Category Archives: Pool Closing and Winterizing

What Should You Use to Secure Your Pool Cover for the Winter?


Securing Pool Cover Options

Securing Pool Cover Options

Closing the pool for the winter is a tedious task, but it’s one that is definitely necessary.   When you live in a climate where you can’t use the pool during winter months, you need to make sure that you’re keeping it safe and ready to go once the weather warms up again.   So many people discuss the chemicals for winterizing, the various types of pool covers, and other elements involved in the process.   There’s one thing that people don’t talk a lot about that you should probably be aware of, however, when you are closing your pool.   What to use to weight or tie-down system your swimming pool cover for the winter.

 In Ground Pools

If you have an in ground pool, water tubes or bags are the best option.   These long, narrow tubes go around the edge of your pool cover to weigh it down and keep it in place throughout the winter months.   There are many sizes and styles to choose from when you need to buy these tubes, so you might have to shop around a little to get a better idea of what you can get.   You should always make sure that you’re only filling these about ¾ of the way because they will freeze and melt, causing expansion and potential bursting if they are overfilled.   These aren’t cheap, either, so you don’t want to waste them with careless mistakes.

You will probably also need stakes and tie downs to hold your pool cover in place, especially if the area immediately around your pool is grass, sand, landscaped or loose material.   Make sure that you have a setup that ensures that your pool stays covered and protected all winter long, no matter what kind of weather Mother Nature sends your way.   Some people prefer sand bags for the edges of their pool covers, and that’s definitely an option that you have.   You can buy sand bags for relatively cheap, and use them to weight the cover.   If you have patio umbrellas with weighted bases, you can even use those plastic bases as weights for your pool cover, creating a dual-purpose outdoor accessory to save time and money.

Figuring out how many sand bags, water tubes, or other weights you need depends on how big your pool is.   Typically, you will want these to go all the way around the outer edge so that no air can accidentally sneak in (or anything else).   You might have to measure the distances or know your pool size to buy the right amount of weights so that you can close your pool properly.

 Above Ground Pools

Above ground pools don’t typically use weights.   Because these pools are higher off the ground, the cover is usually tied down.   This can be done by getting a cover that ties to the pool frame itself, or by putting stakes and tie downs in the yard around the pool to hold the cover in place.   Sealing the winter cover is an excellent option for traditional high wind areas.    Every pool cover comes with different requirements, so you should check out your options to make sure that you’re getting the supplies that you need to keep your pool covered all winter long.

Above ground pools are a lot easier to close, typically, because they are less involved than in ground pools.   You will get cheaper supplies and have a faster closing, and you won’t spend as much on weights or tie downs because there will be less to secure.   It all depends on the type of pool that you have, however, so make sure that you do a little research so that you know what to expect.

Other Considerations

There are some cases where these are not the best options for securing your pool cover.   For example, if you use a skimmer type cover, you won’t need weights because of the way that the cover secures taut across the pool with stakes, tie downs, or other securing methods.   Read up on the cover that you are getting so that you know what is best for its specific installation in terms of keeping it in place for the next 6-8 months until you’re ready to open the pool again.

You should NEVER use concrete blocks, bricks, or other abrasive materials to secure your pool cover.   Not only are these not guaranteed to stay put or not crumble over the course of the winter, but they are also very likely to rip, pull, or damage the cover.   This can damage your pool, as well, which can lead to further problems.   If nothing else, they might cause the tubes or cover to get pulled into the pool during the winter, which can mean that you’ve got a big cleanup on your hands by the time spring rolls around.

Always be careful of what you’re doing when it comes to closing your pool.   Covers aren’t cheap and neither is the pool itself, so you have to be careful that you’re using the right products and methods so that you can protect your investments.

