Pool closing time? This is your best opportunity to make next season’s opening a snap! It’s pretty exciting when you think about it too – taking a bit of time to clean up and prepare now can make opening your pool cover in the spring a thing of joy, not “yuk …” Now that’s something to look forward to!

Read on to find out pool closing secrets:

  • Step-by-step process

  • Expert tips

  • Benefits of proper winterizing

Close Your Pool Step-by-Step

Thermometer clip art with blue indicator

1. Cool! Let’s close the pool!

When is the best time to close your pool?  When the outdoor temperature is consistently between 50F – 60F and your pool water temperature is consistently below 65F.

Cooler temperatures help prevent algae and bacteria growth.

Did you know there is such a thing as closing your pool too early? Many people see Labor Day weekend as pool closing weekend.

However, this may be too early in certain climates. If you close your pool too early, you may invite algae growth.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, warmer water is easier for small organisms to move through and allows algae to float to the surface faster. Water temperatures in the 85F range gives algae and bacteria an invitation to curl up in a corner of the pool and begin growing.

If temperatures warm up to 65F and higher for a day or longer, algae can use up your winter chemicals early and start to accumulate.

But don’t wait too late to close your pool either – autumn temperatures can take a sudden dip below 32F, potentially causing expensive damage.

2. Keep your pool clean

It’s vital to clean your pool prior to closing it – if you leave it dirty it will get worse. Leaves or acorns in the pool will not only stay in the pool all winter, but they will also grow!

Be meticulous about removing all debris from your pool now so it won’t multiply over the winter and become a big unpleasant surprise in the spring.

Do you have a lot of trees? Keep your pool covered when the leaves start to fall so they stay out of your pool water – that makes so much less work than fishing leaves out of the water!

3. Select a closing date, and start the process 1 week in advance

Give yourself a week to do some cleanup and prep work to close the pool efficiently and properly – it will make closing and opening much easier!

Follow these tips to make pool closing day simple:

  • Get your pool as clean as possible. After removing all debris, brush and vacuum your pool. Pay attention to hard-to-get-to places like steps, corners, and crevices – perfect hiding places for algae and other unmentionables you don’t want in your pool!

  • Clean out the skimmer and pump baskets – every nook and cranny. This will make all the next days fly by!

  • Add an algaecide like FROG® BAM® – 90-day algaecide.

  • Use your test strips (we recommend FROG Test Strips) to ensure the water levels are ideal:

    • Free Chlorine: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm

      • For pools using FROG products, Free Chlorine: 0.5 – 1.0 ppm

    • Total Alkalinity 80 – 120 ppm

    • pH 7.4 – 7.6

    • Total Hardness 250 – 400 ppm

  • Shock the pool. Use a chlorine shock 1 – 3 days before closing it for the winter; follow package directions.

  • Run the pump for a full cycle after shocking. Then backwash or chemically clean your pool filter.

Side shot of a pool demonstrating the water level

4. Lower the pool’s water level

If you live in a colder climate, it’s important to lower your pool’s water level to prevent freezing. When you remove a fraction of the water, you help prevent damage to your pool.

In colder climates, lower your water level 4-6 inches below the skimmer (vinyl-lined) or tile line (plaster).

In areas without freezing temperatures, you can leave water at normal levels. Stay alert to temperatures – if freezing temperatures occur:

    • Remove all unnecessary equipment

    • Cover the pool if snow is in the forecast

    • Turn your pool pump on – moving water can’t freeze

    • Call your local retailer for best advice

5. Remove and clean pool equipment

Removing equipment seems obvious, right? But it can be easy to forget or put off, especially with busy schedules.

Remove pool noodles, floats and toys, and functional equipment including skimmer baskets, ladders, sanitizing floaters and hoses. This will not only help your pool stay cleaner, but it will also help you avoid damage.

6. Clean pool equipment

Clean all equipment you just removed. If not, it’s subject to chemical corrosion, scale buildup, or could introduce algae and bacteria into the water when you open it in the spring!

