As the summer heat fades and the leaves start to fall, it’s time to bid farewell to another pool season. While closing your pool may seem like a bittersweet task, it’s a necessary one to protect your investment and ensure a smooth opening next year. Don’t let the process overwhelm you – we’ve got you covered with 10 simple steps to help you close your pool like a pro.
*As always, Hayward recommends contracting a reputable pool professional to close your pool for the season. A properly closed pool will ensure there is no damage due to freezing and that spring start-up is a breeze and less costly.
1. Balance water chemistry
The week you’re closing your pool, make sure your water falls within the ranges below.
- pH: 7.2 – 7.8
- Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
2. Add shock and algaecide
Shock your pool by following the manufacturer’s package directions. Allow the chlorine level to reach 1.0 – 3.0 ppm before adding winter algaecide. Never add shock and algaecide to the pool at the same time.
3. Clean pool
Vacuum and brush the pool’s walls. If your pool is especially dirty or has a lot of algae, vacuum the pool to waste. This means bypassing the filter and vacuum waste out the backwash line. This prevents constant filter clogging and cleaning. Place the multiport filter valve on the drain to the waste position. The pool should be as clean and clear as possible before covering.
4. Store equipment
Remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets, and ladders from the pool and store them for the winter. Don’t coil pool cleaner hoses tightly.
5. Lower water level
Use the filter pump or a submersible pump to lower the water level 12″ – 18″ below the skimmer for mesh covers, and 3″ – 6″ below the tile for solid, floating covers. Some covers do not require you to lower the water. Check with your manufacturer’s manual.
6. Drain pump, filter, chlorination, and heating equipment
Use drain plugs to drain water from your pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator. All water must be drained or blown out so your equipment doesn’t freeze and crack. After draining, D.E. filter grids and cartridge filters should be removed and cleaned thoroughly. If possible, store the filter and pump indoors. If not, use a shop vacuum or compressor to blow out any water that may still be in the equipment.
Fall closing is a good time to lubricate the pump lid o-rings. If you have a push-pull valve (also known as a slide valve) on the filter, lubricate its o-rings as well. If you have a gas heater with cast iron plugs, lubricate these threads or leave the plugs in after draining to prevent rusting.
8. Winterize plumbing
If you have an in-ground pool, you should blow out the lines from the skimmer, through the equipment and back to the pool, then plug the lines at the pool using expansion plugs. If you don’t blow the lines, add swimming pool antifreeze into the lines following the manufacturer’s package directions. If you have an above-ground pool, you usually just need to disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and filter and plug the wall outlets.
9. Cover the pool
A tight fit of your pool cover is essential. A mesh safety cover is the most desirable and safer. Solid covers will require a cover pump or siphon to remove rainwater and snow melt. Above-ground pool covers use a cable winch device to secure the cover.
10. Rejoice and plan
That concludes another pool season gone by! Appreciate all the wonderful memories you made with family and friends. While you’re at it, why not start planning for the next season? Consider creating a mental punch list of any enhancements or improvements you’d like to make to your pool. With a little forethought, you’ll be well on your way to creating an even better pool experience for yourself and your loved ones next summer.