Shop Online for Selection and Deals

The best way to find the supplies that you need for winterizing your pool is to shop online.   Not only will you get more information about what you need and how to buy the right supplies, but you will find better deals and a much wider selection of pool products than you might be able to get locally.   If you shop around online, you can find all kinds of weights, water tubes, and other pool closing supplies that will make your job a lot easier and keep your pool in good shape until spring.

The internet offers you the chance to get better deals on pool supplies that you need.   Since you’re no longer limited to what’s available in your town, you can get a lot better products, as well.   Newer and more high-tech supplies and tools are out there and it’s easy to find the latest and greatest online.   With so much to choose from, winterizing your pool has never been easier.   Just remember to secure your cover correctly depending on the type of pool and cover that you have so that you can keep your pool safe and protect your cover from damage.


What Chemicals Should I Use for Pool Winterizing?

Pool Winterizing Chemicials

Winterizing Chemicals for your Pool

It’s essential that you winterize your pool effectively in order to keep it safe and extend its life.  Pools aren’t a cheap investment and you really need to keep them in the best condition possible so that you don’t wind up spending money on maintenance that could be avoided.  There are a lot of steps to winterizing your pool properly, and the chemicals that you need to put in the pool are going to be critical to your success.  Chemical treatments will help keep the pool clean and healthy all winter long so that it’s ready to go next spring when the weather warms up and you’re ready to swim again.

 Testing Levels

Before you close up shop for the winter, you should test all the levels in your pool that you usually test during the summer months.  You should make sure that you check the pH, chlorine levels, and any other chemicals that you might need to be concerned about.  This will allow you to make the best decisions regarding what chemicals you need to add for winterizing purposes.  If you don’t have a testing kit, you can get one at any pool supply store.  It’s a good idea to have this on hand.  Some blogs or resources might recommend taking your water to a pool supply store for testing, but that’s a waste of time and energy when you can just buy a testing kit to keep around.  You’re going to need it a lot so it’s helpful to have on hand.

Make sure that you’re performing tests according to the instructions in the kit.  Even though testing is similar with all kits, the exact instructions will vary.  Follow them to the letter to get accurate results when you are testing your water to prepare the pool for winter.  You need to make sure that you get this right to keep your pool in the best shape possible while it’s hibernating.

 pH Balance and Chlorine

pH balance is one of the most critical elements in any pool.  Without the right levels, your pool will be unbalanced and can cause a lot of problems with the water.  In the winter months, you want your pH to be between 7.2 and 7.6, so that it can be balanced and calm all winter long.  You should also test alkalinity and calcium, which should be at 80-120ppm and 180-220ppm, respectively.  These levels can be tested with kits from your local pool store, just like the pH kit that you buy.

Chlorine levels need to be at 1-3ppm (parts per million) in your pool for the cold winter months.  Most pool supply stores recommend using a Chlorine or Non-Chlorine Shock treatment before you close the pool to balance the water and make sure that it’s ready to sit all winter.  This is all usually done before you drain the pool so that you can filter things accordingly while water levels are still high enough to run through the pump.  You can use chlorine blocks or granules, which can be bought online and at pool supply stores without spending a lot of money.  The amount you need depends on the size of your pool.  Chlorine works to get rid of dirt and bacteria in the pool before you close it up for the winter months.

 Other Chemicals

There are other winterizing chemicals that you can buy to help keep your pool in tip-top shape for the coming winter.  The most popular ones are usually sold in the winterizing kits that you can buy online.  Algaecide is a popular chemical, as this will help kill algae and prevent growth, giving you less to clean when you reopen the pool in the spring.  Stain prevention and metal sequestering chemicals are also available to help winterize your pool.  In the event of bad water chemistry, some metal buildup can occur and cause rusting or staining in the pool.

With stain prevention chemicals, you can help alleviate and prevent stains on the walls and floor of the pool from things like iron, magnesium, calcium, or copper.  This is especially important in areas where there is hard water, but can be beneficial in other areas, as well.  It’s optional, but it is definitely something to consider if you want to keep your pool in the best shape possible throughout the winter months.  There are a lot of chemicals that you can use to winterize your pool and ultimately it’s up to you to choose which ones you want to utilize.

