Category Archives: Pool Closing and Winterizing

Common FAQs about Winterizing Pools and Pool Covers

Many pool owners have questions about how to manage their pools in the off season. Because there are such a number of questions that people have regarding this issue, we’ve decided to take the time to answer them and help give you a little clarity about the process of winterizing your pool and choosing the right cover. Keep reading to get the answers to the top FAQs on this issue and find out more about the process.

 Do I Need a Winter Pool Cover?

If you live in a climate where you close your pool for any period of time during the winter months, having a winter pool cover is a near must. Some warmer climates may allow for lighter covers or different styles of protection, but you need to make sure that your pool is covered when it is not in use. This will keep it from filling with debris and protect the liner and other equipment from the elements of weather while it is closed for the season. There are many different types of winter covers to choose from, so you will need to make sure that you explore your options and find the cover that suits your needs. The bottom line is that if you live in a region with an ‘off-season’, you need a different cover to protect your pool.

If you do cover your pool, please check your local “Laws” or “Code Enforcement” as we’ve found that many areas have special requirements about your pool when it is covered.

Skimmer Guards from Ice Damage

Skimmers Need Protection from Ice Expansion

What’s the Point of Winterizing?

Winterizing the pool includes draining the water from pump

/filter, protecting skimmers, adding chemicals, and then covering the pool. This entire process is designed to protect your pool and give you some peace of mind. During the winter months, the pool can be subject to a lot of debris and weather that it isn’t designed to handle. If you protect it properly, you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged along the way. Pools aren’t a cheap investment in the first place and you need to keep them in great shape by winterizing them during the off season, no matter what type of pool you have.

 How Do I Choose a Cover?

Choosing a cover is mostly a matter of personal opinion. You do need to make sure that your cover fits the pool and that it’s designed for the use that you have in mind. Beyond that, it will be up to you to read reviews and check out various products to find what you like best. Above ground and in ground pools have different covers to choose from. You can also choose from winter covers, safety covers, mesh or solid and other styles that are available. Your climate might affect the type of cover that you need, too. For example, in snowy states, a heavy duty cover might be necessary while milder climates might allow for a lighter cover that is less expensive. It’s all about taking the time to see what’s out there and get what you need. Continue reading »

Winterizing your Swimming Pool

Winter Covers for Swimming Pools

Winterizing your Swimming Pool. 

Is Your Swimming Pool Prepared for Old Man Winter?

Most pool owners have an off-season to think about, and it’s important that they take the time to do things right. If you own a pool, whether it’s above or in ground, you need to make sure that it’s ready for every season of the year. Summer is easy because you just open it up and enjoy. Winterizing your pool, however, can prove to be a bit more of a task if you’re not prepared. Do you have all of the tools and supplies that you need to get your pool ready for the winter months? Now is the time to make sure that you’re ready, before it’s too late.

Winterizing your pool does a lot for you, and you have to make sure that you have the right tools and supplies to get the job done. By taking the time to learn about the process, it will be easier for you to get everything that you need.

Winterizing Supplies

Winterizing your pool starts with having all of the right supplies. You will need winterizing chemicals, the right pool cover, and weights or ties to hold the cover on the pool through the winter. There are different types of chemicals that you have to use to balance your pool before you close it up for the winter. You will need to make sure that you have the right pH and chlorine balance, as well as alkalinity and calcium balance. These things will ensure that your pool stays healthy and clean all winter so that it’s easy to open next spring

The good news is that pool suppliers often sell a variety of winterizing chemical kits. That allows you to get everything that you need in one purchase without having to buy a handful of different chemicals separately. Give yourself the chance to learn about these chemicals and explore the kits that you can buy to get what you need. They come in different sizes for different pools, giving you the chance to choose what you want based on how big your pool is. How easy is that?

Next, you need to find the right cover and weights (or tie downs) to protect your pool from the elements during the winter months. Depending on where you live, you might need a certain type of cover. For example, someone in a state like North Dakota will probably need a much heavier duty cover to protect from snow and winter weather than someone in Tennessee, where winter weather might not be as severe as it gets in other areas.


You also have to choose between in ground and above ground covers. There are different styles of covers for each, giving you the option to get the perfect protection, no matter what type of pool you have. Within each group, you can choose from so many different styles and designs of covers that it will be easy to get the perfect protection for your pool. Just take the time to check out pool covers and winterizing supplies to make sure that you get everything that you need.


