The End Of Summer: Closing Your Pool
The end of summer means many things to many people, including the start of football season — Go Big Red — and kids headed back to school. For pool owners, the end of summer means it’s time to start thinking about closing your pool.
In this blog we will discuss closing your above-ground pool for the winter. If you have and in-ground pool and are looking for information on closing your pool, give us a call or click here to schedule a pool closing.
Closing your above-ground pool, especially for the first time, can seem like an intimidating task, but we have 36+ years of experience and are available to help you with all the expertise and equipment you will need to make the process as simple as possible. Follow the steps we have outlined here, and you can easily finish the task on a Saturday before the big game starts.
Closing Your Pool – Step 1:
Remove all stairs, ladders, and other non-permanent equipment, including solar covers, thermometers, removable lights, etc.
Clean the equipment and decide where you are going to store it.
Closing Your Pool – Step 2:
Thoroughly clean and vacuum your pool.
Vinyl is porous, so the walls and bottom should be brushed vigorously to remove any potential algae or staining problems. Pay attention to any residue along the water line, as it may get worse over the winter. Clean your skimmer(s). Vacuum the pool and backwash your filter. Allow the system to run for a complete cycle (4-8 hours or longer) then backwash again.
Closing Your Pool – Step 3:
Balance your pool water chemistry.
The pool you put to sleep is the pool that will wake up next summer. Test your water with pool chemical test strips (we recommend Aquachek) and adjust your sanitizer, PH, and alkalinity to recommended levels. You can bring a water sample into our store where we can run a thorough pool water analysis and walk you through recommended pool water adjustments and how to make them.
Recommended pool water balance levels:
- pH: 7.2 – 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 – 120 parts per million
- Chlorine: 1 – 3 parts per million
- Baquacil Sanitizer: 30-50 parts per million
- Baquacil Oxidizer: 60 plus parts per million
After adjusting your water chemistry, allow your system to run for 8 to 24 hours to ensure the chemicals you have added are properly dispersed before you add winterizing chemicals.
Closing Your Pool – Step 4:
Add winterizing pool chemicals.
- For Chlorine and Salt Pools: Minimally, you should add a quick dissolving shock (1 pound per 10,000 gallons) and a strong algaecide. (We sell convenient pool winterizing kits in 10,000 and 20,000 gallon sizes.) Pools using well water or hard water should be winter-treated with a stain preventer. Some pool owners add a product to prevent phosphate build up, such as Pool Perfect/Phos Free.
- For Baquacil (Chlorine-Free) Pools: Add 1 gallon of Baquacil Oxidizer for a 10,000 gallon pool. Wait one hour. Add a maintenance dose of Baquacil Algaecide. (Do not overdose your pool with Baquacil Algaecide! It will cause foaming in the spring when you open the pool back up!) Then test your water to ensure your sanitizer levels are between 30-50 parts per million. Add Baquacil Sanitizer to achieve that level if necessary.
Allow the winterizing chemicals a few hours to circulate throughout the pool!
Closing Your Pool – Step 5:
Shut down your pool and equipment
- Remove your skimmer baskets and return eye ball(s), and then begin draining your pool. We highly recommend draining your pool a few inches below the returns. This is where a submersible pump comes in handy. (available at any hardware store) If you do not have a submersible pump, begin by draining the pool by turning your pump off and placing your multi-port valve in the “waste” position. This will begin to drain the pool out of your waste line. Then shut off the pump just before the skimmers are completely uncovered by water and disconnect your skimmer hose. You can then use this suction line to lower your water below the returns.
- Remove all hoses from your equipment, skimmer(s), and return(s), as well as your threaded barbed adapters. Remove all drain plugs from your pump, filter, chlorinator, heater, etc. Don’t forget to winterize your automatic pool cleaner following the manufacturer’s instructions. We advise placing all plugs in the pump basket, so you will know where they are come Spring! We also advise storing all portable equipment in a non-freezing environment. Most pumps are easily removable to store in a non-freezing environment.
Closing Your Pool – Step 6:
Cover your pool.
If you use air pillows (recommended) to help protect your pool, inflate them and secure them in the center of your pool using strong cords attached to the grommets on pillows. Larger pools will require more than 1 pillow. Cover the pool and cinch it down with a winch system. If you are in a high wind area, you may want to use cover clips or seal wrap to help keep the cover from lifting in windy conditions. A new heavy duty aboveground cover has come on the market, and is great for windy environments, or people looking for a cover they don’t have to replace every few years! Now available at Continental, ask your CPS Sales Team about pricing!
Closing Your Pool – Step 7:
That’s it! Your pool is ready for winter. Kick your feet up, eat those nachos, watch that football game, and have the peace of mind that your pool is safe and sound because Winter is Coming! Given the crazy weather and freeze/thaws we experience in Nebraska, you may want that submersible pump (mentioned in Step 5) or a specially designed cover pump to drain excess water off your cover over the course of the winter.
Stop in our store for any equipment, supplies, or advice you need. We carry everything mentioned in this article, everything you will need to close your pool and we are here to help you! You can always give us a call at 402-333-9025, too!
Thank you again for your business this year, you have made it one of the best yet! Our loyal customers are what make us the best in Omaha, so please call, e-mail, or stop by with any questions or concerns you may have while trying to close your pool!
-The CPS Team