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How To Close An Inground Swimming Pool For The Winter

It’s that time of year again—summer has come and gone, nice weather won’t be around for months, and here to stay are the cold weather days that we have to stay inside. That means it’s time to close those pools in anticipation for next summer!

And you may be wondering what pool closings entail, especially if you’re a first-time pool owner.

Well, that’s what we’re going to discuss in this article!

There can be a lot of misconceptions about what has to be done to close a pool, so we’ve put together this article to clear up any questions you may have.

We’ve been closing pools for years, so we’ve put together a process that has held up and proven to be effective for the entire winter and through the spring. However, to give this process the best chance of succeeding, we’ll need you to take care of you pool before it is closed for the season.

Regular maintenance is the key to not only keeping your pool in good condition during the summer months, but also to the prevention of opening it back up to an algae-filled pool that will take an extended period of time to restore to good condition.

So, with care from you, the owner, and the maintenance crew, your pool can get what it needs to remain ready during the summer and endure the long winters.

1. Clean The Pool

Something we strongly enforce to pool owners is the importance of keeping your pool clean all season long. You should regularly be doing the following:

  • Check water chemistry
  • Add chemicals when needed
  • Clean pool with pool brush
  • Clear pool of debris
  • Clean pool equipment
  • Cover pool when necessary

By taking all of these steps to maintain your pool, you’ll do everything in your power to limit any sort of damage. But, for pool closing purposes, you should pay even more attention to detail.

You’ll want to make sure you do all of these things to the absolute best of your ability because leftover debris or algae, unbalanced pool water, etc., could be the perfect recipe for your pool to be left in poor condition for the winter. And therefore, you could reopen your pool the following summer to something not-so-pretty.

2. Add Winterizing Chemicals


One dose of algaecide should be added to your pool to prevent the growth of algae throughout the winter.

pool breeze algaecide 60

Algae can grow in porous areas, areas that are fused together, around lighting, near steps, and other hard-to-reach areas. So, without the consistent treatment that the pool is used to receiving during the summer, algaecide is necessary to make up for the lack of care available during the winter.

Metal Sequestrant

For pools that have a high level of metal in the pool water, metal sequestrant is an effective chemical to add for the winter.

The use of this chemical will suspend any metal in the water so they cannot settle onto the surfaces of the pool, oxidize, or stain the pool.



Antifreeze is an effective chemical for pool plumbing as it can be difficult to clear them of every drop of water for the winter.

Now, this can be done by blowing out the plumbing lines, which involves passing air through the plumbing lines at a high speed. This is a delicate process that requires precision and care but can be very effective for the winter when done correctly. However, antifreeze is an adequate alternative.

The last thing you want is to have the pipes freeze with water still in them because you could face some major expenses the next season. So, the addition of antifreeze provides a good insurance policy for the winter.

Just, whatever you do, use pool antifreeze, NOT car antifreeze!

Pool Shock

Pool shock is pretty much disinfectant that cleans the pool, balances chlorine levels, and adds other chemicals that will keep the water balanced.

This is something that should be done the day before the pool is closed and will aid in keeping the pool clean for the winter.

Additionally, pool shock with battle algae blooms and help prevent the growth of algae over the winter while the pool is idle.

3. Lower the Water Level

This should be done to decrease the possibility of freeze damage as the outside temperatures begin to fall.

The recommended level to leave the pool water for the winter is just below the skimmer. However, it can differ depending on the type of pool you have (fiberglass, vinyl liner, or concrete) and the type of pool cover you’ll be using for the winter.

Throughout the winter, you should check the water level to see if it has gotten any higher—especially if your area has had a rainy winter or a period of warmer days after an extended period of drastically cold days.

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4. Remove Pool Accessories

This probably goes without saying, but you should always remove any accessories such as ladders, rails, pool games, fittings for return lines, skimmer baskets, etc. where applicable.

These should not be left out in the winter as they would be at risk of being damaged, including rusting over, cracking, or breaking.

They should be removed from the pool, dried completely, and stored in a dry place out of direct sunlight for the offseason.

5. Install Winter Cover

A winter cover will protect the pool from contaminants, debris, and other objects over the course of the offseason.

A winter cover should also have a cover pump that rests on the cover itself and removes any water that winds up on top of it.

To ensure that the pool cover does its job over the winter, be sure to keep it clean by using a broom to remove leaves, snow, or other debris. Of course, you don’t want to use anything sharp as it could puncture or tear the cover.

To remove water from the cover, you can use a rubber squeegee.

Who Completes Pool Closings?

Well, if you know how to do everything correctly with precision and care, you can close your inground swimming pool yourself!

However, if you don’t know how to complete each step of the closing process down to the smallest detail, we recommend calling a closing service to close your pool for the season.

More often than not, your pool builder offers closing services for a fee, so you can contact them when you’re ready to close your pool for the year.

At Royal Pools and More, we offer our own pool closing service, so you can give us a call at (219) 322-2797 for more information!