10 Easy Steps To Winterize an Inground Pool


It’s that time again. It seems like yesterday when you were waiting to get the pool open now it’s time to wrap it up.  The Pool is part of your family’s but it can be a costly headache or you can operate it right and it will be an investment for the future. Closing your Pool is part of owning it. Follow these 10 Easy Steps To Winterize Your Inground Pool. 

  1. Clean the Pool Area inside and out
  2. Balance pool H2O chemistry
  3. Shock the Pool
  4. Drop the Water Level while you-
  5. Backwash & Rinse Filter 
  6. Blow out H2O in the lines
  7. Winterize Filter
  8. Store Pool Equipment
  9. Add a Copper Sulfate Algaecide before you-put your pool cover on & secure it
  10. Pump Water off the Cover during Winter

A good pool owner develops a plan that includes, Opening, Maintaining and Closing their Swimming Pool. Pool Equipment, pool water, and leftover chemicals all cost money. You need to protect you’re an investment, here’s how

How do you winterize a pool

I love these Dr. Pool guys that simplify the topic of closing a pool down for the winter when most of the damage that can happen to you’re Inground Pool is going to happen in the Winter.

I’ll give you what I have done for 30 years when I close my Inground Pool.  What works and the reason it will save you money. It’s all about saving money!

Start Right Here.

1. Clean the Pool Area -I tell this to people that I know who have an inground pool. Especially the ones with trees or bushes in the vicinity of their pool filtering pad or sidewalk that don’t see the importance of it until they have had some issues in the springtime opening the pool back up.

Keeping the area of the pool clean is important and keep you from having a couple of days of hard work and the cost of chemicals and possibly the cost of renting a pressure steamer. Remove everything in and around the pool and the area of the pool.

Pay attention to where the cover will be lying on the cement walkway and decking that will be covered up by the cover. You won’t won’t be seeing that area of the pool till you take the cover back off.

So clean it sweep it because any organic material that gets caught up under there like sticks or especially leaves can leave horrible stains that you’ll have problems getting off with a powerful high-temperature pressure steamer. You will thank yourself for the little bit of extra work closing day.

Steps 2-3-4

2. Balance the pool water chemistry

3. Shock Your Pool

4. Backwash & Rinse Filter

A couple of days before you rap it up and want to close the pool you want to Balance the pool water chemistry and add your flocculants for one last time. You know how to do this:

  • Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
  • pH: 7.2-7.4
  • Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm
  • Shock your pool water
  • Scrub the Walls and Floor
  • Add Flocculant or Clarifier
  • Wait a day until the chlorine levels come down some
  • Vacuum to Waste
  • Lower water levels to 3-6″ inches under the skimmer
  • Backwash Filter and Rinse the Filter
  • Add an Algae Inhibitor-a winterizing algaecide works the same as an Algae Inhibitor. Same thing as long as it has copper sulfate in it and it’s normally blue in color that’s what you need it will last longer. Don’t apply it until the chlorine residual comes down a little bit. A great recommended Algae Inhibitor that will have the strength to hang in there for a long time is sold through. It’s an excellent product called  SeaKlear 90 Day Algae Prevention and Remover, 1-Gallon  11.8% Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate; 3% Copper as elemental
    Effective against blue-green, black and mustard algae
    Nonstaining formula
  • Don’t buy a Pool Winterizing Kit

Follow the above instructions above that will prep your pool for the winter then use leftover chemicals then them. Common Sense says that winterizing chemical are basically the same chemicals you use during the year. Make sure you use a Copper Sulfate Algaecide Inhibitor.

If you get a nice day during the winter through a little more from an access spot on the cover (If You Have One) Please don’t listen to Pool Doctors on the Internet that tell you about Phosphates and Carbon Dioxide in pool water. Clean and Prep your pool then get the cover on. You don’t need to go broke to winterize your pool. You want to save money by protecting the water in the pool along with pool equipment so that you can use it again next year.

Steps 5.-6.

5. Blow Out Water Line

6. Winterize the Filter

Winterize Main Drain Inground Pool

  • Remove the Skimmer Baskets and Jet Fittings
  • Remove the drain Plug and Drain the Filter
  • Hook up a small compressor at the bottom of the Pump Filter Drain and set the Multi-Port Valve to Recirculate
  • Open the Valve for the Skimmer Lines then blow out the line using the compressor with low pressure.
  • Turn on the compressor and blow out the Skimmer lines
  • As you do this have a partner stay at the skimmer and when they see air blowing out of the line from the compressor close off the line with an expansion rubber or a plastic plug.
  • Suck out the remaining water with a wet vac. Plug up the skimmer line
    Close off the Skimmer Line
  • Blow through the Main Drain at the bottom of the pool. When you see air at the bottom of the pool coming from the compressor you’re done.
  • Turn off the compressor-Close off the valve
    If you have 2 Skimmer Lines then do the same with that one.

