How To Winterize An Inground Pool

Beginner Info, Pool

how to winterize an inground pool
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So, how to winterize an inground pool?

Well, in this post, I would be walking you through in and out of winterizing an inground pool.

Moreover, I’ll also throw light on steps that you need to carry out as a newbie in order to achieve optimum results.

I own a couple of personal and professional pools for over a decade now, so I might be the RIGHT person to guide you in winterizing your inground pool.

Does it make sense?

How To Winterize An Inground Pool | Beginner’s Guide

When I bought my very first pool, the first question that came to mind was to find out the best way to winterize it as winter was approaching, and unfortunately, I don’t have an idea what to do.

Just to mention, during those days, information wasn’t readily available on the Internet.

I always believe and suggest to my clients that if winterizing of an inground pool is done in a proper manner then definitely, opening it for summer wouldn’t be a pain in your butt.

So, you might be wondering, what we’re gonna learn in this post, right?

  • Gears that you need to have handy in order to get started with the winterizing of your inground pool
  • Simple steps that you need to follow in order to make winterizing your pool a grand success

Important Gears That You’ll Need To Get Started

I highly recommend that you should’ve got the below-mentioned gears handy in order to expedite the winterization of your inground pool successfully.

  • Pool Skimmer
  • Pool Brush
  • Pool Vacuum
  • Winter Cover
  • Winter Chemical Kit
  • Winter Plugs for Return Jets
  • Air Compressor or Blower

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

[Related] How to Winterize an Above-Ground Pool?

How To Winterizing Your Inground Pool | Step-By-Step

I’ve tried to the best of my capabilities to come up with simple yet effective steps that would help you to winterize your inground pool without any hassle.

Moreover, the best part is, you can expedite almost all these steps on your own without any professional help.

In case, you find yourself getting stuck, feel free to contact us, and trust me, we would do the hard work for you to the best of our capabilities.

Clean Your Pool

It goes without saying that the first step that you need to take when it comes to winterizing your pool is to clean it thoroughly.

The process involves skimming the debris floating in your pool water.

Also, you need to scrub the pool surface with the help of a pool brush.

Needless to say, you need to pay special attention to the areas where specks of dirt, algae, etc got built up.

Once you’re done with the brushing of your pool surface, all you need to do is to run the vacuum to get rid of the debris that has sunk to the bottom of the pool.

Cleaning your pool is definitely an important step and needs to be taken care of in the best possible manner to avoid any last-hour misadventure.

Test and Balance Your Pool Water

So, after cleaning your pool, you need to test your pool water chemistry in order to make sure that the pool chemistry is balanced.

For testing purposes, you would be needing a pool chemistry test kit.

You can even take a sample of pool water to your local pool store and ask them to do the testing for you.

However, if you’ve time and decided to expedite the testing process on your own then make sure that the test readings are well within the recommended range.

  • pH: 7.4-7.6
  • Chlorine: 1.0-3.0 parts per million
  • Total alkalinity: 80 to 140 parts per million
  • Calcium hardness: 200-400
  • Chlorine level: less than or equal to 5 parts per million

Testing of chemicals before winterization of your pool is highly important, and you can’t afford to ignore it.

Moreover, if the pool chemistry reading exceeds or drops above/below the normal range then you need to fix the problem right away.

Falling to do so would encourage algae growth, corrosion, and cloudy pool water.

Moreover, a sudden and fast growth of algae can turn your pool totally green in less than 24 hours.

Winterizing Chemicals Addition

If you’re expediting the winterization process for the very first time then definitely you should opt for a winter chemical kit.

As compared to buying each chemical separately, it is highly advisable that you opt for a winter chemical kit as it will save you both time and money.

Nevertheless, if you’re planning to buy each chemical separately then below is the list of chemicals that you need to buy.

  • Chlorine: you can buy tablets, powder, or liquid whatever works for you
  • Pool shock
  • In case, you’ve to raise the pH level, then you might be needing sodium bicarbonate
  • Algaecide

Once you’ve got the aforementioned chemicals handy, all you need to do is to shock the pool.

Ensure that shocking is performed at least 24 hours before you plan to close the pool.

Moreover, follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to achieve optimum results effortlessly.

After shocking the pool, you need to do the testing again to ensure that all the chemicals are in their prescribed range.

Pool Water Lowering

Depending upon the type of pool cover that you’re planning to use, you need to lower the pool water.

For example, you need to lower your pool water half below the skimmer in case you’re planning to use a mesh cover.

On the other hand, lowering pool water just a few inches would do the trick for you in case, you’re using a solid cover.

You might disagree with me, and depending upon your own experience, you can do the needful.

But, at the same time, you’ll also agree that the pool shouldn’t be fully drained, right?

If you’re draining pool water too much and planning to use a solid pool cover then the probability is very high that the air would circulate below the cover causing dryness and damage.

I’ve seen my clients doing the mistake of draining the pool fully and thus ending up in a series of troubles.

On the other hand, if you’ll not lower the pool water then it might lead to the freezing of pool water, thus, resulting in damage to a skimmer.

Deck Equipment Removal

Equipment including rails, skimmer baskets, eyeball fittings, ropes, ladders, and diving boards needs to be removed.

And, don’t forget to store this detached equipment in a safe place wherein winter can’t trouble them.

Blow Out the Lines

Well, you can take the help of a blower, a shop vac, or an air compressor for blowing the lines.

Either you can expedite the task on your own or you can opt for professional guidance.

The latter might cost you a few bucks but its worthful in case, this is the very first time you’re expediting the winterization process.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that the skimmers are almost emptied.

And, if some amount of water is left then scoop them out.

With the help of valves, you can open the main drains.

Then, you need to open the drain plug and connect your blower to the pump.

