How to Close Your In-Ground Swimming Pool for Winter

Updated on October 6, 2019
Barack James profile image

Barack is an expert pool chemistry guy and experienced online-based pool maintenance assistant via in-depth articles that top search results

Properly closing your pool for the winter is essential to prevent the growth of algae and other problems from arising when you open it again in the summer.
Properly closing your pool for the winter is essential to prevent the growth of algae and other problems from arising when you open it again in the summer.

Properly closing a swimming pool can be done by any owner in few easy-to-follow steps that we are going to cover in this article.

If you feel you cannot do any of the steps by yourself, however, I would recommend getting an expert to do it for you. Any simple mistake when closing down a swimming pool could lead to more pool problems that are expensive to fix.

Swimming Pool Closing Checklist

Before you begin the process of closing your swimming pool for winter, you will need:

  • Air Compressor (Air Blower)
  • Solid Swimming Pool Safety Cover
  • Swimming Pool Winterizer
  • Hand Skimmer, Pool Brush, Pool Vacuum
  • Pool Closing Chemicals
  • Accurate Pool Test Kit

Steps for Closing a Swimming Pool for Winter

Closing down an in-ground swimming pool involves a few simple steps covered below:

  1. Clean the pool.
  2. Check up the chemical readings.
  3. Drain the pool below the skimmer.
  4. Blow out the lines.
  5. Add winter chemicals to the pool.
  6. Put on the pool safety cover.

1. Clean the Pool

The very first step you need to do is clean the pool. You will need to brush the walls, flow, and around the pool using a brush to remove any hard or dark spots.

After brushing your pool, use a hand skimmer to remove loose foreign particles in the pool if dart is not a lot. You can save time by a using large leaf net to remove dart if the hand skimmer is too slow for you.

To ensure that your swimming pool is spotless when closing, use a pool vacuum to collect smaller particles that might have been left when using the net.

2. Check Up on Swimming Pool Chemicals

When closing down your pool, you will need to check that the chemicals are all balanced. The most primary chemicals to take and balance their readings in order of importance are:

  1. The pH (7.4–7.6)
  2. Alkalinity (80–100 for pools with liners, and 100–125 ppm for plaster pools)
  3. Calcium (250–350 ppm)
  4. Free Chlorine

You don't need an excess of these pool chemicals, just the normal recommended levels for each chemical.

I use Lamotte ColorQ Pro 11 digital pool water test kit. It takes a number of pool chemicals into account, including the most important ones mentioned above.

Before adding chlorine to the pool, ensure that the pH, alkalinity, and calcium are all balanced. Ensure free chlorine is reading 3 ppm, no more no less.

It's always important to add chlorine during the night to avoid more UV light from eating up your free chlorine. You can schedule the whole pool closing process for evening hours to be safe with your chlorine.

3. Drain the Pool Below the Skimmer

If you have an in-ground pool and live in cool climates, draining the pool below the skimmer is necessary to prevent the skimmer from freezing and cracking.

Here are necessary steps to follow when draining the pool below the skimmer:

  1. Turn off your filter system.
  2. Set the filter to backwash.
  3. Set the valve to the main drain. This will pull water from the main drain to the bottom of the deep end.
  4. Put the filter back on and let it backwash continue for about two minutes.
  5. Turn off the filter system.
  6. Turn the valve to "Waste."
  7. Turn the filter back on and let it run and drain the pool slightly below the skimmer.

4. Blow Out the Liners

Blow out the skimmer liners, suction side, pressure side, and the returns using either an air compressor, air blower, or a Shop-Vac.

Here are the steps you need to cover when blowing the pool liners:

  1. Remove all return fittings.
  2. Remove all the drain plugs from the filter system.
  3. Set your multiport valve to recirculate.
  4. Set the valve in front of your pump to the skimmer line.
  5. Attach the air compressor to the drain opening on your pump, and turn the compressor on to start blowing lines. This will remove air through the skimmer and return lines. I have been using Air Supply Pool Liner Cyclone Vacuum and Blower for a long while, and I am pleased by its power (3 HP and 120 volts).
  6. Remove the water that is being blown out in the skimmer using the Shop-Vac, or scoop the water out using a small container until the skimmer is dry. Plug it off.
  7. Plug up all return line jets around the pool.
  8. Turn the valve in front of your pump to the main drain setting to move air towards the main drain. Let it run for about a minute, and bubbles should start coming up from the center of the pool.
  9. Turn the valve back to skimmer line and shut off the air compressor. At this point, your lines should be free of any water.

5. Put on the Winter Pool Cover

Check once again that all the chemicals are balanced, then put your pool safety cover over your pool and tighten all the corners and sides. Before covering the pool using the safety cover, you can install an ice compensator or gizmo in your skimmer to further avoid freezing and spoiling your skimmers.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)