How to Winterize an Above Ground Pool

How to Winterize an Above Ground Pool

Warm weather seasons bring lots of swimming and fun to your above-ground swimming pool. It is, therefore, wise to safeguard your pool and protect it for the next year’s swimming season. To do that, you should winterize your above-ground pool. The job isn’t hard. It’s basic winter pool maintenance that most are familiar with already.

Above-ground pools have a long list of winterizing steps, mostly quick and straightforward. In addition, many of these tasks overlap with those you perform regularly. It won’t take more than half a day to complete the efficient pool closing process so that you’ll be ready for swim season as soon as winter starts.

Why Do You Have to Winterize Your Pool?

You can save money on future maintenance by winterizing your above-ground pool. The water can be discharged from pipes and filters, so it’s less likely to freeze. Cold weather damages the liner and entire pool structure. When a pool is winterized properly, algae and bacteria won’t thrive.

A Thorough Cleaning Is Essential

It’s essential to take time and deep clean your pool before preparing for winter. It would be best to clean the interior, vacuum, and remove any debris accumulated on the surface. The water must be prepped for balancing. As a result, algae, mold, and other contaminants are prevented from growing throughout the winter, resulting in pool staining and water balance problems in the spring. If you start cleaning now, you are less likely to experience a dirty pool.

It Is Necessary to Add Chemicals for Winterization

Winterizing your pool with chemicals helps it resist the elements and prevent algae growth. To facilitate the process, many pool companies sell wintering kits all in one. There are different sizes of kits, so choose one that is suitable for your swimming pool. Ensure you add one before closing your pool, and check that you’ve added the winterize and tabs from Blue Shield.

Make sure you follow the dosage chart. Immediately add the winterizer to the pool. Ensure that the dispensers for winter tabs are secure in their place away from the liner, about 10 to 12 inches into the water. You shouldn’t tie ice equalizer pillows to winter tabs. After applying the filter, run it for 4-8 hours for the best results.

Protect the Pump by Adding a Protector

Liquid pump protector blue shield should be applied using the skimmer. Run the pump for a few seconds to allow it to flow through, then switch it off for 45 minutes to an hour. Corrosion is prevented and interior seals are lubricated.

It’s essential to seal off the skimmer and the pool’s return. By reducing the water level, your returns and skimmer are vulnerable to ice damage, particularly during winters with heavy rainfall that increases the water level. For your pool’s protection and a sense of security, disconnect the return fitting and insert a winter return plug. Put a skimmer plug in the opening of the skimmer. It’s important to get the right skimmer plug since pool sizes vary.

The pool water doesn’t need to be lowered. However, if you do, make sure you only lower it to the skimmer’s bottom edge. If your water level is low, it will block the return or the skimmer. If this happens, it can add stress to the fixtures and liner.

Preparing the Pool Filter for Storing

For winterizing your filter, ensure that all filter hoses are disconnected. The filter should be drained, cleaned, and stored indoors. The filter pump should not be left outside all winter and won’t be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty if it’s damaged. When storing filter cartridges, soak them in a cleaner overnight. If ball valves are installed, they should be left open.

For Chlorinators, the Salt Cell Needs to Be Cleaned

Clean your salt cells every three to four months to ensure they last as long as possible! Your cells’ plates may begin to accumulate white calcification.

Salt cells should be cleaned as follows:

  1.  A mixture of 1/10 acid and water is used.
  2.  Grasp the top of the cell and use a spoon to lower the plate gently into the solution and leave it there for 4-5 minutes.
  3.  Re-fit your chlorinator with salt cell plates after rinsing them with water.

Lubricate the O-rings

Rubber O-rings need lubricating with Teflon pool lube. You need to lubricate your filter union O-rings, tank O-rings, pump lid O-ring, drain plug O-rings, or anything else that has rubber O-rings.

