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How To Winterize Your Aboveground Pool

Snowy house with winterized aboveground pool

If you have an aboveground swimming pool, it’s time to winterize your pool. Proper winterization is the key to protecting your pool through the winter. If you’re a DIY-er, follow the steps below to properly winterize your aboveground pool. Not into doing it yourself? Your local pool service company should be able to help you! If you need a local pool professional to help you, visit our dealer locator to find a professional near you today.

Winterize your aboveground pool in 9 easy steps:

1. Test and balance the water

A few days before closing the pool, test the water for pH (7.2 - 7.6), alkalinity (80 - 120 ppm), calcium hardness (175 - 250 ppm) and chlorine level (1 - 3 ppm). Adjust the chemical balance, if necessary, to protect the pool from corrosion and scale build-up when it’s closed.

2. Clean the pool

You need to clean your pool before adding winterizing chemicals. Brush and vacuum the sides and the floor. You’ll also want to scrub the pool up to the water line.

3. Shock the pool and add winterizing chemicals

Shocking keeps the pool clean and safe during winter. Do so by adding three to five times the normal amount of chlorine. You can also put in a polyquat algaecide to prevent algae growth.

4. Run the pool pump and clean the parts

After adding winterizing chemicals, run the pool pump for at least one cycle before you backwash or manually clean the filter. You should also take this opportunity to clean out the skimmer and pump basket.

5. Lower the water level

You should never completely drain an aboveground pool when winterizing. Draining the pool will cause the liner to shrink or shift. Instead, lower the water level to 4″ to 6″ below the skimmer to retain enough water pressure to hold the liner in place and protect the pool from polluting elements and debris.

6. Winterize the pump and filter

To prepare the pump and the filter for the winters, you should remove all drain plugs to drain and remove the pump. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific equipment and keep all the plugs in one place, such as the pump basket, so that you don’t lose them when you reopen the pool.

7. Store all equipment indoors

After you have disconnected all the equipment, including the filter, pump, chlorinator, heater and other accessory items, store them. If possible, it is recommended to store your pool equipment indoors. This will help prevent damages caused by the elements and prolong the life of the equipment.

8. Add the air pillow

An air pillow helps relieve the pressure from the accumulation of rain, snow and ice. This helps to prevent damage to your pool cover, liner and walls. The air pillow should be placed in the middle of the pool. If you have a large pool, you may need two or more air pillows to prevent ice from damaging the structure of the pool.

9. Put the cover on

Finally, put the cover on the pool to protect it from polluting elements and prevent debris from getting into the pool. The cover should be taut enough to prevent too much water and debris from accumulating and potentially damaging it. If you live in a windy area, use a winter cover seal to keep the wind from getting underneath the cover. If your pool is surrounded by a lot of trees, consider adding a leaf catcher, which can save you hours in dredging fallen leaves.