Disconnect any Backwash hose roll it up and store it away. If you leave them out they will crack and break in cold water and cost a pretty penny.

Remove the Pressure Gauge and any plugs and store them inside the pump basket and cover with the see-through lid.

Do you need to use a compressor to drain your pool line? No, not always. You can save some money by trying a bigger type of Shop-Vac if you have one. Large, canister types of 5 hp or more should be able to handle the resistance of the water. Some wet/dry vacs will release excess air pressure under heavy resistance, but may still be able to blow out skimmers and return lines.

Switch the suction hose over to the air release side of the Vacuum. The biggest problem is that most wet/dry vacs won’t blow out the main drain line, same with some smaller compressors.

 

Steps 7.-8.-9.-10 

7. Store Pool Equipment

8. Use a Copper Sulfate Algaecide Inhibitor. 

9. Put Your Cover On & Secure it 

10. Pump water off the Cover during the Winter

 

Pool Equipment Storage

 

Good maintenance procedures and operating plan for your pool should be the cost to maintain it. Chemicals and equipment is part of that. I don’t have to tell you how much pool equipment like skimmer pole and leaf basket cost.

If you leave anything out it will be cracked and broken by Spring so it worth it store it in weatherproof containers that save you a ton of money when you come back to open the pool next season.

Store your remaining chemicals, skimmer heads, and vacuum heads in a Pool Storage Boxlike this one on Amazon check them out Lifetime 60254 Heavy-Duty Outdoor Storage Deck Box, 150 Gallon that holds up to winter temps and snow and ice. They’re not very expensive and can sit down at pool right through the winter. Saving your equipment is critical to a cost-saving plan.

I have quality skimmer poles, the ones with rubber handles that can last as long as you take care of them properly. They are quite expensive so take care of them. Shake the skimmer heads off and store them away in your pool Box and strap or hang the poles on your fencing where they can stay all year long.

The plastic hooks or hangars can be attached to the fence and secure all your polls safely. You can get them now cheap at Amazon like these WWD Swimming Pool Aluminum Pole Hanger Set, Blue, 1-Pack (2 Hooks), For Telescoping Poles, Leaf Rakes, Skimmers, Nets, Brushes, Vacuum Hoses

I love these Dr. Pool guys that simplify the topic of closing a poo down for the winter when most of the damage that can happen to you’re an investment is going to happen in the wintertime. So I won’t give you steps to make it sound easy. I give you what I have done for 30 years on my Inground Pool and what works and the reason it will save you money.

Clean the Pool Area -I tell this to people that I know who have an inground pool. Especially the ones with trees or bushes in the vicinity of their pool filtering pad or sidewalk that don’t see the importance of it until they have had some issues in the springtime opening the pool back up.

Keeping the area of the pool clean is important and keep you from having a couple of days of hard work and the cost of chemicals and possibly the cost of renting a pressure steamer. Remove everything in and around the pool and the area of the pool.

Pay attention to where the cover will be lying on the cement walkway and decking that will be covered up by the cover. You won’t won’t be seeing that area of the pool till you take the cover back off.

So clean it sweep it because any organic material that gets caught up under there like sticks or especially leaves can leave horrible stains that you’ll have problems getting off with a powerful high-temperature pressure steamer. You will thank yourself for the little bit of extra work closing day. These stains end up in the pool too.

  • Brown pool stains can have one of a few causes: algae, metal, or dirt buildup.
  • A Greenish-brown usually indicates organic – either algae buildup of organic materials called Tannin stains such as leaves were allowed to sit on the bottom of the steps of inground pools for some time sticks anything that rots in organic material. The temperature of the pool is going to go up when you put the cover on and add some to the decaying process
  • A Brown-black and is found on the inside sides of the pool as well, then you might be looking at metal. If the stains are of a metal nature, you can quickly check by scrubbing a stain with a vitamin C tablet. If the stain fades or disappears, you know you have a metal issue – most often iron or copper buildup or a couple of pennies that fall out of someone’s shorts and are not noticed.

Use a Phosphate and Chemical-free cleaner like Cleaners like Natural Chemistry 2 07400 Swimming Pool Spa STAIN free Remover. You can treat this with abscorbic acid, or any special chemicals suited for metal at your pool supply store – and a good scrubbing. And brown stains concentrated on the bottom can likely be attributed to dirt stains, typically enhanced by calcium buildup. It is really important that you clean the inside and outside of the pool before you get the cover on.

