Closing a Swimming Pool


There are many moving parts to consider while closing your pool for the season. Before closing your pool for the season, you should thoroughly clean it to remove any leaves or debris from the bottom, and the water should be evident with a measured level of chlorine.

Vacuum the Spa

You’ll have a lot harder time opening the pool in the spring if you don’t clean it well before putting it away for the season. Due to the organic residue left in the pool when shutting, a substantial amount of algae will have grown during the winter. The organic waste consumes the chlorine or other sanitizer added to the water. Water that hasn’t been treated with a sanitizer will become hazy and full of algae if bacteria multiply unchecked. In the spring, the pool water will be pretty green, requiring a lot more work and money spent on chemicals to fix the problem and make the pool safe for swimming again.

Preparing The Skimmer For Winter

The swimming pool should be closed once the water chemistry is stabilized and all organic trash and materials have been removed. The pool should be drained below the lowest return fitting before correctly closing. At this point, you should be able to blast out all the water in the plumbing lines using an air blower or shop vac vacuum on the low setting. The goal is to empty the pipes so that no water remains to freeze and expand. You may have a leaking situation in your pool come spring if you fail to successfully drain all the water from the suction and return lines. Adding anti-freeze liquid to the pipes is unnecessary. He would place a shop vac vacuum or air blower next to the pump in the mechanical room and direct it toward the pool to remove the water from the skimmer line. Turning on the air blower will cause water to shoot out of the skimmer’s top, but you may need to let it run for 5–10 minutes to get rid of all the water so you can seal it with a rubber expansion plug or threaded plug.

Returns Winterization

When winterizing your pool’s skimmer, it’s crucial to lay something down within the skimmer to prevent the ice that accumulates in there from freezing and expanding, shattering the inside of the skimmer. The product designed for this function is known as a gizmo, and it takes the form of a little sealed container that threads into one of the skimmer’s lower ports. A two-liter soda container, for instance, might be filled halfway with water to achieve neutral buoyancy. In contrast to the skimmer, the ice on this bottle is crushed inwards.

Once the water level in the pool has been lowered below the return fittings, the water in the return lines must be removed by beginning in the mechanical room or pump room and blowing the water back towards the pool. Water will spray from the returns and into the pool if the water level drops below the return fittings. After 10 to 15 seconds of air going through the system, the air blower will become much easier to manage as the weight of the water in the pipes will have decreased from when it initially reached the pool. It may take two individuals to successfully plug the returns while the air blower is still running. The water in the system will be diverted to the following return line, further away, if the one nearest to the pump room is plugged first. Plugging the return farthest from the pump initially would produce a leak due to frozen and broken pipes since it would trap water in the plumbing lines. Blowing out the skimmer and return lines is the first step in winterizing a pool; the following steps cover the collection and turn off the pump, filter, and heater.

Pool Enclosure

There are a few options for winter pool covers, depending on your pool type. Stretch safety covers, which use spring compression to fit snugly around the pool, are a more recent and pricier option. One of the most costly Winter covers, stretch covers call for anchors to be placed into the deck around the swimming pool. Tarps can also be used as winter pool covers; in this case, water bags will be used to secure a massive tarp around the pool’s perimeter. Another possibility is a lock-in cover made of vinyl or lighter Polyweave material. Like how a vinyl liner connects to a coping track, lock-in covers attach to their coping way. When the cover is in place, you can use water to ensure it stays put. This pool cover design eliminates the need for water bags or deck-mounted anchors.

Pump Winterization

The first step in preparing your pool for the winter is to remove the winterization plugs. The front and side of the wet end, near where it connects to the motor, typically include winterization plugs for swimming pool pumps. The pump and impeller compartment water will drain out after removing the pins. Taking out the winterization plugs is all needed to keep your pool pump safe during the winter; there’s no need to do any additional blowing out. The pumps are constructed to withstand the harsh elements of a Canadian winter. If you’ve drained the system completely, bringing them inside is unnecessary. Once a winterization plug has been removed, it must not be misplaced. The standard procedure for storing your equipment’s winterization plugs during the off-season is to place them in the pump strainer basket.

Preparing a Sand Filter for Winter

After you’ve finished preparing the pump for the winter, you can go on to the filter. In North America, sand filters are the norm for swimming pools. The first thing to do while working with this filter is to remove the drain stopper. The entire process of draining the tank will take several days. Additionally, ensure the sand filter’s dial is in the winterization position so that water inside doesn’t freeze and crack the filter head. The filter head’s pressure gauge and backwash site glass are seasonal components that should be removed and placed in the pump’s strainer basket after the season.

Preparing Your Cartridge Filter For Winter

If your system uses a cartridge filter, replace it. The filter must be opened so that the four cartridges may be taken out. The standard number of cartridges in a swimming pool filter is four. But there are other systems with two and three cartridges. During the off-season, you should take these filters out and thoroughly clean them. A cleaning solution of one cup of automatic dishwasher detergent to five gallons of water can be used to clean the pool filter. You should soak the filters in this solution for 12 to 24 hours, then rinse them thoroughly. This sort of maintenance only needs to be done once every season at most. Consider doing this twice a season at any swimming facility with a significant turnover rate of bathers. In the same way, the sand filter has a primary drain plug; the filter tank has one. Remove pressure gauges from the filter tank and place them in the pump’s skimmer basket.

Heating System Winterization

If your home has a gas heater, it is the most expensive part of the plumbing system and must be winterized correctly to avoid damage. A cracked heat exchanger resulting from improper winterization is a highly costly repair in the spring. Removing the exterior winterization plugs is essential in preparing a gas heater for storage over the winter. Typically, four bolts, either 9/16 inches or 1/2 inches in diameter, are on the heater’s exterior. These bolts commonly rust with time, so you’ll want to take extra precautions to avoid stripping the threads or the nuts. If your heater is of an older design, like most, you will need two 7/16-inch combination wrenches to open the heater and release the pressure in the switch. As a result, a trickle of water will be released from the water heater. Once the pressure switch has been opened and the winterization plugs have been removed, you can use a shop vac or air blower to flush the heater’s plumbing system. All of the heater’s winterization drains will be washed with water. Let the blower on for at least 5 to 10 minutes to ensure all water has been cleared.

Before you seal up the system for the winter, double-check that you haven’t forgotten any of the O-rings or winterization plugs. Remove and store any seasonal components indoors, such as the saltwater cell or ozone generator. Before you put the cover on the pool for the winter, it’s a good idea to add 10 liters of chlorine to ensure it stays clean until spring.

Toronto, Canada’s Green Pools is run by Steven Goodale, who has also written several guides for pool owners. Pool salt water system updates and pump installation tips are on his website,

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