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How to Winterize a Pool

How to Winterize a Pool: A Comprehensive Guide

As temperatures drop and the last summer days fade, pool owners often find themselves wondering how to winterize a pool. Properly winterizing your pool protects it from potential damage, saves on repair costs, and ensures it’s ready for a refreshing dive come spring. This guide will walk you through the essentials of the process.

1. Balancing the Pool Chemistry

Before diving into how to winterize a pool, start by balancing your pool’s water chemistry. This prevents algae growth and mineral build-up:

  • Adjust pH levels to between 7.2 – 7.6
  • Alkalinity should be between 80 – 120 ppm
  • Calcium hardness should range from 180 – 220 ppm
  • Finally, add a winterizing algaecide and chlorine

2. Clean the Pool

Use a pool skimmer and vacuum to remove leaves, dirt, and any other debris from the pool. Ensure your pool is as clean as possible before covering it for the season.

3. Lower the Water Level

How much you should lower the water depends on your pool type:

  • Vinyl-lined pools: Lower the water by 1 inch below the skimmer.
  • Concrete or Gunite pools: Lower the water 4-6 inches below the tile.
  • Fiberglass pools: Check the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Remember, if you suspect leaks, our Leak Detection service can assist.

4. Drain Equipment and Pipes

Freezing water expands and can cause damage. Here’s how to winterize a pool by addressing equipment and pipes:

a. Turn off the pool pump and heater.

b. Drain water from the pump, heater, and filter.

c. Using a shop vac, blow out any water from the pipes.

d. Plug the return jets and install a skimmer guard to protect the skimmer from freezing water.

If there’s any malfunctioning equipment, remember that Equipment Repair or Equipment Replacement is just a click away.

5. Install a Pool Pillow

A pool pillow, or air pillow, is crucial for those learning how to winterize a pool. It acts as an ice compensator. As water turns to ice and expands, the pressure will push on the pillow rather than the pool walls.

6. Cover Your Pool

Once you’ve cleaned, balanced, and secured, the final major step in how to winterize a pool is covering it:

  • Secure a winter cover or safety cover over the pool.
  • Ensure there’s minimal slack and the cover is tight against the pool’s edges to prevent debris from entering and water accumulation.

7. Monitor and Maintain Throughout Winter

Even after mastering how to winterize a pool, periodic checks during winter are crucial:

a. Keep snow and water from accumulating on the pool cover.

b. Periodically check the water chemistry.

c. Inspect for any Cracks and Structural Repair needs to prevent worsening under winter conditions.

8. Consider Automated Winterizing Solutions

Modern pool owners have the luxury of automated solutions. Brands like Pentair offer systems that can make many winterization steps easier. Integrate these with Pool Automation for seamless, hassle-free winter prep.

9. Timing

Knowing how to winterize a pool is a vital skill for any pool owner in colder climates. Proper winterization saves money, extends your pool’s lifespan, and ensures it’s ready and waiting for those warmer months. For assistance, advice, or professional services, don’t hesitate to reach out to Superior Pool Service at Phone Number: 972-221-2253 or Email Address: Our team is dedicated to ensuring that your pool remains in top condition, no matter the season.

10. Factors Influencing Winterization Techniques

While understanding the basics of how to winterize a pool is essential, it’s equally crucial to consider factors unique to your pool and region:

a. Climate Variation: Areas with mild winters may not require water level reductions, while those with harsh winters might need extra precautions against freezing.

b. Pool Type: In-ground pools have different winterization needs than above-ground pools. For instance, above-ground pools might benefit from a complete water drain to prevent structural damage.

c. Pool Age: Older pools might have unique vulnerabilities that newer ones don’t. Keeping an eye on Cracks and Structural Repair needs becomes even more paramount.

11. Preparing Pool Accessories

When determining how to winterize a pool, it’s not just about the pool itself. Pool accessories also need care:

a. Remove and clean pool ladders, diving boards, and slides.

b. Store these accessories in a dry place, protected from winter elements.

c. Floating toys, pool noodles, and other accessories should be cleaned, dried, and stored properly to prevent mold growth and degradation.

12. Securing the Surrounding Area

The environment surrounding your pool can influence its winter health:

a. Trim trees and bushes near the pool area. Falling leaves, twigs, and branches can damage covers or introduce unwanted debris.

b. Ensure drainage systems divert away from the pool to prevent unwanted water accumulation.

c. Store pool furniture in a protected area to prevent them from becoming projectiles during strong winter winds.

13. Post-Winter Preparations

Looking beyond the cold months, anticipate the steps needed once winter concludes:

a. Mark your calendar for a spring opening date. This will give you a timeline to procure necessary supplies and schedule any needed Equipment Repair services.

b. Before restarting the system, inspect equipment for signs of winter damage. If replacements are required, check out our Equipment Replacement services.

c. Initially, run your filtration system longer than usual to help clear out any accumulated debris and balance water chemistry.

14. Seek Expertise When Unsure

Winterizing your pool can seem overwhelming, especially for new pool owners. If you’re uncertain about any step in the process or want to ensure you’re protecting your investment adequately, seeking professional advice is a wise decision. Superior Pool Service’s experienced team can provide guidance, services, and peace of mind.


Taking the proper steps to winterize your pool not only ensures protection against the harsh elements of winter but also sets the stage for a hassle-free reopening in spring. By following this comprehensive guide and understanding the unique needs of your pool, you’ll be well-equipped for winter’s challenges. Always remember, when in doubt, Superior Pool Service is here to assist.

Contact Superior

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