 How to Buy Chemical Kits

Chemical kits are the most common way that people buy pool chemicals for winterizing.  All kinds of suppliers have different brands and collections of winterizing chemical kits that you can choose from.  They make it easy for you to get everything that you need for winter in one kit, so that you can just buy it and use it before you cover up your pool.  These kits are sold based on the type of chemicals that you want and the size of the pool that you have, so you’ll need to know the volume of your pool as well as which winterizing chemicals you want to use.

When you shop online, you have access to a wide selection of chemical kits from various manufacturers.  That will allow you to comparison shop to get the right chemicals and the best prices on your kits, no matter what you have in mind.  Make sure that you take the time to find the right chemical concoctions for your pool so that it is safe and protected all winter long.  Think about your climate, your pool and its needs, and how much you want to spend so that you can find the perfect kit.  It’s so much easier to buy everything you need in one package than to buy them all separately, and it can save you money, as well.

When it comes to winterizing your pool, chemicals are an important part of the process.  Giving your pool a good foundation for a safe, healthy winter will make it that much easier to get things going again in the spring and prevent excessive maintenance or repairs that might be necessary without the right chemical treatments.



Shopping for Pool Closing Supplies Online

Shopping online for Pool Winterizing Kits

Shopping online for Pool Winterizing Kits

The world of online shopping is making life easier and more accessible for everyone.  There is so much that you stand to gain from shopping online for the things that you need, including your winterizing and pool closing supplies.  We have a full line of products that you might not find at your local pool store, which you can check out for yourself to get more for your money.  Of course, when you’re shopping with us or for anything else online, you do have to make sure that you know what you’re getting.  The internet can be a great resource if you know how to use it well.

The Perks of Shopping Online 

There are a lot of benefits to shopping online for pool closing supplies.  Your local pool store might have everything that you need, but they’re limited as to how many different options they carry for you.  They might only have one type of  pool cover or chemical kit for winterizing, which doesn’t give you the chance to check out different products and get the best products for your pool.  You can shop online instead and find a full selection of products so that you can truly get what you need.  Not only does online shopping increase your selection, but it also gives you a way to save time and money.

Shopping online is quick and easy.  Plus, you can do it on your own time.  Pool stores are a specialty shop, which means they usually have short hours and are closed during many times when people are available to shop, such as evenings or weekends.  Online pool supplies will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  That means if you want to shop for winterizing supplies at 3 in the morning, you can.  Plus, if you need to shop for awhile and come back to it later, that’s totally up to you.

Saving money online is a simple concept.  Because online stores have have to be competitive to all their competitors in a much larger (like all of the USA) targeted area for their products than a small specialty store in your neighborhood.  They will be able to provide you with all of the winterizing tools and supplies that you need at an affordable cost and make it easy for you to get what you want without spending a fortune.  Plus, you can shop around for the best deals, giving you the chance to save even more.  Usually, even when you add in shipping costs, online pool stores have the better deals for all of your winterizing needs.

The Importance of Knowing What You Need

When you’re shopping for winterizing products, it helps if you know what you’re looking for.  If you aren’t sure about all of the supplies that you need because you’re new to pool ownership, you should find a reputable source of information to help you figure out what you have to buy and how to choose the best products.  Online stores are great for this because they can give you a range of information and make sure that you get what you need.  Of course, you do have to make sure that you’re choosing reputable stores that can prove their credibility as a place to shop online for the things that you need.

Just because something exists online, as we all know, doesn’t mean that it’s legitimate.  Companies like ours often have to work twice as hard to educate people and prove our reputation so that we can help our customers because of a few bad apples that are trying to somehow scam people or con them into something that isn’t what they need.  You can check out the rest of our blog to learn more about pool supplies and get help getting all of the supplies that you need for winterizing your pool, no matter what you have in mind.  We have worked hard to build a database of articles for our customers to educate them on pool ownership and care, and we understand the importance of helping you get the facts.    When in doubt, give us a shout!   If you can’t reach the online company via phone/email during their published hours of operation, that should be a good hint as to they being reputable or not.

