If you live where the temperature dips below freezing on more than the occasional day during the winter, it’s important that you learn how to winterize your inground pool. Without proper precautions, you risk damage to the pool’s pipes, filters, pumps, and heater. One major risk is that parts may ice over, which causes expansion that can lead to cracks and bursts.
Of course, some of the details for winterizing an inground pool vary among different types of pool equipment and setups. Always read over the instructions and precautions in your owner’s manual, and you might also consult your pool care professional for advice.
But here we cover the basic steps, and they can guide you through the process of how to winterize your inground pool.
Tips for Winterizing an Inground Pool
- Thoroughly remove all debris from the pool and clear it of any water accessories, toys, or other items
- Clean the pool walls, floor, steps, and ladders
- Balance the pool’s pH, alkalinity, chemicals, and minerals, which you can read more about in our post on basic inground pool care
- Add chemicals from a pool closing or winterizing kit—which typically contain things like an algaecide, scale and stain preventatives, borate floaters, and non-chlorine shock—according to the product directions
- Check the instructions for the pool cover you’ll be using to determine how much you should lower the water level (for example, many common pool covers require lowering the water level 3 to 5 inches below the tile); lower the water the appropriate amount
- Clean the pool filter according to the directions in your owner’s manual
- Remove all the drain plugs from the pumps, filter, heater, chlorinator, pipes, and other components and open all the directional valves so the water level falls appropriately
- Blow out the lines with air to remove all water within and prevent ice damage; you can buy products made for this purpose, or check your pool manual for instructions
- Use pool plugs to plug all the skimmers, returns, and cleaner lines to prevent water from re-entering the lines after you blow them out
- Add a skimmer guard, which functions as a skimmer plug and prevents icing
- Cover the pool and turn off power to the pump