Closing Your Pool for the Winter

17 thoughts on “Closing Your Pool for the Winter

  1. Re: Step 7 Cover your Pool. Would you please elaborate on “You have standard winter and mesh covers, leaf covers, and safety covers. We recommend you use a combination of the two to protect your pool.” How and in what combination?

    1. Jon,
      Thanks for reading our blog, The combination I recommend using is a leaf net on top of a winter cover. Sometimes when it’s time to open your pool again in the spring, large amount of water, leaves, and debris end up on top of your cover. By only having a winter cover, it makes removing the cover very difficult due to the weight of the water and debris. By putting a leaf net on top of your cover, it allows you to easily remove the leaves and large debris first. Then, removing your winter cover is much easier. The leaf net also serves as extra protection for your winter cover. Hope this helps.

  2. I live in Austin, Texas. Do I need to winterize my above ground pool and does this include reducing the amount of water by 4-6 inches under the skimmer?

    1. Randy – it depends on your climate. If you are expecting freezes, snow, and sleet than you should close it. If you don’t have a true winter like us in Florida, then you likely do not need to close the pool. In the warmer parts of the country, pool owners will simply reduce the run time of their pump because the demand for chlorine is not as high.

      1. Hi Matthew,

        My pool was closed for a full year.
        I see that it seems like it just recently lost a lot of water as the pool cover is falling in much more.
        Can I add water now or will that affect the winterization/chemicals?
        Any other tips on this…

        1. If the cover is in danger of falling into the pool, then I would suggest raising the water level. And whether or not you should add more chemicals would depend on the water chemistry result after you add that new water. But chances are, you are going to need to add more water.

          Unfortunately, I do not have any tips for keeping a pool semi-permanently closed. But if you were able to keep it successfully closed for a year, I’d say, keep doing what you’re doing.

  3. I live outside of Dallas, Texas. We typically winterize and cover our inground saltwater pool. However, leaves and dirt still get under the cover and into the pool. It has been a nightmare with opening in the Spring
    due to algae growth. What do you recommend? Should we leave the pool open?


    1. I have come across quite a pool owners in Texas who never close their pool. But I do not know the volume of leafs and other debris you are dealing with in the fall that might make it unfeasible. Because Dallas is relatively warm weather most of the year, all you would need is a simple freeze protect sensor or keep your water constantly running. The latter option is only ideal if you have a dual or variable speed motor.

      What type of cover are you using? It seems odd that enough leafs are slipping past a pool cover to cause an issue. If it is a winter cover, you might want to buy a few more water bags to form a solid ring barrier the leafs and dirt can’t get by.

  4. I live in Southern California in an area where the temperature seldom gets below 40 degrees F at night, freezing has never been an issue. I have a DE filter with a variable speed pump for a pebbletech in-ground pool, roughly 16k gallons. I use a copper ionizing solar float along with chlorine to keep algae in control, although I have a bit of a build-up at the moment due having shoulder surgery. My wife asked if I we could just leave the pool without the pump running and let it algae up like her relatives back east used to do each year and then at the start of the pool season do a deep cleaning/shock to restore it. Is this feasible? I would certainly like to save on electricity and chemicals, my concern is that the pool could get so clogged with algae that we would have difficulty getting it going again in the spring. Additionally would this create a potential health issue with a large body of stagnant water with algae being a great breeding ground for mosquitoes?

    1. I would probably just lessen the run time of your pool pump to a couple of hours a day if you plan to keep it open. The lower temps in winter mean there is less call for chlorine so there is less need to keep the water churning.

      Pool algae require water temps to be around 60 degrees to bloom. If your water stays below 60 then algae shouldn’t be an issue. But if your water fluctuates will have a problem. And I am not sure how much money you would be saving in chemicals because you will likely have to shock, then re-shock, add algaecide and do the proper balancing of your pool water when you open the pool up having left it stagnant for months. Also, depending on your area, you could have staining issues as well.

      Mosquitoes shut it down for the winter in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and prefer temps of 80 and above. If your area stays in the upper end of that scale, mosquitoes will be a problem.

  5. I live in Mississippi. Is it ok to drain the pump on an in ground salt water pool and not cover the pool? I don’t want to leave the pump running because on cold days it runs 24 hours and if we are out of town it would just be easier for it to be drained. But there are loose dogs in the neighborhood and also out of city limits so critters around. I am afraid one will get on the cover in the pool and not be able to get out. My question is, is it ok to winterize your pump but not put a cover on the pool?

    1. Loose dogs and critters aside, it depends on the weather and surrounding foliage. If your weather is consistently 50 degrees and below then lowering the water level should be fine. Algae growth comes to a halt below 50 degrees, and bacteria should not be much of a problem either.

      But if you are in a heavily wooded area where leaves, pine needles, and nuts will end up in your pool; you are going to need to find some way to get them out. If you let them set in your pool, then the remaining water in your pool will be a soup and could stain your pool surface.

    1. I do not know what the typical winter is like in your area. I suggest asking other pool owners in your neighborhood if you know any. Find out what they typically do during the offseason. Also, if you have a pool tech or company you trust, ask them what the typical pool procedure for the winter is in your area.

  6. Is it absolutely necessary to wait for the water temperature to drop below 18 degrees C?

    Can I winter it now and add more chemicals later if necessary?

    1. I guess you could. I am not sure why you would want to install the cover, knowing full well you are going to at least partially remove it to properly mix the booster shot of chemicals a week or so later.

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