Winter is Coming: How to Winterize a Pool

 

Whether you’ve got an above-ground or in-ground pool, cold weather and the ice that it tends to produce can damage a pool. Just as you work to protect your investment during the warmer months, learning how to winterize a pool is just part of being a pool owner.

You’ll want to start by purchasing all of the items you’ll need to winterize your pool effectively, including rubber plugs for your return valves, pipe tape, a pool cover, and more. Sounds like a lot? Don’t worry; we’re here to walk you through the steps.

Clean Your Pool Before Cold Weather Hits

Get those work gloves on because your first order of business is going to be cleaning out your pool like you normally would. But be sure to do it before cold weather hits and you find yourself digging through ice and debris. This includes cleaning debris from the skimmer, pump basket, and filters as well as scrubbing the pool walls. 

Take time to check your pool filters as you’ll need to keep them in if you don’t plan on draining your pool. On draining the pool – if you live in a colder climate where it frequently freezes, it’s best to drain the filter, pump, and heater. 

Now’s the time to make sure you also have the right kind of pool cover, too. This is crucial for both in-ground and above-ground pools. You can look into the best pool covers for winter use, but be sure that they offer full protection for the size and layout of your pool. Mesh covers are often more affordable, but they’re not the best in terms of protection when winterizing a pool for colder weather. However, don’t cover your pool just yet; there’s more to be done first.

Add Winterization Chemicals

You’re able to purchase pool winterization chemical kits depending on the size of your pool (up to 7,500 gallons, 15,000 gallons, etc.) that will walk you through, step-by-step, how to treat the pool and protect it during the winter months when the pump and filter are turned off. The kits will come with a tablet dispenser that contains buffering agents and a winterizing liquid conditioning agent as well.

It’s important to add these winterization chemicals to the pool after cleaning it and before adding the pool cover. Depending on which cover you purchase, you might need to drain the water a bit to get it to a level that sits just below the skimmer. Check the instructions that come with the pool cover.

Remove All Drain Plugs

Now, it’s time to remove all of your drain plugs. It’s recommended that you check your pool’s manual to ensure that every drain plug is removed for proper pool winterization. If you’re having trouble taking the plugs out, large pliers or an adjustable wrench can help you. Wrap towels around the tool and remove the plugs.

 

Depending on the type of pool you have, you might also want to add expansion plugs. These are sometimes called winterizing plugs as they’re designed to prevent damage that freezing pool water can cause to your pool system. In-ground pool antifreeze can also help prevent this kind of damage if you live in an area where the pool lines frequently freeze. If you have an above-ground pool, you’ll detach the pool lines and store them.

Prevent Pipes from Freezing

To prevent pool pipes from freezing, it helps to insulate them. First, be sure to drain the pipes completely and keep the valves open. Then, check for existing leaks or areas which might be susceptible to damage. Seal them with a few wraps of Christy’s PTFE tape. Now, it’s time to insulate. While some recommend using pool noodles or heavy-duty, multi-purpose towels.

Shut Off Pool Power

Assuming you’ve cleaned the pool, added winterization chemicals, removed drain plugs, and protected the pipes, it’s now time to shut off the pool power. If it runs after you put in winterization chemicals, you’ll damage it. So, switch off the pool breaker, fit the pool cover according to the instructions that come in the package, and settle in for snow (or simply winter weather in general).

Looking for more tips on landscaping, irrigation, lawn care, and more? Check out the other posts in our blog or contact us for comprehensive tips, tricks, and suggestions on the proper products to use.