Learn While You Shop

One of the biggest perks of shopping online, for many pool owners, is that you can learn while you shop.  When you’re in the market for winterizing supplies, you might not really know all that much about the process or why you do it.  There’s a wealth of information that you can find online that will explain all about the process, why it needs to be done, and which products are the best for doing it.  There is a lot that you stand to gain by shopping online, but the information that you get definitely outshines what you’ll learn at your local pool store or superstore, no matter what type of products you’re shopping for.

Are There Downfalls to Shopping Online?

For some people, not having the tactile shopping experience is hard to understand.  They worry that they’re missing something or that they might not get the right supplies because they can’t see them firsthand before they buy.  However, the internet has made shopping online so simple that you should have no trouble getting the winterizing supplies that you need without having to physically see or touch them first.  As long as you know the size of your pool and the type of supplies that you need, you can get it all online without so much as a second thought about what you are buying.

There is always the issue of not shopping with the most reputable pool suppliers, of course, but that’s just the same as shopping in person.  You have to make sure that you choose a store that can give you everything that you need, and that has a reputation that you can trust.  Winterizing your pool is critical to its wellbeing and your wallet, so you need to make sure that you do it right.  You can save time, money, and hassle by shopping online to get the right products for your pool closing, no matter what you might be looking for.  That’s definitely something you should use to your advantage.



How to Close or Winterize Your Above Ground Swimming Pool

Above Ground Pool Cover with Air Pillow in Middle

Above Ground Pool Cover with Air Pillow in Middle

A Step-by-Step Guide to Close your Above Ground Pool for the Winter

Step 1

Before closing your above ground pool, make sure the water is clean, clear and chemically balanced.  Adjust the chemical levels if necessary.  Chemically balanced water protects the pool from corrosion or scale buildup that can occur while the pool is not in use. Your chemical levels should be as follows:

  • pH: 7.2 – 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 80 – 120 parts per million
  • Calcium Hardness: 175 – 250 parts per million
  • Chlorine: 1 – 3 parts per million

Step 2

Remove all deck equipment, including ladders, stairs, etc.

Step 3

Brush down the sides and floor of your pool and then vacuum. This step prevents staining, which can occur if any dirt or debris is left to sit in the pool.

Step 4

Add winterizing chemicals by broadcasting them into the deep end of the pool. These chemicals help protect water quality during the off season months.

Step 5

Clean the filter, skimmer, and pump basket. Remove all unused chlorine product from the chlorinator. Cartridge filter elements and D.E. grids should be cleaned and stored.  If you have a sand filter, backwash it.

Step 6

Some people insert a skimmer guard into the skimmer and plug the return line. Others lower the water in the pool below the returns (where the water jets into the pool) and the skimmer. Either method is fine — the choice made is based on personal preference.

Important: Never completely drain an above ground pool. This can cause your pool to collapse.

Step 7

If your pool is plumbed with detachable, flexible hoses, remove them and store for the winter. Remove all drain plugs from the pump, filter tank, and any other pool equipment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pump, filter and other equipment.   Basically you’ll need to drain them so there is no water in them that could freeze and damage the pump or filter.     Place all drain plugs in the pump’s basket for storage and so you won’t loose them.

If your pool is hard plumbed, use an air compressor or shop vac (attached to the blower side of the vac) to blow water out of the system by forcing air down the skimmer and through the plumbing.

