How to Close Your Pool

pool safety cover

A safety cover is safer and more attractive than a winter cover.

Closing your swimming pool properly helps protect your pool all winter and helps you have an easy spring pool opening. Here’s how to winterize and close your pool using the Suncoast® family of pool chemicals.

Tip: Suncoast Winterizing Kits include all the pool chemicals you need to close your pool: Suncoast Oxidizing Shock & Swim, Suncoast Winter Stain & Scale Control, and Suncoast Winter Algarid.

Step 1: Brush the sides and bottom of the pool and vacuum all debris from the pool.

Step 2: Clean the skimmer and pool pump strainer baskets; backwash the pool filter.

Step 3: With the pool pump running, add one pound of Suncoast Winter Stain & Scale Control per 12,000 gallons of pool water by dissolving it in five gallons of pool water and distributing it around the perimeter of the pool. Leave the pump circulating; wait two hours.

Step 4:  Test your free available chlorine with a reliable pool water test kit. Adjust chlorine as necessary to obtain a reading of 2-3 ppm. Adjust pH to between 7.2 and 7.6. If no chlorine adjustment is necessary, proceed to Step 5. If an adjustment is required, allow the pool pump to circulate for four to six hours, then repeat Step 4.

Step 5: Maintaining continuous pool circulation, distribute one pound of Suncoast Oxidizing Shock & Swim per 10,000 gallons of pool water in the deep end of the pool. Wait six to eight hours with the pump circulating.

Step 6: Add 16 ounces of Suncoast Winter Algarid per 10,000 gallons of pool water (add 64 ounces if pool has visible algae). Allow the pool pump to circulate for two to four hours.

Step 7: Take all removable pool filter equipment indoors. Inground lines should be drained, plugged and filled with antifreeze.

Step 8: Blow out any underground lines. Plug up the lines so the pool water doesn’t wash back in. When water has completely drained from the plumbing lines, put winterizing plugs into the return lines and the skimmer line. Add pool antifreeze, following the directions on the label, to the lines. Leave all valves half-open.

Step 9: Place a skimmer guard into the skimmer. This prevents your skimmer from cracking when rain or snow accumulates in the skimmer.

Step 10: Check for any rubber fittings or gaskets that will be exposed to the air and cover them with o-ring lube to prevent drying and shrinking.

Step 11: Remove ladders and anything else that hangs in the water. Remove the automatic pool cleaner and drain it completely. Lay the hoses out straight in a non-freezing location.

Tip: Place all of your fittings, screws, etc. into the skimmer basket for safekeeping. Store your skimmer basket in a safe place for spring.

Step 12: Put the pool cover on so that the entire cover touches the water (except where it goes over the pool air pillow in an above ground pool) and sides of the pool. It is very important that the cover doesn’t “tent.” If the pool cover is too taut, the weight of the winter snow could destroy the cover (or worse). If you cannot run your hand over the cover straight down the inside wall of the pool until you hit water level, you need either more water or a larger cover.

Tip: Air pillows under your above ground pool cover help relieve the pressure of expanding ice and make the removal of water from the top of the cover much easier. Two or three pool air pillows will give you a little more safety than one large one. Also, if one breaks early in the winter, you’ll still have one left in the pool.

Posted: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 @ 8:57 pm
Categories: How Tos, Pool Chemicals, Treating Pool Algae.
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2 Responses to “How to Close Your Pool”

  1. Beth Says:

    Do you recommend using air pillows under the winter cover of in-ground pools?

  2. rlynn Says:

    Hi Beth: Air pillows are used with above ground winter covers; with inground pools, water tubes are typically used to secure winter covers. If you have questions about how to use water tubes or need any other information, please call 888-718-7946 for friendly, knowledgeable assistance from a Pool Care Tech. Thank you for posting!