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You should close and winterize your pool ahead of the frost to keep your equipment and water lines from freezing. Try not to close your pool too early though - if you wait until the water temperature is consistently below 15 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit) then you'll have less algae growth throughout the Winter season. The following guide will work for inground pools sanitized using chlorine or salt water.
Step 1) Get your equipment organized
Before you close your pool check your equipment to ensure it's in good shape and you have everything you need. This includes:
TIP: Purchase one of our pool closing kits to get all of the winter chemicals you need in one handy package! Plus, our deluxe pool closing chemical kits include a non-chlorine shock, perfect for use with both chlorine and salt water pools.
Step 2) Prepare the pool
Step 3) Prepare filters and pumps
TIP: Put your drain plug, fittings and other small items in the pump basket so you can find them easily come spring.
Step 4) Prepare your pool heater (if applicable)
Is your family complaining about the temperature of your pool? Browse our pool heaters to find the right option for your pool.
Step 5) Drain and blow out your lines
TIP: Avoid using anti-freeze, which can cause a mess when you open your pool. Anti-freeze is not necessary if your lines are properly blown out.
What type of plugs should you use?
Threaded plugs are best. Plugs with rubber gaskets or 'O' rings help form a proper seal so that water does not enter the line. If your pool fittings are not threaded you'll have to use a rubber freeze plug.
Step 6) Plug the skimmer hole
Many people prefer to use a Gizzmo, which allows for expansion without damaging the skimmer system. A Gizzmo is a hollow tube that collapses if water gets into the skimmer and freezes. It is a great device to help you seal the skimmer line.
Another option is to use a skimmer plate over the mouth of the skimmer. The Skimsaver is a plastic plate that keeps water out of the skimmer. The benefit of using a skimmer plate is that you can leave the water level up for the winter season. A skimmer plate is only recommended for use in pools with vinyl linings.
To plug your skimmer hole:
Step 7) Balance your chemicals
Whether you have a salt water or chlorine pool, you want to ensure your water chemistry is balanced before closing up for winter. Balancing the following areas will help you protect your pool liner from staining:
A Closing chemical kit will keep your water cleaner for the next season. Make sure that any granular chemicals are well dissolved. Always follow the instructions and test the chemical levels after you've added them to ensure they are balanced.
Step 8) Install your pool cover
With a winter cover that's properly installed and in good condition, you'll be better able to keep your pool clear of winter debris and you'll have a cleaner pool in spring, which means it'll be easier to open.
Do you have the right cover? Browse our pool covers to see your options.
Installing a Winter pool cover
Lay the cover on the pool and place filled water bags along the edge of the cover, end to end, surrounding the perimeter of the pool. Ensure you place the water bags through the loops on the cover of the pool. Tuck the water bags into the corner pockets of the cover to strengthen the anchoring.
Don’t overfill the water bags because when the water inside freezes they will expand and if the bags are too full they could burst.
Once your Winter cover has been installed, ensure it is sitting on the water properly according to the diagram below.
Installing a safety cover
If you have a winter pool safety cover then you won't have to deal with water bags. Before installing the cover inspect the condition of the anchors that have previously been installed on your pool deck. They should be in good shape and remain flush with the deck of your pool.
Snap the cover into the anchors, as per the manufacturer's instructions. If you've got a safety cover you should perform light maintenance over the winter months by removing leaves or other debris from the cover with a leaf blower or rake. This maintenance will make opening the pool easier in spring.
Step 9) Clean and store your equipment
Once your cover is in place you can store any remaining pool equipment and accessories in a clean, dry place throughout the winter months.
Closing your pool will protect it during winter and make life easier in spring when it's time to open it up and enjoy it again. Ensure you have properly blown out the lines to remove all water, keep your liner in good shape by ensuring all chemicals are dissolved and in balance, and use a cover to protect your pool from the elements.
Contact us to purchase your winter pool equipment, or ask any questions. Happy hibernating. We'll see you in the Spring!