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Winterizing Your Aboveground Pool

In the fall, many family schedules become too busy to maintain and use the aboveground pool. When this happens, it’s time to winterize. From shocking to cleaning techniques, read on to learn how to keep an aboveground pool safe all winter long and ready to reopen in the spring.

Gather the Necessary Items

You will potentially need the following items.

  • Water balance chemicals
  • Pool cover
  • Cover winch and cable
  • Cover clips (recommended)
  • Water bags (if a deck surrounds your pool)
  • Air pillows
  • Rubber or plastic return plugs
  • Winter skimmer cover
  • Winter chemical kit
  • WinterPill (recommended to keep water clean)

Prepare Your Water

Before doing anything else, test the water’s chemical levels to make sure the balance is correct for the type of pool you own. Do this at least a week before you close the pool.

Shock Your Pool

Add diluted granular chlorine or a non-chlorine pool shock formula to kill any contaminants and prevent staining and algae growth. Follow the instructions provided with your choice of chemicals to determine how much your pool needs.


Clear all debris, as any left in the water will drain your chemicals, unbalance the water, and stain your pool. You may have to do this multiple times, depending on how long the process takes.

Store the Equipment/Accessories

Remove the skimmer basket, return fittings, solar blankets, ladders or steps, pool cleaners, and any other accessories you may have. Store them dry in a place safe from the elements. Lay hoses out straight in a non-freezing location.

Lower the Water

Let out the water until the level stands between 4 and 6 inches below the skimmer. Use a pool cover pump to hasten this process.

Winterize Everything

Shut off all power to your equipment. Place winterized plugs in any necessary openings and anti-freeze in hard PVC pipes if you live somewhere the temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Use pool heater covers if you heat your water. Make sure to take steps to keep mice from moving in to the heaters over winter. Tie air pillows to a stationary object in your water to help break up any ice sheets.

Cover Your Pool

Place a tight-fitting pool cover designed for your pool to protect it from debris. Use various winter cover accessories (winch/cable, wall bags, cover seals, and clips) to secure the cover. If leafy trees surround your pool, placing a leaf-catching net on top of the cover simplifies removing the debris later. A pool cover pump is handy for removing standing water from your cover as well. Use these techniques and return to a healthy, clean, ready-to-use pool whenever the time is right!

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