A 24-Step Guide to Closing Your Inground Pool

  • 1.

    One week prior to closing, bring in a pool water sample so that your pool can be properly balanced for the winter months. 

  • 2.

    24 hours prior to closing the pool, add a dose of Fix to increase the sanitizer in your pool. Circulate for 12 hours.

  • 3.

    12 hours before you close the pool, clean your sand filter using Filter Cleaner. If you have a cartridge filter, you can clean the filter once the pool is closed.

  • 4.

    Clean your solar blanket using Cover Cleaner and store in a safe and dry place.

  • 5.

    Remove ladders, drop in steps, diving board and disconnect slide hose(s).

  • 6.

    Clean pool water line using Amaze

  • 7.

    Remove the skimmer basket and attach your manual vacuum directly to the skimmer suction line. Be sure to put a garden hose into the skimmer and turn it on. (This will ensure a good seal around the vacuum hose so your pump will not lose its prime when the water lowers below the skimmer). Set the filter handle to the drain/waste setting and begin vacuuming the pool. The water in the pool will drain from the bottom of the pool, through the vacuum hose and out the backwash line.

  • 8.

    Lower the water level to below the return jets. Usually about 6” below the skimmer. Do not take the water level any lower as the liner will start to pull away from the pool wall. Some older pools have the return jets placed much lower than 6” below the skimmer. If this is the case, the water level must be brought down below the return jets until the lines are blown out and then brought back up to the appropriate winterizing level.

  • 9.

    Add winter chemicals to pool water: Winter Closing Kit and Meta Stain Prevent.

  • 10.

    Once the water is lowered to the level you want, turn off the garden hose. Install Gizzmo or expandable plugin main drain hole while the pump is still running. If the main drain hole is threaded, use a Gizzmo. Some pools may not have a main drain hole. Remove the vac hose from the skimmer. In about 30 seconds, the pump will clear the lines and lose its prime.

  • 11.

    When the pump prime is lost, shut the pump off. Set the filter handle to the winterized position.  If you don’t have this option, set the filter handle between 2 settings.

  • 12.

    Remove the eyeballs in the return jets and use a shop vac to blow or suck out the suction and return lines. Place sections of foam rope into the lines. Plug the return lines with threaded plugs.  Use Teflon tape to seal.

  • 13.

    Pour 2 litres of Ice Away down the suction hole into the skimmer. Plug the suction line with an expandable plug or gizzmo. Add the remaining 2 litres of Ice Away on top of the plug. Use the opposite of what is in the main drain line. If the pool does not have the main drain hole, use a gizzmo in the suction line.

  • 14.

    Remove the drain plugs from all equipment, including the pump, filter, Nature 2, heater, and chlorinator. Also, remove the pressure gauge and site glass from the filter. Disconnect the pressure switch on your heater and shut off the gas. Store these parts in a marked bag for next year to hold on to all your parts!

  • 15.

    Shut off the breaker to the system. If you have a salt chlorinator, remove leads and wrap them in a plastic bag. Disconnect salt cell unions and insert expandable plugs in the plumbing—make sure to clean the cell with Salt Cell Saver. Store the cell with the rest of your baskets and plugs. Indoor storage is recommended for salt cells and cartridges from filters.

  • 16.

    If you have a UV system, unplug it and then disconnect the unions from the plumbing. Use a shop vac to suck out any remaining water from the unit. Store the UV system in a safe, dry place.

  • 17.

    Remove your pool light and place it on the deck in a plastic bag or sink it to the bottom of the pool with weights. Do not leave the light in the fixture. Shut off the power to the light fixture.

  • 18.

    If you have built-in steps with jets, remove the jets and blow out the lines using a shop vac. Plug with expandable plugs. Put a stair cover on the pool if you have one.

  • 19.

    If necessary, bring the pool water back up to 4” below the skimmer (only 2” if it is a fibreglass pool). Put the winter cover on the pool checking for holes.  If needed, replace the cover.

  • 20.

    For waterbag covers, put the waterbags on the cover end-to-end, overlapping and leaving no spaces. Fill waterbags three-quarters full to allow for freezing and expansion.

  • 21.

    For lock-in covers, determine which way the cover needs to be matched up to the pool (in terms of shape) and begin feeding the beaded edge into the top track of the coping. Continue around the pool until the whole cover is locked into place, using a t-bead or cover wedges to help hold it in place.

  • 22.

    Put about 1” of water on the cover and a bottle of Algi Pro 40.

  • 23.

    For safety covers, do not take the water down more than 4-6” below the skimmer. You will not have to refill the pool. Determine which way the cover needs to be matched up to the pool (in terms of shape) and begin locking it into place with the springs and screws/anchors working from opposite to opposite corner.

  • 24.

    Store any dry chemicals in a clean, dry space. Store any liquid chemicals inside a heated area, so they do not freeze.

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