How To Prepare Your Pool For The Cool Season

Dated: 08/25/2017

Views: 733

[Guest post by our friend, Paul Denikin of]

The summer heat is always a welcome reminder of why a pool is worth the often costly investment. However, once summer ends, the kids are back in school, and the weather begins to turn, preparations must be made to close the pool for the winter.

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(Photo via Pixabay)

Veteran owners likely know the routine that comes with prepping the pool for winter time. For novice owners or even those who are unsure of their methods, there are several tips that will ensure the pool is primed for its temporary dormant state.

Establishing The Right Chemical Balance 

Before protective and winter covers are considered, the water of the pool must be prepared for the changing temperatures. Winter may be a period in which the pool sees no usage, but it does not mean that pool maintenance should cease as well.

According toPool Center and other sources, an imbalanced pH level upon closing down the pool for winter will likely result in the buildup of algae and other microorganisms that will haunt you when spring rolls around. Fortunately, there are a number of chemical winterizing kits which release carbon dioxide and other chemicals in order to fight algae buildup throughout the winter months.

With most kits pre-measured to fit different pool sizes, these products represent a low-maintenance solution to establishing a healthy pH before closing up the pool for hibernation. However, those in more moderate winter climates may want to monitor the pool throughout winter, adding algaecide or more of the chemical winterizing formula as needed.

What is the Ideal Winter Temperature?

Swim Universityrecommends maintaining a pool temperature below 65 degrees in the winter time to further ensure the stifling of any potential algae and microorganism growth. While winter in many regions will take care of the cooling, the cold season does not occur uniformly from year to year.

For this reason, a calendar-based approach to shutting the pool down should be foregone in favor of a temperature-based approach. Closing the pool too early may mean the pool’s temperature remaining too high, which may cause algae growth despite the use of counteracting measures.


Treat Metal Objects

Metal in your pool, often in the form of handrails, can result in the buildup of copper and iron over the winter season,according to Leslie’s Pool Supplies. Products such as Leslie’s own ‘Metal Free’ work to prevent copper stains on the pool’s walls while also combating water discoloration attributed to metal buildup. 

A small investment in such a product may spare you far more significant costs should you have to remove metal stains after winter. Speaking of which…

Finding the Proper Pool Cover

Winter pool covers are typically made of mesh, and finding the right one for your pool is a fairly straightforward process. The primary purpose of a winter pool cover is to protect the pool from debris during the cold season,according to All-Safe pool and fence covers.

Find a winter cover that fits your pool’s dimensions, which may be more difficult for some depending on the complexity of your pool’s design. Preferably, the purchase of a cover from a vendor who also offers installation is ideal. After assessing the quality of the cover through research and the perusal of reviews, complete your purchase and install before winter comes.


Some Final Steps

Hayward Pool recommends that, before a pool is closed down for winter, the filter is run for 24-48 hours. As part of this process, the removal of debris and a thorough vacuuming of the pool floor is also required.

Consult the pool’s manufacturer or builder – or just a resident professional – to see how much your pool level should be lowered to counter potential freezing. Draining the pool is not always the wisest option, so consult a knowledgeable party before doing so.

It is recommended that filters and pumps be removed and stored once the last clean-out is complete. Lastly, removing diving boards or slides is recommended, if possible, and power to heaters and other support devices should be severed.

You are then ready to cover your pool, shutting down the fun until the warm months return.



The consequences of failing to properly close down your pool for winter have been proven time and again. You likely paid good money for a house with a pool, or the pool itself, and failing to adjust the chemical balance, clean out debris, and install a proper cover will only result in more money spent once the pool is ready for use.

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Sonny Hotchkiss - Team Lead

As a native of St. Petersburg, Sonny has an intimate knowledge of the Bay Area. He attended University of Florida where he received a BS in Business Administration. Sonny has been working in real est....

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