Summer always seems to fly by.  How can we already be talking about winterizing pools?

All good things must come to an end — including summer. And for next year’s pool season to hit the ground running, a little preparation goes a long way. Here are our top tips for a relatively hassle-free pool closing.

1. Clean Out the Pool

Cleaning your pool now, before closing, helps prevent algae and will make your spring opening even easier, with less spring cleaning. First, be sure to remove all leaves, dirt, insects, or other debris. Don’t forget to vacuum the pool and brush the walls using a non-abrasive cleaner made for vinyl or tile. If you want the process to go a little smoother, skip the manual labor and let a Polaris® automatic pool cleaner handle the tedious task of cleaning and scrubbing your pool surfaces. With pool cleaning technology designed for your convenience, you can choose from a variety of automatic pool cleaning options – robotic pool cleaners, pressure-side pool cleaners and suction-side pool cleaners.

2. Balance the Water

Properly balanced water protects your pool and equipment from corrosion. Use a test kit to measure pool chemistry. Total alkalinity should be between 80-120 ppm; pH level should be between 7.4-7.6. Once the water has been balanced, shock and chlorinate your pool. Shocking kills stubborn bacteria that might linger even when the temperature drops drastically. If you aren't sure what chemicals to add, your local pool retailer can help you.

3. Remove Pool Equipment

Remove any floats, skimmer baskets, wall fittings, hoses, cleaners, pool ladders and rails. Clean and dry them, and store them in a dry space. Now is also a great time to store all of your in-pool furniture as well as outdoor furniture and accessories to prevent weathering.

4. Lower the Water Level

To protect your pool from frostbite during freezing temperatures, lower the water level. It should be 4-6 inches below the skimmer in vinyl-lined pools, and below the tile line in plaster pools.

Pool Closing Tips

5. Drain Pump and Heater

Make sure all of the water is drained from the pump and filters before disconnecting them. You can use an air compressor to be sure there is no standing water in the system. Also, be sure to remove the drain plugs since they can trap water inside. Trapped water—even a tiny amount – can turn to ice, eventually expanding and possibly damaging your system.

6. Protect Your Pipes

Clearing water from the pipes eliminates potential freeze damage. Unscrew and loosen any quick-disconnect fittings or unions at your pump and filter system, then blow out the pipes using a wet-dry shop vacuum or air compressor. If there’s a main drain line, clear it the same way.

If you opt not to clear your pipes, you can also add swimming pool antifreeze to the pipes to prevent freezing. Finish by wrapping any exposed pipes with an insulating material.

7. Maintain Your Pool Lights

Swimming Pools may or may not be drained completely. If not drained completely, the water level should be lowered below the LED pool light and make sure that all water is drained from the wall fitting and conduit.

NOTE - If water is trapped in conduit, damage may occur from freeze expansion.

The S.R.Smith micro LED pool light will need to be unthreaded (completely disengage the threads) from the wall fitting and left to rest in the fitting. Alternatively, the S.R.Smith micro pool light may be removed completely, the conduit purged of all water, and water level left below the fitting.

The S.R.Smith kēlo or TREO LED pool light may be removed completely, the conduit purged of all water, and a 1 1/2” NPT male plug with thread sealing tape may be used to close the wall fitting.

The S.R.Smith kēloXL LED pool light may be disengaged from the niche and brought up to the deck and secured under a sturdy covering for the winter period. Alternatively, the kēloXL may be disengaged as before but if enough cord has been left in the niche, the light may be sunk to the bottom of the pool during the winter season. Weights may be needed to hold it place.

For the S.R.Smith Mod-Lite® wireless LED pool Light, ​remove the Lamp Module and let the water drain out, then replace the Lamp Module. This will require that the water level to remain below the wall fitting level for the duration of the ‘winter’ season. Alternatively, the S.R.Smith Mod-Lite LED Lamp Module may be removed completely, the conduit purged of all water, and the custom 1½" Threaded Hole utility plug with triple density, PTFE thread sealing tape may be used to close the wall fitting. As there are differences in wall fitting types in both new or used condition, the wall fitting should be inspected to determine the suitability of the custom 1½" Threaded Hole utility plug and it’s ability to seal the fitting.
DO NOT USE a standard ‘Off the shelf’ threaded plug part as the deeper depth may damage the Power Coupler.

For additional information, such as lamp replacement instructions, please consult your product owner's manual.

Winter is also the perfect time to consider a pool lighting upgrade while the water level is low. If your pool is more than 20 years old, it most likely has outdated fiber optic lighting that fades over time. The S.R.Smith PT-6001 and PT-6002 Fiber to LED lighting upgrade kit uses the existing conduit to update fiber optic lighting with vibrant LED pool lighting.

8. Cover the Pool

The winter cover is important for both the pool and the people around it. It's stronger than a summer cover, both to withstand the weight of snow and ice, and to protect people or pets from accidentally falling through the cover into the water. If your cover has any rips, fix them. If they're beyond repair, replace the cover. Select one that best fits your pool and can survive your region’s winter.

Cover-Pools pool covers are designed to fit any shape or size pool and are the best way to protect family and friends and to optimize your investment, ensuring your swimming pool will remain the source of fun and enjoyment it was intended to be. An all-in-one safety, solar, and winter cover, our automatic pool covers make sure your pool is ready for the next season. If you were thinking ahead and installed an automatic pool cover when you built your pool, then covering up your pool for winter is as simple as pressing a button, however, if you didn’t you still can. Cover-Pools automatic pool covers can also be installed after with just a discreet bench that covers the motor (and acts as a convenient seat).

Next Year Awaits

When springtime rolls around and uncovering the pool takes center stage, your winter preparation will pay off. Your pool will thank you. Your pool guests will thank you. And you’ll probably thank yourself for doing the prep work! Taking care of these tasks now will save you a lot of trouble down the road.  

We hope your fall and winter goes, well, swimmingly!