Remove Accessories

Be sure to remove the skimmer basket, solar blankets, return fittings, ladders or steps, pool alarms, and pool cleaners. Keep them dry and protected from the elements during the winter months. Preventing the pool equipment from ice damage will keep it in good shape.

Winter solar covers can protect solar blankets left on the solar reel. You can also dry them, fold them, and store them in an area where mice cannot reach them.

How to Winterize an Above Ground Pool

Drain Water from Equipment

To prepare for winterization, empty all the equipment, such as the pool pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator, and drain all the water from the plumbing system. The equipment will crack if the water freezes. Once the pool is drained, the pipes must be covered with plugs to prevent water from entering the equipment or pipes.

Turn off gas-fired pool heaters by cutting off the electricity and gas supply. Ensure your heat pump and the pool heater are protected using a cover to guard against snow, dirt, and debris damage. Protect pool heaters from mice with mothballs.

Filters and cartridges for DE pools should be cleaned and inspected as part of the closing process. Filter grids and cartridges need removing along with the hose. Fast-acting, quick-dissolving swimming pool shock is great for removing algae lodged in the filters.

Protect Your Pool by Covering It

Lastly, protect your pool from debris and leaves by covering it securely. Whether you have a round or oval above-ground pool, there’s an aquador pool skimmer cover for winterization to suit the size of your pool. Make sure to order according to your pool dimensions.

A pool’s ice sheet will be broken up by air pillows placed under its cover if the temperature is below freezing for several days. Using an ice sheet stops ice damage and prevents it from causing problems to the pool wall as it expands.

As a safety precaution, if you have a pool under large trees, cover it with a leaf catcher. Thanks to the super tough and lightweight mesh, leaves and debris are easily removed. This is definitely worth the purchase if your trees are large.

When Should Above-Ground Pools Be Winterized?

The best time to close your pool is when the temperature is continuously less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to wait until the temperature drops below 60 degrees. If bacteria and algae start growing in the pool, it will cause issues when the days of summer approach.

You can winterize an above-ground pool in many ways as an in-ground pool but in a few different ways. An in-ground pool has a larger water capacity than an above-ground pool, so follow chemical directions carefully. Using a pumice stone to remove scale from above-ground pools is not recommended. Nylon brushes are a better alternative.

Choose an above-ground pool cover that is custom designed for above-ground pools and fits your exact shape, size, and type of pool.

Is It Possible to Just Empty the Water?

You shouldn’t completely drain above-ground pools during the winter. Extreme cold, snow, ice, and foreign objects can severely ruin a pool when left out in the elements. Additionally, chemically balancing and refilling a new pool is time-consuming and costly.

The good news is you can drain and store away small, above-ground inflatable pools during the winter.

How to Maintain Your Pool After It Has Been Winterized?

The cover will become covered with dirt, snow, and leaves during the winter. The result will be pool water being pushed out, causing water levels to drop and possibly damaging your winter cover and pool wall.

After preparing your pool for winter, ensure you maintain it despite the cold and the fact that it isn’t being used. Take a quick look at your pool every week to check it’s functional. Ensure the water level is correct, clean the skimmer basket and pump basket, and test the pH and chlorine levels. 

Tips for Winterizing an Above-Ground Pool

  • You should never use a tarp to cover a pool. If your pool is a custom design, you may need a custom-made cover to ensure the pool is covered properly.
  • Invest in a leaf net if you have a pool close to big trees to catch the fallen leaves and twigs.
  • For the pool cover, make sure to include air pillows/supports. If the cover freezes, these will unlock it from the water.
  • Ensure the cover is lifted every two weeks to keep algae at bay. If algae is growing, add algaecide.


Completing maintenance means harsh winters won’t affect your above-ground pool. You can perform the steps above yourself, but a professional can assist you if you are uncomfortable doing them. Better to be safe than sorry when preparing your pool for winter. You could lose money in the coming months due to a small error. Ensure your clean pool is maintained thoroughly all year round.