The Process


The first part of winterizing your pool is to clean it well. Once it’s clean, you can cycle the winterizing chemicals through and test the water until you get the right pH and chlorine balance in the water. The chemicals that you put in will also include cleaners, stain protection, and algaecide, which ensures that your pool will stay as clean as possible so that it’s ready to open when spring rolls around. Then, you’ll need to drain the water past the pump or skimmer systems, or if you have an above ground pool you will have to drain it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You’ll place the cover over the semi-drained pool (NEVER drain it completely), and then use the weights or tie downs to secure the cover. It’s quite a simple process, but you do have to make sure that you follow all the steps.


The most important part is making sure that you clean the pool before you close it because you will have a much harder time opening it back up if you let it sit dirty all winter long. Another problem is that leaving the pool dirty for months can cause serious maintenance issues or needs for repair. If you want to get the most out of your pool closing, clean it well before you drain it and cover it up for the winter.


Why Winterize?


A lot of people are asking why they need to winterize their pools. Most people have pools open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, depending on the climate that they live in. After the pool season has ended, the weather will change. Pools are not built to handle debris like leaves and inclement weather that follows with the winter months. As such, it’s critical that you bundle up your pool and protect it from the weather that is about to come. Even when you live in a milder state, leaves and other debris can still create problems so you need to make sure that your pool is covered properly and ready for the oncoming winter.


Winterizing your pool will make your pool last longer and stay in good shape. It will keep things clean and running smoothly, and help you avoid huge maintenance costs that could occur if you left it open all year round. Having a pool is an expensive and time-consuming investment, but proper winterization can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to reopening your pool and caring for it in the summer months. You have all of the tools and supplies that you need at your fingertips and can walk through the process before you get started, making it easy to do. Just remember that your pool needs protection from the winter months just like you need a winter coat, and that it’s important to do things right.


Choose a cover, find the right winterizing chemicals, and make sure that you follow the process for buttoning up your pool for a long winter’s nap so that you can protect your investment no matter what type of winter you’re facing.

Winter Pool Cover Accessories

Pool Cover Pump

Pool Cover Pump

Three Essential Accessories for Above Ground Winter Pool Covers

Winterizing your above ground swimming pool involves a number of important steps such as giving the pool a good cleaning, ensuring proper balance of chemicals in the water, and lowering the water level to below the returns and skimmer.  Beyond this point, there are any number of additional accessories that could be used to keep your pool in good shape until next season.  The sheer volume of products available can feel daunting and confusing.  In essence, once the water has been prepared properly and you are ready to top it all off with a winter pool cover, there are really only three winterizing accessories about which you should be concerned.

Air Pillows

If you live in a climate where winter air temperatures drop below freezing, the first accessory you’ll need is an air pillow.  Air pillows absorb the pressure created by freezing water and protect your pool’s walls and liner. As the water in the pool freezes and expands, it will freeze inward on the air pillow rather than outward on your pool walls. Air pillows are placed under the winter pool cover on top of the water in the center of the pool.  To ensure that the air pillow doesn’t move out of place over the course of the winter, you’ll want to use durable string to tie it to two sides of your pool wall.

Cover Pumps

Next, you’ll want a pool cover pump to drain the water that collects on your pool cover throughout the winter months.   If accumulated water is not regularly removed by a cover pump, the weight of that excess water can damage your winter pool cover or pull the cover into the water below.  Either way, you’ll have a messy situation to clean up.  Cover pumps are available in manual models and automatic models.  Manual cover pumps require that you monitor the pump’s progress and unplug it when the water is drained.  Automatic cover pumps, often preferred by pool owners, sense and automatically start when water is detected on the cover and turn off automatically once the water has been drained.

Bags, Seal, or Clips

Finally, you’ll want to consider how to keep your winter pool cover from being blown around on breezy days, exposing your pool to the elements and ruining the hard work you put into winterizing.  There are many options available for keeping a winter pool cover in place, including pool cover wall bags, winter cover seal, and cover clips. Pool cover wall bags are designed especially for above ground pools and are positioned around the inside perimeter of your pool, fastened to your pool cover’s cable.  Wall bags should be filled only three quarters full with water to make room for the water to expand should it freeze.  Winter cover seal is another way to keep your pool cover in place, and while it looks very much like a large roll of plastic wrap, it’s really a tough poly blend film packed with UV inhibitors. Winter cover seal is wrapped around the covered pool several times to create a tight seal, which prevents wind as well as dirt from getting under the cover and causing damage and premature wear and tear.  Cover clips are a third option for securing your winter pool cover.  Cover clips are exactly that — handy fasteners that hold your pool cover in place. They grip your top rail like a clothes pin and hold securely throughout the winter season.

