How to Close Your Pool for the Fall and Winter Seasons

Written by: Zach Riggs



Time to read 3 min

As the vibrant days of summer begin to fade, it's time to prepare your pool for the upcoming winter months. Properly winterizing your pool is crucial to prevent damage from freezing temperatures, debris buildup, and chemical imbalances. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to winterize your pool, ensuring it remains in top condition and ready for a refreshing reopening in the spring. 

An infographic overviewing the steps to closing your pool for the winter

Step 1: Clean the Pool Thoroughly

Before starting the winterization process:


Make Sure Your Pool is Clean: 

Regular maintenance and cleaning can help prevent the spread of bacteria, algae growth, and other harmful contaminants that can impact the water quality. By taking the necessary steps to keep your pool clean, you can guarantee a solid start to your pool's winterization.

Remove debris from the Water: 

One important task to maintain the cleanliness of bodies of water is removing debris. Debris not only makes the water look unsightly but can also harm aquatic life and disrupt the natural ecosystem. By removing debris, we can help ensure the health and longevity of our water sources.

Give Your Pool a Final Scrub: 

To prevent organic matter from decaying over the winter, it's essential to take a few steps to maintain your pool. Start by skimming the surface to remove debris, then vacuum the pool bottom to remove any dirt or leaves that have settled there. Finally, brush the walls to ensure that no algae or other organic matter is left to accumulate. These steps allow you to keep your pool in top shape and ready for use when the weather warms up again.

See our article on proper pool maintenance for more information.

Step 2: Balance the Water Chemistry

Balancing the water chemistry is essential to prevent scale buildup, corrosion, and algae growth during the off-season. Test the water, adjust the pH level to 7.4 and 7.6, and ensure the alkalinity and calcium hardness are within the recommended ranges. Shock the pool with a chlorine shock treatment to eliminate any organic contaminants.

Step 3: Lower the Water Level

To prepare for possible winter rainfall, it is recommended that you lower the water level below both the skimmer opening and the return jets. This will safeguard these parts from being damaged by freezing water. You can use a submersible pump to decrease the water level if needed.

Step 4: Drain and Winterize the Equipment

Drain all the water from your pool equipment, including the pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator. Ensure there's no water left that could freeze and cause damage. Open drain plugs and blow out any remaining water using compressed air. Also, remove and store any hoses, baskets, or gauges to prevent them from cracking during freezing temperatures.

Step 5: Add Winterization Chemicals

Before covering your pool for the winter, it's crucial to use winterization chemicals to prevent algae growth and mineral buildup. Using a winterizing algaecide and stain and scale inhibitor can help achieve this. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully for the correct dosage.

Step 6: Install a Winter Pool Cover

Choose a durable and adequately fitting winter pool cover to remove debris and maintain the water's cleanliness. Various types of covers are available, including solid and mesh. Ensure the cover is anchored correctly using water bags, cover clips, or a combination of both to prevent it from sagging or blowing away.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance Checks

During winter, periodically check the pool to ensure the cover is secure and debris-free. If there's excessive rainwater accumulation on the cover, use a pump to remove it and prevent damage to the cover. Also, occasionally check the water chemistry and make necessary adjustments to avoid imbalance issues.

Winterizing your pool is crucial in ensuring its longevity and minimizing maintenance headaches when spring arrives. These comprehensive steps will safeguard your pool against freezing temperatures, debris buildup, and chemical imbalances. Remember, a well-maintained pool during the winter months sets the stage for a hassle-free and enjoyable pool season in the warmer months ahead.