8 Steps to Winterize An Above-Ground Pool

Ever wonder how to prepare your above-ground pool for the cold season? Then you’re in the right blog.A pool should be kept properly in order to provide you with crystal clear and clean water by the end of winter. Of course, winterizing your pool correctly will also keep your equipment functional. But before I enumerate the steps, here’s a checklist of what you’ll need:

  • Water Chemistry test kit
  • Vacuum and brush or automatic above-ground pool cleaner
  • Winterizing chemical kit
  • Siphon pump
  • Antifreeze
  • Filter cleaner
  • Air pillow/s
  • Safety cover or winter cover
  • Water bags (optional)

1. Make sure your water chemistry is balanced. You should do this seven days prior to closing an above ground pool. Test the levels of pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine. Balanced water will prevent your pool from corrosion. The proper levels will depend on your pool so you should check your manufacturer’s guide. Generally, these are the proper levels:
a. pH – 7.2-7.6
b. alkalinity – 80-120 ppm
c. calcium hardness – 175-250 ppm
d. chlorine – 2-3 ppm

2. Clean your pool. Brush the sides of your pool and vacuum the floor. If you have an automatic pool cleaner, this job will be a lot easier. You may use a clarifier to get clear water.

3. Protect pool water quality. You can achieve this step by adding the necessary chemicals before closing your pool for winter. Follow the instructions on the product labels. A good winterizing chemical kit contains chlorine or non-chlorine shock and a wintertime algaecide.

4. Clean your skimmer, filter, and pump basket. Get rid of the dirt in your skimmer. If you’re using a sand filter or a D.E. filter, make sure you backwash it. Cartridge filters could be sprayed with cleaner and rinsed with a garden hose or soaked in a filter cleaner. Make sure you drain all water from your equipment and hoses before storing them.

5. Lower the level of water. Use a siphon pump to get the water out of the pool. You may add pool antifreeze to plumbing and install threaded winter plugs to the return fittings to keep the water out of lines. Never drain your above ground pool completely because hydrostatic pressure can cause damage. Again, check your manufacturer’s guide.

6. Remove pool equipment and accessories. You have to remove all drain plugs from your pump and place them in your pump basket, your filtertank, and other pool equipment. Also remove your ladders, floaters, and other pool accessories.

7. Use an air pillow. Tie off an air pillow in the center of your pool. Air pillows absorb the pressure of freezing water and shed water toward the edge of the pool for easier removal. They allow forming ice to crack inward preventing damage to the structure of your pool. Only inflate the air pillow to ¾, though, because the pressure from a freezing pool may pop it if it’s fully inflated.

8. Place a cover. A winter cover or a safety cover is needed for this step.The black side of the cover should be facing down. Secure it with the cable and winch under the top ledge of your pool. If you prefer a winter cover, then you must run the winterizing shrink wrap around your pool after the cover is secured. This prevents the cover from flying off during windy days. Place water bags filled ¾ around the edge of your pool to hold down your cover if you have a pool with a deck. Don’t use weights that are too heavy like concrete hollow blocks because they may cause damage to your cover or your pool.

Make sure you check the pool once in a while during winter and remove debris or the water that gathers on top of your cover.

If you still haven’t gotten yourself an above ground pool yet. Then check out our above ground pool buying guide.