Once you’ve expedited the process, air bubbles would start coming out of the skimmers and return lines.

Moving further, you need to remove the blower and plug all the skimmers with a winter plug.

Before turning off the blower don’t forget to plug all the return lines.

Furthermore, if you’ve got a pool heater then things would become easier for you.

In fact, if you’ve got a pool heater then you need to pull the drain plugs out and also, blow it out thoroughly.

For preventing freezing and cracking, you need to completely dry your heater.

Once done with the aforementioned steps, put the plugs back in.

Filter and Pump Cleaning

I hope that most of you would be aware of the fact there are three types of pool filters, that is, D.E. filter, cartridge filter, and sand filter.

In case, you’re using D.E. or sand filter, then you need to backwash them.

Let’s have a quick look at the below-mentioned steps that would help you to expedite backwashing in an efficient way.

  • First and foremost, you need to shut off the pump, and then you need to roll out the backwash hose. At the same time, don’t forget to check waste lines for any closed valves
  • In the next step, either you slide a push-pull valve or turn the multiport valve handle to backwash
  • Now, it’s time to turn on the pump. Further, make sure that the water flows out the backwash pipe or hose
  • At least backwash for 3 to 5 minutes in order to run water clearly
  • Shut off the pump, turn the valve back to the filter, and then turn the filter back on
  • Lastly, note the lower pressure on the filter tank, and increase the flow rate accordingly

Before we move to the next step, it’s really important that you expedite all the aforementioned steps without fail.

Before setting it to winterize, you need to rinse out the filter and turn off the power.

After setting it to winterize, you need to remove the inlet hose from the pool pump, and the outlet hose from the pool.

Don’t forget to attach one of those to the pool’s inlet nozzle.

Before you drain the water, you need to take the drain plug off the bottom of the filter.

I’m assuming that you own a DE filter so you need to backwash it.

All the traces of DE powder needs to be removed thoroughly by hosing it.

On the other hand, if you’re using a cartridge filter then all you need to do is to remove it and hose it off.

Once done, replace it back in the tank.

Swimming Pool Anti-Freeze

Frankly speaking, if you’re a resident of a milder climate then you can skip this step as you might not be needing pool anti-freeze.

But, adding it would only help you by preventing the problems such as freezing and cracking.

Moreover, the amount of pool anti-freeze that you need to add depends on what is said in the manufacturer’s instructions.

However, as per my knowledge and experience, I can affirm that for every 10 feet of pipe, 1 gallon of antifreeze would do the trick for you.

But, what I said is for those pipes which have some water still present in them.

On the other hand, nothing needs to be done if the pipe is completely in a dry state.

Adding antifreeze is simpler than you can even imagine.

All you need to do is to pour the antifreeze into the skimmer.

At the same time, refrain from pouring the antifreeze into the pump or the filter else it can lead to severe damage.

With the help of a funnel, it can be added to other lines.

I’ve seen people getting confused about pool antifreeze with the ones that are used for cars.

Never use them interchangeably as both are meant for different purposes.

Also, keep the antifreeze away from the reach of pets and children.

Similarly, it can lead to a dangerous outcome if it comes in contact with chlorine.

So, the point that I’m trying to make here is to help you understand that if you’ll add antifreeze to an automatic chlorinator then it can lead to a serious mishap.

Disconnect the Filter and Pump

If you’ve expedited the aforementioned steps successfully, then trust me, half of your work is already done.

Now, you need to disconnect and drain the water pump as well as all unused hoses.

Also, you should remove the pressure valve from the sand filter.

Similarly, remove the drain plugs from the pump and put them into the pump basket.

Before you store them in a dry and safe place make sure that everything is drained as well as dried well.

Cover the Pool

Well, you need to cover the pool for the best possible result, right?

But, at the same time, you might need a helping hand, again it totally depends on the type of cover that you’ve.

For example, if you’re using a plastic cover then inspect it thoroughly and more than once for the holes and tears.

A lightweight cover like the plastic one can be easily patched with the help of duct tape.

For vinyl covers, you can use a vinyl pool patch.

However, securing these type of covers need your attention.

The best way to secure them in place is with the help of water bags or water tubes.

If you’re planning to use water bags for the securing purpose then you need to keep in mind that these bags shouldn’t be filled more than 3/4th of their capacities else they might bust after getting frozen.

At the same time, don’t forget to check for leaks when you’re filling them.

If you’re an owner of a large pool and the cover is heavy and bulky then my suggestion would be to take the help of your friend.

Even you can use a pool pillow for closing your pool.

A pool pillow is nothing but a pillow filled with air that is kept on the surface of the pool underneath the pool cover.

The benefit of using a pool pillow is that you can create a little space between the frozen water and the cover.

By doing so, it prevents the damage that can be caused to the cover as well as the pool liner because it helps prevent too much expansion in case the water gets frozen.

How To Winterize An Inground Pool With Antifreeze?

I’m attaching a self-explanatory video for your perusal.

In case of any doubt or query feel free to reach out to us via the contact form, and our core team would be more than happy to assist you.

It’s A Wrap

First of all, I would like to thank my readers for showing so much love and affection.

Trust me, I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort to come up with a comprehensive guide on many topics including how to winterize an inground pool.

I hope you would’ve thoroughly enjoyed the content and if that is the case then please rate us on a scale of 1 to 5 with the latter being the best.

Cutting long-story-short, closing your pool for winter is definitely an essential part of keeping your pool and equipment trouble-free around the clock.

And, the best part is, when the time comes for opening the pool things will fall well within the place.

As mentioned earlier, you can afford to skip certain steps if you’re living in a milder climate.

Nonetheless, in case, you’ve got an element of doubt do contact your local pool supply store.

Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

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