How to Winterize Inground Pools: Essential Maintenance Tips

How to Winterize Inground Pool?

To winterize an inground pool, there are several steps that need to be followed.

First, remove any ladders, accessories, handrails, fill spouts, eyeball fittings, pool cleaners, and skimmer baskets, and store them safely for spring.

Next, balance the water chemistry by testing and adjusting the pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine levels.

Brush and shock the pool to remove any algae or organic materials.

Thoroughly skim, vacuum, and brush the pool before covering it.

Lower the water level, turn off system components, and use a chlorine-free pool closing kit or non-chlorine shock.

Clean and inspect the filters, then blow air through the equipment and pipes.

Install pool plugs, use a skimmer guard and pool antifreeze, and fill water bags or lift safety cover anchors.

Clean the pool and cover, inspect for tears or rips, and secure the cover with water bags, straps, anchors, or a cable-and-winch assembly.

Start the winterizing process when the temperature consistently dips below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Key Points:

  • Remove ladders, accessories, handrails, fill spouts, eyeball fittings, cleaners, and skimmer baskets and store for spring.
  • Test and adjust water chemistry including pH, alkalinity, hardness, and chlorine levels.
  • Brush and shock the pool to eliminate algae and organic materials.
  • Skim, vacuum, and brush pool thoroughly before covering.
  • Lower water level, turn off system components, and use a chlorine-free closing kit or non-chlorine shock.
  • Clean and inspect filters, blow air through equipment and pipes, and install pool plugs and skimmer guard.

Did You Know?

1. Did you know that winterizing your inground pool can actually help prevent leaks? By properly draining the water and adding antifreeze to the plumbing lines, you reduce the risk of frozen water expanding and causing cracks or ruptures.

2. When winterizing your inground pool, it is essential to balance the chemicals before closing it down for the season. Not only does this maintain water quality, but it also helps prevent algae growth, staining, and corrosion during the winter months.

3. One often overlooked step in the winterization process is removing any excess water from the pool’s skimmer and return lines. Failure to do so may result in frozen water expanding and damaging these vital components of your inground pool.

4. Covering your inground pool during the winter not only prevents debris from entering the water but also helps to significantly reduce the amount of evaporation that occurs. This can save you money on water and chemicals when it comes time to reopen your pool in the spring.

5. To further protect your inground pool during the winter, consider investing in a pool pillow. Placed underneath the cover, this inflatable cushion helps support the cover’s weight and prevents excessive stress being placed on your pool walls due to heavy snowfall, which can lead to structural damage.

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Removing And Storing Pool Accessories

Winterizing an inground pool is crucial for those who live in colder climates.

One of the key steps in this process is removing and storing pool accessories.

Before closing the pool for the winter, it is essential to remove:

  • Ladders
  • Accessories
  • Handrails
  • Fill spouts
  • Eyeball fittings
  • Pool cleaners
  • Skimmer baskets

These items should be safely stored away to protect them during the winter months and ensure they are in good condition for use in the spring.

Don’t forget to properly winterize your inground pool by removing and storing all necessary pool accessories.

Balancing Water Chemistry

To properly winterize your inground pool, achieving the right water chemistry is crucial. This is necessary to prevent the growth of algae and other organic materials during the colder months. Here are some key steps for attaining optimal water chemistry:

  • Measure the pH level: The recommended range is between 7.4-7.6 ppm.
  • Check the total alkalinity: Aim for a range of 80-120 ppm.
  • Test the calcium hardness: The ideal range is 200-400 ppm.
  • Monitor the chlorine level: Maintain it within 2.0-4.0 ppm.

In addition to balancing the water chemistry, it is essential to thoroughly brush and shock the pool. This will help eliminate any existing algae or organic materials before closing the pool for the winter.


Proper water chemistry is the key to a healthy and well-maintained pool.

Thoroughly Cleaning The Pool Before Covering

Before covering your inground pool for the winter, it is vital to thoroughly clean it. This cleaning process involves:

  • Skimming the surface to remove any debris.
  • Vacuuming the pool to eliminate any dirt or sediment.
  • Brushing the pool walls and floor to prevent the buildup of algae or other contaminants.

Ensuring that your pool is clean before covering it will help to maintain its overall condition during the winter months.

