns and Inlets
With the filter and pump off and the water balanced, you can start to shut off the inlet and return lines. This could involve removing the eyeball fittings, plugs or hose caps.
9. Prepare the Circulating System
After all the lines and pumps are off, you can start to prepare the rest of the s system for winter. This includes checking the compressor and generator and removing any hoses, fittings and plugs.
People Also Ask
Do I have to drain my pool for the winter?
The answer to this depends on the type of your pool. An above-ground pool should be drained before closing, but an inground pool should just have its water levels lowered.
How cold does it have to be to close the pool?
The temperature doesn’t need to drop to a certain number, but it should be consistently cold before you close your pool. Generally, this should be when temperatures are consistently below around 70 degrees.
Do I need to winterize my filter?
Yes, it is important to winterize your filter to ensure it does not get damaged in the cold weather. Make sure to clean the filter and adjust the cycling before closing your pool for the winter.
Is it OK to leave a pool cover on all winter?
It is certainly safe to leave a cover on for the winter months, as long as it is the correct type for your pool. Make sure to check the cover throughout the winter as well and remember to remove it come spring.
Closing a pool is an annual maintenance task but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Following the steps outlined in this article will help ensure that you can get the job done right and keep your pool safe until the warmer months.