Keeping the winterizing of your above ground swimming pool as simple as possible will make the process less tiresome and time consuming.  A good quality air pillow, a manual or automatic cover pump, and a means of securing your winter pool cover to the pool are really the only necessary accessories you need to go along with your winter pool cover.  You’ll find that you don’t need any more than this to prepare your pool for winter and ensure that it stays in great shape until next season.

Why Do You Leave Water in Your Pool for Winter?

A lot of people who have pools are now starting to search for insight on how to close their pools correctly. Any pool closing checklist or resource will tell you to only lower the water below the skimmer level and the jets so that all of the plumbing lines are clear and don’t face the risk of freezing and bursting. Each of these different resources also tells you not to drain the pool completely unless you are taking it down for storage if it is a small pool that is easy to set up and tear down. What about larger pools, though?   Why leave water in them at all?  It will just be bad next spring, after all.

Actually, that’s not really the case. If you drain a pool entirely, you are putting the whole liner at risk for rips, tears, and other damage from debris throughout the winter months, not to mention that the liner will dry out, shrinks and crack.  With some water left behind, you at least have something to stop the pool from getting torn up regardless of the winter weather that you are experiencing.  The pool cover that you choose will impact how much water you leave in your pool beyond lowering it to the skimmer lines, of course, so that’s something that you have to think about, as well.

Clean Water Protects Your Pool

The main benefit of leaving water in your pool is that it will be protected from a variety of situations and elements. People who live in deep freeze areas feel like draining the pool completely is the best option so that it doesn’t freeze all the way, but the right winterizing chemicals added to the water will actually help keep your pool safe during the long winter months. That way, when you go to open it up in spring, it’s easier to reopen and the chemicals are easier to balance because you made sure they were balanced before you closed up shop.

You’ll add things like chlorine shock, stain prevention, and algaecide to your pool before closing it for the winter. This will ensure that the water is as clean and safe as possible so that you can have an easier time reopening it next spring. This clean water is going to keep the liner intact and protect it from rips and tears, as well.

How Much to Drain

The standard is to drain your pool below skimmer levels so that you can clean out the plumbing system to avoid frozen, burst lines during the winter. If you have an in-ground pool, that might mean more draining. If your above-ground pool has a removable pump and skimmer system, just take it out and drain a little water so that there is room for expansion and contracting throughout the winter and then place the cover on.

Some people use air pillows to create an area in middle of pool to minimize ice damage to liner walls and skimmer.  If you do this, you will need to leave more water in your pool than others. Additionally, if you have drained a lot of water, you might want to choose a tight pool cover so that it is less likely to collect water and debris. Having a lot of standing water on your pool cover can lead to stress, rips, and damage to the cover as well as debris and dirty rain or snow getting into the pool that you worked so hard to clean.

Owning a Pool is Work

So many people think it’s fun to have a pool. It most definitely is. It’s also a lot of work, however, and you have to know what you are doing so that you can protect your investment. This isn’t a cheap toy to have around and you will likely spend thousands on maintenance and operations in the summer months. If you take the time to do the work correctly when it comes to closing your pool, you will be able to protect your investment and make the money that you have been spending worthwhile.

Another benefit of properly draining and closing a pool is that you will have an easier time reopening it when summer rolls around again. There is nothing worse than closing up a pool poorly only to spend weeks cleaning it and getting it ready for summer. If you do a little of the work now and make sure that you do it properly, everything will work out better for you in the end. Take the time to learn about pool ownership, including closing the pool and proper draining so that you can get the best results from your winterizing.

Some Pools Need Put Away

If you’ve got a small enough pool, such as the ones that they sell at superstores for just a few hundred bucks, you’re probably going to be tearing down and putting away the entire thing for the winter. These pools are great because they’re affordable, but they’re also not made to be permanent fixtures. You’ll have to check the manufacturer’s instructions to figure out how to close the pool properly and whether it can be left for the winter or not. The last thing that you want to do is leave it out without knowing better and wind up ruining it or having to spend a fortune when it comes time to reopen your pool.

