Check for Water Leakage
Before you begin the process of treating the water and covering the pool, be sure to check the water level to make sure that the liner is not
leaking. This may sound unusual, but many aboveground pools are destroyed during the winter months because the water in the pool leaked during
the shutdown period.
During the winter, ice will form and push against the walls of the pool. When ice forms in a pool, the water underneath the
ice is actually supporting it. If you are unaware of a leak, the water may drain out slowly during winter season leaving you with a rather nasty
problem on your hands! Consider the following scenario: The ice in mid-winter is pushing against the walls of your pool with great strength. It
will support itself for a while until things start to thaw in late winter, when the ice "loses its grip" (so to speak) and begins to
drop into the water beneath it. If the water under the ice is at a very low level, or totally drained out (because of that tiny leak), the ice
falls with great force, crashing to the bottom of your pool because there is no water under the ice block to cushion the fall. Your pool walls
will be crimped and the total pool could be devastated! Worst of all—manufacturers of the pool don't give you any relief. They blame the
liner manufacturer! The liner manufacturer blames the pool manufacturer! You lose! (Now is when you realize the importance of buying an aboveground
pool with the same manufacturer as the liner).
First, mark the water level of the pool with a marker. Place a pan with at least two inches of water in it on the ground by the pool. Mark the
pan of water with a marker also. Leave the pool off for at least 24 hours. No vacuuming, no swimming, no activity whatsoever! Now check the water
level in the pool and compare it to the level in the pan of water. Both should be the same (because evaporation and rain will be the same).
Aboveground Pools in Cold Climates
Pools in cold climates have special winterizing needs that pool owners in warmer areas don’t have to contend with. First, we recommend using
a Skimmer Closure which will keep you from having to drain the water below the skimmer opening.
Skimmer Guards also protect your Skimmer from costly cracks & damage due to expanding freezing water. Disconnect the hose under your skimmer so rainwater will drain out. Then plug the return fitting with a Rubber Compression Plug. We stock these plugs, but they are also readily available at most hardware stores. If you do not wish to use a Skimmer Closure, you can use a Skimmer Guard instead. A Skimmer Guard is simply a plastic compensator that is threaded at the bottom. It screws into the bottom of most and prevents ice damage to the skimmer housing by collapsing itself to take up the ice expansion. You can usually use it again next season, unless it breaks or tears. With a Skimmer Guard, you still plug the return line with a plastic threaded plug after removing the threaded eyeball directional flow fitting. Rubber expandable plugs also work well.
- If you are purchasing a Skimmer Closure, please provide the manufacturer or model number of your skimmer, so we can ensure you get the correct
- The best time to add a Skimmer Closure is actually in the spring (when your water level is lower). It is possible to install a Skimmer Closure
when the water is at the "regular" level; while it is a bit more cumbersome, it can be done with only a small amount of water loss.
Adding the Winterizing Kit
Winter Closing Chemical Kits
Winterizing your pool water is as important as protecting the pool itself. We stock several quality products that will ensure a smooth pool closing,
and give you sparkling water next spring, with a minimum of time, effort & money.
Our chlorine-free Winter
Closing Chemical Kits come with everything you need, and are sized to your specific pool size. Winter Chemical Kits include pool shock, chemical
floater w/ oxidizer, winterizing algaecide, Winter Stain-Away and our exclusive Winter Sorb to purge oils, lotion and swimmer waste from your water.
And try our amazing AHH-Some Winter Pool Clarifier before you cover your pool… an easy-to-use, 3-in-1 treatment that saves you money and helps ensure sparkling clear water for spring opening.
Remove Summer Gear
Remove your solar blanket and lay it flat to dry so it can be rolled & stored in your basement (or other area that's protected from the elements).
Do not leave your solar blanket out during the winter months unless you completely dry it and cover it first with an appropriate cover.
Now is also the time to remove any pool accessories that protrude into the pool (such as lights, fountains, or pool cleaner attachments). Failure to do so could ruin your pool or rip the liner as ice grips the object and moves. You would not believe how ice can ruin a pool not winterized properly!
Pump & Filter Care
Winter Cover Seal
First, backwash your filter thoroughly:
- If you have a sand filter, remove the winter drain plug at the tank base & keep this drain open for the winter.
- If you have a DE or Cartridge filter, you should remove the drain plug and open the filter top. Remove the element (cartridge) to clean it
with a solution of TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) 2 cups per 1/2 gallon of water. Soak it for 30 minutes and hose it off and then let it drip dry
in the basement or garage. Do not put the element back in the filter until spring. Clean your DE Filter Grids or Flex Tubes with a garden hose
spray. If they look grayish or brown, clean them with TSP also. Make sure that all the DE Powder is removed from the tank.
If your filter is not too heavy to move, remove it from the outside for the winter. If you decide to leave your filter outside, wrap it with an old wool blanket, or consider a Winter Cover Seal. You will probably have more than enough for the pool, so keep some for the filter & pump.
During the winter shutdown, plug your pump motor in for about two to three seconds per month. This will keep it ready for a successful spring start-up.
Put the Cover on the Pool
Aboveground Winter Covers
Pool covers are always made larger than the pool. Generally, aboveground pool covers are at least three to four feet larger than the pool size. So, a cover for a 24' pool is made 27' or 28' round. Pool covers are made to lie on top of the pool water; they are not made to stretch across the pool. Pool covers will collect precipitation and they are designed to do just that. Do not "tee pee" a winter pool cover as it will fail!
In areas where the water will freeze, you MUST use an air pillow or ice equalizer to prevent the pool wall from crinkling. These vinyl pillows are filled with air from the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner. We recommend you inflate the pillow two or three days prior to using it. This way, if there is a leak you will know about it before you use it. Secure the pillow(s) in the pool with a nylon string or rope.
If you live in a windy area you should also use cover clips. Many of our customers prefer what we call Winter Cover Seal. Winter Cover Seal comes in a 500-foot roll and is applied around the pool perimeter after the pool is covered. It is a polyethylene wrap that stays in place all winter long. These inexpensive items will save your cover from wind-whip damage. If you want your pool cover to last many years, using the Winter Cover Seal or the Gladon clips will benefit you most.
Submersible Cover Pump
It is normal to get water accumulation on top of most pool covers. If you get a very large accumulation of water or snow melt on the cover, it is advisable to use a submersible cover pump to remove some of it. Note: On winter covers that have sewn seams, it is important that you do NOT position the cover pump over a seam. This will result in you removing pool water from the pool!
ALL solid pool lay-on-the-water polyethylene covers allow seepage of water from the pool to the top of the cover. This is NORMAL. Never disturb the
ice block inside any pool by standing on the cover or shoveling snow off the cover. Serious damage can occur if this is done.
Shop Winter Products Now
If you have any questions please contact us at 1-800-983-POOL (7665).