Once your equipment is clean, store it indoors to avoid wear and tear during the off season.

7. Drain all pool lines

For those in freezing temperature zones, once you drain pool lines, add antifreeze.

Drain all water from the pool pump, filter, heater and sanitizer.

Remove the equipment drain plugs. You can use a small shop vac to blow any remaining water from the pump and filter. Store your drain plugs where you will easily find them in the spring!

8. Add winterizing chemicals

One of the most important winterizing chemicals is algaecide. When you use an algaecide, like FROG BAM, you limit algae buildup during the wintertime, making spring opening time much easier.

Algae is arguably the number one pool problem. Prevention is the best way to avoid the mess, time and expense required to get rid of it.

Water Care Expert Tip: Before putting algaecide in your pool, use a chlorine shock. A chlorine shock will sanitize the water so that the algaecide can do its job effectively.

9. Cover your pool

In areas with harsh winter conditions, investing in a high quality pool cover to protect your pool from the elements is optimal. Look for sturdy material, reinforced durable straps and anchors along the pool edges.

Most important: A pool cover is a long-term investment; invest in a pool cover that fits your pool and comes with a reliable warranty. Call your local retailer for help.

For above-ground pools, place an air pillow in the center of the pool under the cover. This absorbs the freezing water pressures to protect the pool walls.

A poool cover being pulled over an outdoor pool

10. Monitor year-round pools

If you live in a warm climate, you may use your pool all year long. In that case, follow your usual pool maintenance routine.

However, even if you live in a climate that’s well above freezing, you may not use your pool much in the winter months. If this is your scenario,  your best plan is to monitor water balance monthly so when you’re ready to swim, the pool is ready to go!

A hand dips a test srp into a pool

That’s a lot of work! Why is pool closing so important?

We’re glad you asked. Here’s 7 reasons to prioritize winterizing your pool:

1. It protects your pool equipment

Winter weather can cause significant damage to pool equipment from pumps to filters and heaters if they are not properly winterized. Freezing temperatures can lead to cracked pipes, motor damage, and other costly repairs. When you winterize your equipment, you avoid this altogether.

2. It prevents water damage

When your pool is not properly closed, water can freeze and expand, leading to cracks in the pool’s structure. When you monitor your water level, there’s no need to worry about water damage.

3. It minimizes maintenance costs

A properly closed pool requires less maintenance during the off-season. Take the time to close the pool correctly, and you can save money on chemicals, cleaning, and repairs!

the word algae with a circle and slash through it

4. Avoid algae and bacteria growth

Closing your pool when the weather is cool and water temperature is 65◦F or below is a good algae preventive. And treating your pool with a high quality algaecide for the winter stops algae and bacteria in their tracks. Then, spring opening is much easier.

5. It extends your pool’s lifespan

When you close your pool properly, you help extend its overall lifespan. Regular maintenance and proper winterization can prevent premature wear and tear and saves you money in the long run.

6. It keeps you and others safe

When you close your pool, you avoid safety risks. A pool cover protects curious children or animals, if they should happen to check out the pool or pool area. It also protects your pool water and surfaces.

7. You’ll have a smoother pool opening

When you close your pool correctly, it makes the opening process easier and quicker when warm weather returns.

In summary, properly closing your pool is essential to protect your investment, ensure a safe environment and make your pool opening process easy!

Young woman lays on a yellow floatie with her arms stretched out

Pool Closing Secrets Revealed

When you follow the steps and tips outlined above, you will enjoy the benefits of your time and effort to properly close your pool. Your careful attention to detail will pay off with a pool that needs less work to open and is only a few steps away an inviting pool when spring arrives. Happy pool closing!

Have more pool closing questions? We’re happy to help! Call us at 800-222-0169 or email us at customer.service@kingtechnology.com

We also have a chat box on our website for quick and easy answers – try it out!


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