18 Steps for Winterizing an InGround Pool

After another fun season, it's time to prepare for the cold months. Winterizing your inground pool can help protect it from freeze damage and keep it from getting damaged.

Winterizing a pool can be a bit challenging if you've never done it before. But, with the proper supplies and follow-up steps, you'll be able to enjoy the season without any issues.


Winterizing and closing your pool are both easy and effective steps that can help keep it looking its best throughout the season.


1. Control Phosphates

One week before closing your pool, add up to 14 gallons of Pool Magic + PHOSFREE for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. This will keep the water running smoothly and remove algae and other harmful chemicals.


2. Thoroughly Clean the Pool

Winterizing your pool is important, as it will help keep it clean and germ-free. This step will also help you avoid staining the pool once it's finished.

This step will remove dirt, leaves, and debris from the pool. It's also important to thoroughly vacuum the pool to remove any remaining dirt.


3. Prevent Stains and Pool Scale

If you purchased a pool closing kit, you will receive both a stain and scale prevention product.

If you don't have a pool closing kit, add MetalFree and  Stain and Scale remover to prevent staining and scaling. These chemicals should be applied around the perimeter of the pool to prevent staining and scaling.


4. Test and Balance Your Pool Water

The easiest way to get started is by monitoring the water's balance. This step will help you save time and money while ensuring that the pool is closed efficiently.

Total Alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm for various types of primary sanitizers. It should be used for treating chlorine, bromine, and dichlor.

pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6. Ideally, it should be about 200 to 400 ppm.


5. Control Algae

Pour the contents of  Algae Control into a large bucket and around the pool's perimeter. Wait for one hour before draining the pool.


6. Add Non-Chlorine Pool Shock

When the pool pump is running, shock the pool with Fresh 'N Clear. This product will keep the pool's perimeter clear.


7. Adjust Chlorine Level

If the Free Chlorine level is already at 2.0 to 4.0 ppm, add Leslie's Chlor Brite to the pool while the pump's running.


8. Run the Pump and Clean the Filter

For at least one complete cycle, run the pump for at least 8 hours after adding chemicals. Once the cycle has been completed, backwash or manually clean the pool filter.


9. Add WinterPill

WinterPills are great for keeping the pool cool during winter. Just follow the instructions on the label to set it in the water.


10. Turn Off the Pool's Power Supply

When the pool's power supply is turned off, remove the trippers from the clock. Also, turn off the main power supply to prevent it from running.


11. Lower Water Levels in the Pool

Below the skimmer and the return lines, lower the water level by about 18 inches. This will remove the water from the pool.


12. Drain All Pool Equipment

Follow the manufacturer instructions to remove all drain plugs from the various components of your pool pump. Make sure to store them in the skimmer basket or the pump's volute.


13. Adjust the Filter Valve

Position the multi-port valve handle between any two settings. This will ensure all ports are partially open to allow for freeze expansion.


14. Winterize the Pool Plumbing

After the water has gone out of the plumbing lines, put in winterizing plugs. Then, add antifreeze to the lines.

A Gizzmo or blowout extension is a great way to seal the pipe of a skimmer. It's a device that uses pressure to keep the ice from moving around the water.


15. Add Water Back Into the Pool

Refill the pool to between 4-6 inches below the skimmer inlet in vinyl liner pools and gunite or plaster pools.


16. Remove All Non-Permanent Fixtures and Accessories

If the pool cover is already covered, remove all the toys and other articles that come into contact with it.

Drain the pool cleaner completely. Then, lay the hose out in a non-freezing location.


17. Install Air Pillows

Inflate or tie air pillows to an immovable object. An inground pool or chair requires up to 2 air pillows.

For plaster pools only: tie a floating chlorinator to one of the air pillows. It should be set at its lowest rate of feed.


18. Install the Winter Cover

If the deck or the coping of the pool has a rough surface, protect the pool cover by covering it with foam or other soft materials.

When it comes to covering the pool, use a proper sized safety cover or a winter cover. A leaf net is a great way to keep the pool debris from accumulating.

To secure your winter pool cover, fill and place around the edge of the pool. These should be placed in areas with wind speeds of at least 18 inches.

When using a safety cover, make sure the straps, springs, and anchor hardware are all in good shape. If not, replace them with new parts.



Although these steps will not be necessary if you live in the sunbelt, or areas that don't see winter temperatures dropping below freezing, you should still follow these steps if you're planning on winterizing your pool.

VS Pool Pumps

Once the pool is fully covered, set the timer to run the pump at least 4 hours a day. This will keep the water flowing and prevent damage to your pool equipment.

Winter care for pools can vary depending on the season. Some people prefer to keep their pools closed all winter while others like to keep them open during the warmer months.

No matter the climate or how you winterize your inground pool, it's important to keep up with routine maintenance over the winter.

Once a month, take a look under the cover to see if the water has changed color, is stained, or has signs of a pool leak. Also, make sure the sanitizer is still working.


If you have any other questions about pool and spa products please do let us know - we are here to help!


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