Closing a Pool for Winter: The Short Checklist

Don’t Close It Too Early

The water should be consistently below 65 degrees during the winter. This will prevent the growth of algae and provide added expenses for the spring.


What For?

Winterizing a pool can be done in hard freeze areas by covering it with a winter or safety cover. This method prevents pool debris and leaves from getting into the pool and making spring opening a breeze.

In areas where freezing is not an issue, covering the pool can be an eco-friendly and quick way to care for it in the off-season. Winter Covers are designed to keep the pool clean and free of debris. They can also reduce costs by up to 50%. Winterizing a pool is an important part of maintaining its beauty. However, failing to do so can result in costly repairs.

An alternative to closing your pool would be to add a heating system and enjoy swimming all year long!


Quick Checklist

Step 1: Balance

  • Brush and vacuum the pool to remove dirt and leaves. Don’t leave anything for bacteria or algae to eat.
  • Make sure your water in in the normal range.
  • Let your pump complete one cycle, and backwash the filter.
  • Using a submersible pump, lower the water level below the skimmer and all return lines.


Step 2: Winterize

  • Drain your system entirely.
  • Turn off the main power supply and remove the “on” and “off” trippers on your time clock if you have one.
  • Position your multiport valve handle between any two settings if you have one.
  • If you are using an above ground pool disconnect the filter hoses from the skimmer and pool return fittings.
  • Once all the water is out of your system, insert winterizing plugs into return and skimmer lines so rainwater doesn’t get in.
  • Add swimming pool anti-freeze to all lines and use a blow-out tool to accommodate any expansion caused by freezing.
  • Refill the pool 4-6 inches below the skimmer inlet or tile line (whichever is lower) now that you have your plugs installed.
  • Freeze protectors are great for freezing conditions. They help prevent the loss of water circulation and reduce the temperature of the pipes.


Step 3: Prepare Deck

  • Remove all ladders, hoses, over-the-top skimmers. Lay any hoses out straight in a non-freezing location.
  • Make sure to drain water out of any automatic pool cleaners.
  • Inflate air pillows, and tie the pillows to an anchor with rope. If you are using more than one pillow tie them together.
  • Attach a floating chlorinator to your pillows at its lowest feed possible. This is essential for plaster pools.


Step 4: Size Cover

  • Take measurements of your pool and write them down.
  • Leslie’s sizes its standard covers assuming your water level is approximately 18” below the deck. If your water line is below 18”or an airpillow is used add 2’ to meach measurement as a large cover is needed.
  • Make sure your cover does not “tent”, and lays flat against the sides of the pool and water surface, but is pulled way at an angle. If your cover is tented then rain and snow will sink or rip your cover.


Step 5: Cover Your Pool

  • Carefully unfold the cover and pull it across the pool.
  • Make sure the cover is centered.
  • For above ground pools tighten a cable through all of the grommets and then tighten till snug.
  • For inground pools use the grommets to tie water bags to the edge of the cover according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Place a water siphon on the cover to drain rainwater or melted snow from the cover alternatively placing a small submersible pump also works well, or using a sump pump.
  • Be sure to check your chemical balance once a month and keep excess water off your pool cover.



This post was originally published on Leslie's Guide


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