Closing and Winterizing Your Above Ground Pool: Essential Steps for Seasonal Maintenance
As the summer season comes to a close, it’s time to prepare your above ground pool for the winter months. Properly closing and winterizing your pool is essential to protect it from the harsh weather and freezing temperatures. As experienced above ground pool installers, we understand the importance of these maintenance steps. In this article, we’ll guide you through the essential steps for closing and winterizing your above ground pool.
Gather Your Supplies
Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary supplies and equipment on hand. You’ll need:
- Pool cover
- Winterizing chemicals
- Skimmer and pool brush
- Winter plugs
- Air pillow (also known as a pool pillow)
- Pool cover clips or cable and winch
- Pool cover pump (if necessary)
Balance Your Water Chemistry
One of the first steps in winterizing your pool is to balance the water chemistry. Test the water and adjust the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels to the recommended range. Adding winterizing chemicals like winter algaecide and a winterizing kit can help prevent algae growth and keep your water clean during the offseason.
Clean and Vacuum the Pool
Remove any debris from the pool using a skimmer net. Vacuum the pool to ensure it’s clean before closing. A clean pool will require less maintenance during the winter months.
Lower the Water Level
To prevent potential damage from freezing, lower the water level in your above ground pool. Leave it about 4 to 6 inches below the skimmer opening or the return jet.
Winterize the Plumbing
Disconnect and remove all hoses and accessories, including the skimmer and return jet. Plug the skimmer and return jet openings with winterizing plugs to prevent water from entering the plumbing and causing damage.
Install the Air Pillow
Place an air pillow (also known as a pool pillow) in the center of your pool. This will help support the cover and allow rainwater to run off the cover instead of pooling in the middle.
Cover the Pool Securely
Choose a durable and properly sized pool cover that fits your above ground pool. Make sure it has enough overlap to securely cover the pool’s edges. Secure the cover using cover clips or a cable and winch system, ensuring it’s snug and won’t be affected by strong winds.
Use a Pool Cover Pump
If you live in an area with heavy rainfall or snowfall, consider using a pool cover pump to remove excess water from the cover. This prevents the cover from sagging and potentially causing damage to your pool.
Regularly Check and Maintain
Throughout the winter, periodically check the pool cover for any damage or signs of wear. Make sure the cover remains securely in place. Remove debris or snow buildup as needed.
When the winter season comes to an end, it’s time to open your above ground pool for the new season. Remove the cover, clean and shock the pool, and reconnect all plumbing and accessories. Test and balance the water chemistry before enjoying your pool once again.
Properly closing and winterizing your above ground pool is essential to protect your investment and ensure it’s ready for another season of enjoyment. By following these essential steps and taking the time to prepare your pool for winter, you’ll prolong its lifespan and have a clean and safe swimming pool waiting for you when warmer weather returns.