Step 8

If you are using an air pillow,  inflate it by using a shop vac.  Tie the air pillow at two places and position it in the center of the pool.  Tie strings to the pool wall so the pillow will not move during installation of the pool cover.  Air pillows are commonly used, but not absolutely necessary.  They are a good idea in colder climates in case the water freezes and expands.  The water will freeze inwards on the pillow instead of outwards which can potentially damage the pool wall.   Pillows are NOT used to create a dome-like effect to keep rain off of the cover.  Rain water will always settle around the pillow.

Step 9

Place an winter cover over the pool surface, black side down.  Some homeowners who have children or pets and have a deck with at least 3 ft of deck space all the way around their pool may prefer to cover the pool with a safety cover over the winter.

If covering your pool with a winter cover,  place the cover over the pool,  then thread the cable through the loops or grommets.  Use the winch provided with the cover to tighten the cable.   The cover should rest directly on the water and go up and over wall and back down on the outside of pool.

If your above ground pool has a deck, place water tubes end to end around the edge of the pool. Fill the bags 3/4 full with water.  Do not over-fill because the bags could burst when the water inside freezes.  Never use bricks,  concrete blocks, etc. to secure the cover because they can damage your pool cover or your pool.

Step 10

Place a cover pump in the center of your pool cover to drain excess water accumulation.  Too much water on top of the cover can cause the cover to rip, or it can pull the cover and wall bags into the pool.  Either way, you’re in for a messy cleanup effort.

Now you are ready for the winter!


How to Winterize (close for winter) Your In Ground Pool

Winter Pool Cover Blue

Covered Pool, Ready for the Winter

A Step-by-Step Guide to Closing your In Ground Pool

Step 1

Before closing your pool for the season, make sure your pool’s water is chemically balanced.  Adjust levels if necessary.  Water that is chemically balanced protects the pool from corrosion and scale buildup that can develop during the off season.  Ideal chemical levels are as follows:

  • pH: 7.2 – 7.6
  • Alkalinity: 80 – 120 parts per million
  • Calcium Hardness: 175 – 250 parts per million
  • Chlorine: 1 – 3 parts per million

Step 2

Remove all deck equipment.  This includes ladders, rails, furniture, etc.

Step 3

Clean the floor and sides of your pool with an appropriate brush and then vacuum the loosened dirt.  Dirt and debris left in a pool for extended periods of time can cause staining.

Step 4

Add winterizing chemicals by broadcasting them into the deep end of the pool.  Winterizing chemicals help set the quality of your pool’s water during the winter months, which helps protect the cover, liner and pool walls.

Step 5

Clean the filter, skimmer, and pump basket. Remove any unused chlorine product from the chlorinator.  Cartridge filter elements and D.E. grids should be cleaned, dried and stored away.  If you have a sand filter,  backwash it at this time.

Step 6

Lower the water in the pool below the skimmer and the returns (where the water jets into the pool). Use an air compressor or shop vac (attached to the blower side of the vac) to blow water out of the system.  This forces air down the skimmer and through the plumbing.

Important: Never completely drain your swimming pool.

Step 7

Cap off return lines by using threaded plugs, or use expandable rubber plugs if your returns are not threaded.  Add anti-freeze by pouring it through the skimmer.  Use 1 gallon of anti-freeze for each 10 feet of distance from the pump to the pool.

Step 8

Remove all drain plugs from the pump,  filter tank, and other pool equipment.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific equipment. Place all drain plugs in the pump basket for storage.

Step 9

Place an in ground winter cover over the pool surface, black side down. Some pool owners prefer to use safety covers rather than winter covers, especially if the home has small children or pets.

When using a winter cover, place water tubes end to end around the edge of the pool. Fill the water tubes 3/4 full of water (do not over fill because the water tubes could burst when the water inside freezes). Never use concrete blocks, bricks, etc. to secure the cover because they can damage the pool cover or the pool.

Step 10

Place a cover pump in the center of the pool cover to drain off excess water that will accumulate over time. This is very important because too much water on top of the cover can cause the cover to rip or pull the cover and water tubes into the pool, making for a very messy cleanup.