How to Close Your Pool

If you close or winterize your pool properly in the fall, you'll protect it from harm over the winter and save time and money when reopening it.

Task Overview

Closing a pool can be tedious, but it's a relief to know that your backyard oasis won't suffer damage from freezing water, and that it'll be clean and fresh in the spring. This article explains how to close your pool in clear, precise steps.
• Estimated time: 2-3 hours
• Estimated cost: $200
• Skill level: Beginner
• Number of people required: 2 is ideal

Tools & Materials:

Closing Your Pool

  1. Balance your water chemistry
    A week before closing your pool for the winter, you should balance the water chemistry. This involves testing and, if necessary, correcting the pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness levels. Adjust the pH to between 7.2 and 7.6; adjust the alkalinity to between 80 and 120 ppm (parts per million); adjust the calcium hardness to between 180 and 220 ppm. Properly balanced water chemistry helps prevent algae growth and staining of the plaster or liner.
  2. Shock your pool
    Once the water chemistry is balanced, the next step is to use chlorine or a chlorine substitute to kill any algae and bacteria present in the pool. This is known as shocking your pool. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the chemical products you use. Allow the chlorine level to reach 1 to 3 ppm over the course of a few days before moving on to the next step.
  3. Add a winter algaecide
    Shocking your pool should kill any algae in the water but it doesn't stop more from blooming. The next step is to add a winter algaecide to banish algae from your pool throughout the off-season. Be sure to use a winter algaecide because a regular algaecide may not be strong enough to work all winter long.
  4. Remove detachable parts
    Remove, rinse and store all removable pool components and accessories, including ladders, chemical feeders, solar blankets and skimmer baskets.
  5. Lower water level below the skimmer
    Using a pump, reduce the water level to below the skimmer. How far below depends on the type of pool cover you have. For mesh covers, lower the water 12 to 18 inches below the skimmer. For solid, floating covers, lower the water three to six inches below the skimmer. By lowering the water level, you're protecting the skimmer from potential damage if the water freezes.
  6. Drain water from pump, heater, filters and hoses
    All water should be removed from the pump, heater, filters and hoses. Remove the drain plugs to let the water drain out. Another option is to use a wet/dry shop vacuum to blow out the trapped water. Store the filter and hoses in a safe location for the winter. Protect the pump and heater with a cover or use a winterizing plug to keep water out. By draining your equipment, you're protecting it from potential damage should the water inside freeze.
  7. Clean your pool
    You're almost ready to close the pool, but first you should clean it thoroughly. Use a skimmer and vacuum to remove debris and brush the walls to remove any grimy buildup. By taking this step now, you'll save time and money on maintenance when you reopen it.
  8. Cover your pool
    The final step is to cover your pool. It's essential to use a tight-fitting cover with no holes or gaps for leaves or debris to enter. Your choice in covers is between a mesh cover and solid cover. Mesh covers are lighter and more durable than solid covers. They also offer more reliable protection because, unlike solid covers, no pump is required to remove excess water from the top; water simply passes harmlessly through the mesh material. The advantage of solid covers is they keep dirty rainwater out of your pool and prevent sunlight from entering the pool and stimulating algae growth.

Pool Closing Tips:

• Before you begin winterizing your pool, make sure that you have enough chemicals and the right tools for the job
• Start the winterizing process one week before the day you want to close your pool
• In-ground pools can benefit from having de-icing mechanisms in the skimmer
• Anti-freeze should be run through the lines of an in-ground pool to prevent freezing
• The more work you do to winterize the pool, the fewer pool supplies you need to open it
• Install a pool alert to minimize the risk of kids or pets falling into your pool when its closed and the water level is low
• Monitor the chemical balance in your pool once a month during the winter
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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