Pool maintenance in the winter is really easy if you close your pool right. Whether that means draining some of the water before you cover it or completely tearing it down and putting it away depends on the pool that you have. Either way, you will protect your investment and get more from your pool ownership if you spend a weekend doing things the right way. When you make the decision to own a pool, you’re making a commitment to take care of it properly. That means spending a day or two every fall getting things ready for winter, and the sooner the better. Now that you understand more about draining and closing pools, it should be easy to get the process taken care of.



Save Money with Winter Pool Covers

Winter Pool Cover

Winter Pool Cover (Arctic Armor)

Winter pool covers are designed to protect your pool from the elements.  There are, of course, many different elements that you might encounter over the course of a winter, depending on where you live and what type of weather you have.  Regardless, the purpose of winter pool covers is for protection in any environment.  There are different styles and types of covers for you to choose from, including different levels of durability and strength depending on what you need.  This is going to save you a lot of money on things like pool maintenance and repair because it will protect your pool during the off season.  This also gives you peace of mind in knowing that your pool is safe.

 Winter Pool Covers for All Pools

There are pool covers available for above ground and in ground pools alike, as well as all shapes and sizes that you can imagine.  If there is a pool, there is a cover for it.  You simply have to know the model of your pool, or at least its size and dimensions, so that you can buy the right cover.  Winter covers for in ground pools come in many styles, with various warranties,  which solid is the most popular.   There are also a variety of above ground pool covers, making it easy for you to protect your pool from the elements, no matter what you have in mind.  Make sure that you take the time to explore everything that you have to choose from so that you can find the perfect cover for your pool.

 How You Save Money

When you invest in a pool cover, you’re going to spend a decent amount of money.  That leads a lot of people to wonder how they are actually going to save money with a pool cover because they’re spending so much in the first place.  However, there are plenty of ways that you can put more cash back in your pocket with a pool cover.

  • Pool upkeep: When you use a winter cover, you will save your pool from damage and wear due to debris and weather.  That will decrease the amount of maintenance and repair work that needs done and help your pool last longer without the need for replacement parts or other work.  Therefore, in the long run, you’re saving yourself a lot of money.
  • You’ll spend less time and money reopening your pool in the spring if you make sure to winterize and cover it appropriately.  Leaving it uncovered or using the wrong cover means more time and money spent on cleaning, chemicals, and creating a safe, healthy pool when the spring rolls around and it’s time to open up shop again.
  • If you buy a good cover now, you’ll save money on replacements in the future.  A lot of people want to think cheap when they are shopping for a pool cover.  However, if you focus on buying a quality cover now, you’ll have less to worry about in the future.  Cheap covers will tear and break down faster, which means they need replaced more often.  Buy a high quality cover from the start and you’ll be able to keep it for much longer and save money on replacement down the road.
  • Shopping online.  Although this isn’t the pool cover actually saving you money, it’s a way to save money when you are shopping for a pool cover.  The internet has a lot more selection when it comes to pool covers and you can find better prices on just about everything.  You won’t be limited to the high prices of local pool specialty stores or forced to buy one of just a few models because you will be able to shop around and find the perfect cover, no matter what you have in mind.

 Get the Facts about Pool Covers

Before you buy anything, you should know what you are getting.  When you take the time to get the facts about different pool covers that you can choose from, it will be easy for you to get everything that you need.  Make sure that you take the time to explore all of the options that you have and learn about pool covers.  The internet makes it easy for you to find resources about winterizing your pool and learning about the different types of covers.  You should learn about in ground covers, above ground covers, various securing methods, and accessories that you can find to help with the winterization process.  That will get you informed about your investment and help you make the best decision regarding the pool cover that you need.

 The Bottom Line

Winterizing your pool during the off season isn’t just a good idea.  It’s something that you need to do, and need to do properly.  This includes taking the time to buy the right cover for your pool and make sure that you get all of the accessories that you need.  Fortunately, the internet makes that easy to do.  You can find winter covers, safety covers, winterizing chemicals, tie downs and water tubes to weight your covers, and so much more.  Just make sure that you take the time to get the inside scoop on winterizing your pool so that you can maximize your savings on pool closing supplies of all kinds.

It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and just start looking for the cheapest tools to get the job done.  That’s not going to save you any real money, though.  It might save a few bucks now, but in the long run, you’re going to wish you’d invested in better quality products because they’ll last a lot longer.  If you really want to get the best pool covers without spending a fortune, you need to make sure that you look around online and see what you can find.  It’s easy and you can do it on your own time, which means it’s convenient and offers more than your local 9-5 pool store.