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. It is natural for sitting water to become acidic on its own so balancing the water is very important.

  • 2.

    48 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. This will ensure that debris, waste and oil are not able to sit in the filter over the winter.

  • 3.

    The night before winterizing, please add the appropriate dosages of Magic Shock, Algi Pro 40, and Stain Prevent. Ensure that the chemicals circulate for at least 12 hours so they can be properly dissolved.

  • 4.

    Clean your solar blanket using Cover Cleaner, and store 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. It will be much easier to remove the stains from the water line before it has a chance to stick to the liner over the winter.

  • 7.

    Remove the skimmer basket and attach your manual vacuum directly into the skimmer suction line. Begin vacuuming the pool and be sure to set the filter handle to the drain/waste setting.

  • 8.

    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. The water in the pool will drain from the bottom of the pool, through the vacuum hose and out the backwash line.

  • 9.

    Lower the water level to below the return jets. Usually about 6” below the skimmer. Do not take 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.

  • 10.

    Once water is lowered to the level you want, turn off the garden hose. Install gizzmo or expandable plug in main drain hole while 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 winterize position. If you don’t have this option, set the filter handle between 2 settings.

  • 11.

    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.

  • 12.

    Pour antifreeze down the suction hole into the skimmer. Plug suction line with an expandable plug or gizzmo. Use the opposite to what is in the main drain line. If the pool does not have a main drain hole the customer must use a gizzmo in the suction line. 14. Remove the drain plugs from all equipment including 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.

  • 13.

    If you have a salt chlorinator, remove leads and wrap in plastic bag. Shut off the breaker in the house. Disconnect salt cell unions and insert expandable plugs in the plumbing. Clean cell with chemical cleaner if needed. Store cell with the rest of your baskets and plugs. Indoor storage is recommended for salt cells and cartridges from filter.

  • 14.

    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 UV system in a safe, dry place.

  • 15.

    Use silicone lubricant on any equipment o-rings and diving board bolts to preserve them over the winter. Put them in the skimmer or pump basket with equipment plugs for storage.

  • 16.

    Re-install pump plugs using gaskets or Teflon Tape. Fill the pump pot with pool grade antifreeze to keep your pump seal lubricated over the winter. Pool grade antifreeze is non toxic so it does not matter if it gets into the pool upon start up. The pump can then be left outside or taken indoors for the winter. Even if the pump is taken inside, it should still have antifreeze inside it. This will keep the ceramic seal lubricated so it does not crack.

  • 17.

    Remove your pool light and either place it on the deck in a plastic bag or sink 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 stair cover on the pool if you have one.

  • 19.

    If necessary, bring the pool water back up to 4-6” below the skimmer. Put the winter cover on the pool checking for holes. If needed, replace 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 all the way around the pool until the whole cover is locked into place, using t-bead and/or cover wedges to help hold it in place.

  • 22.

    Put about 1” of water on the cover and a bottle of Hivercide. This will help to break down organic matter that falls on the top of the cover.

  • 23.

    For safety covers, do not take water down more than 18”. You will not have to refill 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 corner 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.