When Should I Close My Pool for the Winter?

It is generally recommended to open and close your pool at the appropriate times, rather than simply closing it when it is convenient for you. This is because closing your pool too early can lead to problems with your chemicals and pool maintenance. But when exactly is the “appropriate time?”

The ideal time to close your pool will depend on various factors such as water temperature and the presence of foliage. If you close your pool while the weather is still warm, the chemicals used to protect it during the winter may not last until spring, as they are more quickly consumed in hot temperatures. Instead, it is important to base your decision on the weather and your environment rather than whatever date works best for your schedule.

Closing your pool before the weather turns colder can make it more prone to algae growth and staining in the early spring. Additionally, it can make the process of opening and cleaning your pool in the spring more time-consuming and expensive due to dirty water.

If you uncover your pool and find it green and filled with algae, you will have to either drain and refill the water or increase the use of chemicals and operating costs to make it safe for swimming. Either way, this will extend the time before you can enjoy using your pool.

Keep an eye on the temperature

To avoid costly and time-consuming maintenance issues, it is best to keep your pool open and functioning as usual if the weather in your area is still warm enough (high 70s or low 80s). The ideal time to close your pool is when the water temperature consistently drops below 60 degrees. At this temperature, microorganisms and algae become dormant and cannot grow. Closing your pool when the water temperature reaches this point can help to maintain the chemistry of the water and prevent algae growth, which can make it easier to open the pool in the spring.

To ensure that you are using the correct chemicals in the proper amounts when closing your pool for the season, it is a good idea to have a pool professional test your water. The process of closing a pool is different from standard maintenance, so it is important to follow the proper protocols to make the closing and opening processes as smooth as possible.

Offseason shocking is important

During the off-season, it is recommended to add shock to the pool water twice, typically around Thanksgiving and Easter when the water is not frozen. This helps to keep the water clear for when you open the pool in the spring.

To ensure a successful closing process, it is important to prepare well, have a good understanding of how to balance the chemicals in your pool, and set aside a full day for the task. If the closing is not done properly, it may become apparent when you try to open the pool in the spring.

Proper winterization can help prevent equipment and piping from freezing and reduce the need for repairs or extended delays in getting the pool water clear when you open it again.

To drain or not to drain

While it may be tempting to empty your pool completely for the winter, it is not recommended, as the soil under and around the pool can freeze and cause the pool to shift. Instead, it is suggested to drain the pool 4”-6” below the skimmer, as the weight of the remaining water helps to keep the pool in place.

Most of the effort in closing your pool involves properly preparing the mechanical systems for freezing temperatures. This includes ensuring that pumps, heaters, and plumbing lines are free of standing water and securing the pool with a good cover.

To make the process of covering your pool for the winter easier, it is a good idea to use a combination of a safety or standard winter cover and a leaf cover. By placing the leaf cover on top of the heavier cover, you can easily remove leaves and debris that accumulate over the winter before removing the heavier cover. If you prefer to handle the pool closing process yourself, there are many instructional videos available on YouTube and on the websites of pool manufacturers. However, it is always a good idea to consult with a professional for guidance and to ensure that the process is done properly.

Want more pool tips?

We’re your source for helpful pool tips throughout the year, so come back and visit us regularly! And when you want to upgrade your pool with a new pool slide, ladder, railing, diving board, or some new pool games, be sure to check out Global Pool Pr

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