 

The Easy Way To Put Your Pool Cover On

There is no question on saving your pool water every year will save you a ton on water bills in the springtime. With a small cost of a Pool Cover, you can use your water for as long as you need to if you cover it and protect it from the rough environment of a cold winter. This cover is large and inexpensive and will fit a big pool that can be delivered to you. Blue Wave Gold 15-Year 24-ft x 40-ft Rectangular In-Ground Pool Winter Cover

Water has consistently gotten more and more expensive every year and depending on where you are in the world gets added penalties and added cost for over-usage. For a small price and an hour at the end of the pool season, you can save that money and that’s what it’s all about.

Invite a buddy over if your pool is as big as mine you may want more than one four will do it.

Unfold the cover and everyone takes an end
Two people on the front ends walk the front of the cover over the pool to the far end
The two people in the back keep it from falling the pool
An inground pool cover is designed to have a 5 ft. an overhang on each side of the pool
This leaves some room for air pillows that are used underneath.
Fill the water bags and lay down the water bags as you work on-one end at a time
Make sure you lay the empty water bag down on the edge of the pool in the exact location where it will be lying for the winter on the cover, first before you fill it. Otherwise, you’ll be trying to move it in the spot where it needs to be while it’s filled and that ain’t going to work. Don’t laugh I’ve done it
Fit the empty water bags through the loops on the cover so the bags don’t roll when filling them.
Fill the water bags 3/4 full to allow for the expansion when they freeze inside.
Fill 4 Wall bags 3/4 full and tie a long loop of rope to each Wall bag.
Secure the loop to each bag and place one Wall bag in each corner of your pool
Secure that to the water bags on the laying on the edge of the pool

 

 

Winterizing Salt Water Pool

Everything is the same as a Freshwater swimming Pool except for the Chlorine Generator. The manufacturers will tell you how the preferred way of winterizing the generator specifically their generator.

I can’t tell you and no one else can either. Only the manufacturer can. For me, it’s to disconnect and bring it indoors. Some manufacturers have Dummy Cells that you can drop in the unit that will isolate the opening inside which is also a good idea.

Pentair or Hayward make and sell them on Amazon like this one Pentair 520588 Dummy Bypass Cell Replacement Pool/Spa Sanitizer and Automation Control Systems Pass-through Cell for Winter or start-up.

The chemical and algaecides that you use are the same type that you will use in a freshwater pool.

Winterizing Tips For Inground Pools

  • Use a Pool Winter Pillow-They are cheap and can displace rain and snow water that add a lot of weight to the cover. Pushing from the center of the pool to the sides where you can get to it to pump it out.
  • If your pool is in an open area and susceptible to crosswinds then move Water Bags that hold the pool cover down end to end to ensure no air gets under your cover and pulls it up like a baseball field cover that is out of control-it happen to me!
  • During the off-season, periodically remove any water, leaves, and snow from the pool cover as it collects.
  • Beware of some Stain and Scale remover that is being sold in winterizing kits. For some, the Chlorine levels have to be depleted to work and level of the pool water has to be above the scum or scale level. This is not practical because of the lowered level of your pool in winter months.
  • Some Scale and Stain removers have phosphates in it that remove or at least soften the scum but then you are back up the Pool Store buying Phosphate Remover.
  • Shut the power down from the outside coming into the pool area.
  • Pull your Pool Light out of the pool and clean it. If you don’t the algae grime won’t come off in the Spring.
  • If you have grass around the perimeter of the pool cut the grass down extra short before you put the cover on. All kinds of critters will be looking for a warm spot under the cover for the winter. The grass will continue to grow even with the cover on so cut it short. There will be less to deal with in the Spring.
  • If you get a few extra bucks, every pool owner should have one of these Puddle Pumps they are great to have around the house yard and especially the Pool I highly recommend this Little Giant 5-APCP Automatic Pool Cover Pump, Submersible Pump, 1/6 HP, 115VY 

I have been running my Inground Pool for too many years to count and found that saving money was not a hard thing to do if you treat your Pool and its Equipment like you do your lawn and garden equipment. Swimmers poles and vacuum heads are extremely expensive.

Most now have vinyl or rubber handles that extend up to 20 ft. long. Even the kid’s floatables and toys have to be replaced every year only because someone didn’t take the air out of them or take them out of the weather.

Your pool and everything that operates it is an investment for the future. It needs to be taken care of and maintained. If it is you can rely on years of family fun and even a little more money on the deal if you decide to sell your property. Your Inground Pool is an Investment-Treat it That Way!

Jim has worked in the Water/Wastewater and Water Filtration Business as a Consulting-Operator for over 3o years and has written over 300 articles on the Worldwide Water Situation. He has owned a Monster Sylvan concrete pool for over 35 years nicknamed ‘the Pond’

JimGalloway

Author/Editor, MyWaterEarth&Sky

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