How to Winterize An Above Ground Pool

Pools are one of the best things about summer! Friends and family can gather around the pool for some summertime fun any day of the week. Unfortunately, in the Northeast, we cannot enjoy our pools year round. As the temperature starts to drop, then it is time to close the pool.

If you are new to the pool closing process or want a refresher on how to winterize an above ground pool, then NAMCO pool experts provide tips on the proper ways to winterize your pool.

Steps to Winterize an Above Ground Pool

Every pool owner can winterize their pool, but it is important to close your pool by following a standard process.

Vacuum and Add Winter Chemicals

Vacuum the debris to ensure there is clean water. This also makes the pool opening process easier. Next, add winter chemicals (after balancing your pool water for a final time this season). Finally, shock your pool and add winterizer (which prevents algae growth and makes it easier to open the pool next season).

For any questions, stop by your local NAMCO store with a water sample for a free balancing test or ask us any questions about adding the winterize.

Do Not Drain Your Pool

Pools handle cold temperatures better when partially filled with water. In fact, a drained pool can cause additional damages to your pool. Reduce the water to just below the return line where the water shoots back into your pool.

Disconnect the Filter

After the water has been reduced, then disconnect your filter and bring it inside to a controlled environment.

Additionally, you should protect your skimmer and return fitting as well.

  • To protect the skimmer, then you can purchase plates that pop into the opening of the skimmer on the inside of the pool.
  • To protect the return fitting, remove the eyeball inside. Upon removing the eyeball, you will see a plug, which prevents water from going inside the fitting and causing damage due to freezing conditions over the winter.

Add the Winter Cover

The winter cover is very important to maintain the longevity of your pool, as well as reducing summer preparation in the spring. In order to add the right winter pool cover, consider the winter conditions around your home.

  • If you live in a windy area, then a cover with more mounts and/or weights might be important to prevent as much wind as possible from getting under the cover.
  • If you live in a snowy area, then a cover that can handle more water weight might be important to avoid causing any unnecessary damage to your pool.
  • If you pool is surrounded by trees, then find a cover that has features to help minimize debris clean up because the leaves and other winter substances should be cleared during the winter.

The cover is based on the dimensions of your pool. If these are unknown, then simply measure the diameter of a circular pool or length and width of an oval pool.

For those looking to find a new winter cover, then check out these deals.


Winterize the Pool Filter

In order to protect your investment, then it is important to winterize the pool filter. Here are some simple tips.

  1. Clean your filter. To clean correctly, then use the jet mode on a garden hose attachment.
  2. Disassemble your filter, chlorinator and valves and lubricate all o-rings using Boss Lube. (Do not use petroleum based lubricants, over time they will cause the o-ring to deteriorate!) O-rings tend to dry out during winter months, which may cause cracking, by doing this you can save yourself time and money in the spring.
  3. Remove your fingers/grids or cartridge from the cleaning solution and spray off the filter one more time and allow it to dry.
  4. Reassemble the filter making sure to plug all open holes in the filter. (This keeps small animals from living in them during the winter.) We suggest using expansion plugs.
  5. Store the filter in a controlled environment, if possible. If you store your filter in a shed or a detached garage make sure you cover your filter and keep it away from chlorine or any corrosive chemicals that off gas.
  6. Sand filters, remove the drain plug on the bottom of the filter. Remove the valve from the filter and store inside. Cover the center tube and secure it in place. Cover the filter and secure the cover over the filter.

Winter Pool Maintenance

Although swimming pools will not be in active use during the winter, there is still some pool maintenance.

In particular, it is important to remove ice and water throughout the winter. The best way to remove ice and water from the winter pool cover is to use a pump. Either before the water freezes or when the ice melts use the cover pump to remove the ice/water from the cover.

It is never a good idea to try to remove ice from the pool cover because it has sharp edges and if you drop the ice, it can damage your cover and liner.

The best way to prevent large buildups of ice is to keep the water level on top of the pool cover to a minimum. In high wind areas you’ll want to keep a small amount of water on the cover. This will help to prevent wind whip and damage to your cover. (Never hang anything from your cover, which voids all warranties on your winter cover).

Remember a pool is an investment, so take the time and attention to care for your pool properly. For any additional questions, then find your local NAMCO store and ask a seasoned professional.

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