Lowering The Water Level And Turning Off System Components

To properly winterize an inground pool, there are a few important steps to follow:

  1. Lower the water level: For pool safety covers, the water level should be lowered by 6-12 inches below the tiles. For solid covers, it should be a few inches below the skimmer. This helps prevent any damage caused by expanding ice during freezing temperatures.
  2. Turn off system components: One important aspect of winterization is turning off system components to avoid unnecessary energy consumption during the winter months. Be sure to turn off the pilot and gas supply to conserve energy.
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Remember, proper winterization is crucial in protecting your pool from potential damage during the cold months.

Please note that these are general guidelines, and it’s always best to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pool model.

Inspecting And Prepping Equipment For Winter Storage

Inspecting and prepping your pool equipment for winter storage is an essential step in winterizing an inground pool. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Clean and inspect your DE filters: Start by hosing the filter grids and checking for any rips or tears.
  • Thoroughly clean cartridge filters: Remove the cartridge and clean it thoroughly before placing it back in the tank for storage during the winter.
  • Secure the filter lid and clamp band tightly: This will help prevent accidents.
  • Blow air through the equipment and pipes: To ensure proper functioning, use an air compressor or high-volume blower to blow air through the equipment and pipes leading to and from the pool.
  • Install pool plugs: Prevent water from flowing back into the return lines by installing pool plugs.
  • Consider adding non-toxic pool antifreeze: This can provide added peace of mind.

By following these steps, you can effectively winterize your pool equipment and ensure it remains in good condition for the winter season.

Securing And Patching The Pool Cover

To properly winterize your inground pool, it is important to focus on securing and patching the pool cover. Start by filling water bags or lifting safety cover anchors around the pool. Aqua Bloks can be used as an alternative to thin water tubes for increased stability. For above-ground pools, it is recommended to use an air pillow at the center to absorb ice expansion and prevent excessive pressure on the pool walls.

Prior to covering the pool, ensure that both the pool and the pool cover are clean. Inspect the cover for any tears or rips, and if any are found, move those problem areas to the deck. Use cover patches as needed, such as poly patches for solid winter covers or mesh/solid patches for safety covers.

Lastly, secure the cover using water bags, straps, anchors, or a cable-and-winch assembly, depending on the type of cover used. This will help to ensure that the cover is tight-fitting and without any holes or tears, providing optimal protection for your pool during the winter months.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to winterize your pool?

To effectively winterize your pool, a systematic approach is needed. Begin by testing and balancing the water to ensure it is in optimal condition. Next, thoroughly clean the pool and filter to remove any debris or dirt. After cleaning, shock the pool and circulate the water to maintain its quality. To prevent algae growth, continue running the pump and add appropriate chemicals. Finally, turn off and winterize the pool equipment to protect it from freezing temperatures. Complete the process by securely plugging and covering the pool, safeguarding it from the elements during the winter months.

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Do I need to winterize my inground pool?

Yes, winterizing your inground pool is essential for its long-term health and performance. By properly closing it up for the season, you are taking necessary measures to protect the pool from extreme winter temperatures and prevent damage. This includes balancing the water chemistry, lowering the water level, and covering the pool to shield it from debris and harsh weather conditions. By winterizing your pool, you are investing in its longevity and ensuring that it will be ready for another enjoyable swim season when you reopen it.

How do I cover my inground pool for winter?

To properly cover your inground pool for winter, you have a couple of options. One popular choice is a mesh pool cover, which allows water to pass through while keeping debris out. However, in colder regions, a solid pool cover is often preferred. This type of cover prevents water entry from rain or melting snow/ice, ensuring that your pool remains protected during the winter months. Whichever option you choose, make sure to securely fasten the cover to prevent any unwanted incidents or damage to your pool.

What are the benefits of winterizing a pool?

Winterizing a pool offers multiple benefits for pool owners. Firstly, it prevents debris from accumulating in the pool during the winter months, saving time and effort on cleaning and maintenance in the long run. By removing water and properly covering the pool, leaves, twigs, and other debris are kept out, ensuring a clean pool when it is reopened.

Winterizing also protects water lines, equipment, and pool walls from potential damage caused by freezing water. Properly draining the water and off-season maintenance helps to prevent any freezing water from expanding, which could lead to cracks or other structural damages to the pool. Additionally, winterizing helps prevent algae growth by properly balancing the water and maintaining clarity throughout the colder months. By keeping the water balanced, it reduces the likelihood of algae taking hold and makes the pool easier to clean and prepare when the pool season starts again. Ultimately, winterizing simplifies the process of opening the pool in the following year, as the pool will already be clean, well-maintained, and ready for use.

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