As a proud pool owner, I know how much work goes into maintaining a pool throughout the summer months. However, when the colder weather arrives, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your pool to protect your investment from the harsh winter conditions.

Winterizing your pool is a crucial step in ensuring that your pool stays in good condition and is ready to use when the warmer weather returns.

Winterizing your pool involves a series of essential steps that must be taken to protect your pool’s pipes, equipment, and water from damage caused by freezing temperatures.

In this article, I will guide you through the process of winterizing your pool, step by step, to ensure that your investment is protected throughout the winter months.

This is for pool owners everywhere:

San Diego pool winterizing

Pool winterization in San Jose

How to winterize a pool in Atlanta

Pool winterizing for Denver pool owners

From draining the water to cleaning and treating it, to covering the pool to prevent debris buildup, to checking and adjusting chemical levels, and even removing and storing pool accessories, I will provide you with all the information you need to winterize your pool like a pro.

So, let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Winterizing your pool is important to protect your investment and ensure it’s ready for use in the next swimming season.
  • The steps involved in winterizing your pool include draining water, cleaning the pool, protecting pipes and equipment, covering the pool, and checking and adjusting chemical levels.
  • It’s recommended to use a high-quality pool cover made from sturdy materials and to hire a professional for pool winterization to save time and ensure proper protection of your investment.
  • Improper winterization can result in damage to your pool and equipment, so it’s important to follow instructions carefully, label storage containers, and keep them away from extreme temperatures or moisture.

Draining the Water

You’re going to want to start draining the water now, so you don’t end up with a cracked pool come springtime. Draining the water is a crucial step in winterizing your pool. Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary equipment such as a submersible pump, drainage hose, and a drainage area.

First, turn off the power to the pool pump and filter. Next, attach the drainage hose to the submersible pump and place it in the pool. Make sure the hose is long enough to reach your desired drainage area. Turn on the pump and let it drain the water out of the pool. You may need to periodically adjust the pump’s position in the pool to ensure it is draining the water evenly.

Once the water level has dropped below the skimmer and return lines, remove any remaining water from these lines using a shop vac. This will prevent any water left in the lines from freezing and potentially causing damage.

After all the water has been drained, it’s important to cover the pool with a winter cover to protect it from debris and harsh winter weather. By following these steps, you can successfully drain your pool and protect your investment for the winter months.

Cleaning and Treating the Water

To keep your pool water crystal clear and safe for swimming during the offseason, make sure you regularly clean and treat it with chemicals.

The first step is to remove any debris from the water, such as leaves or twigs, using a skimmer net. Once the surface is clear, it’s time to vacuum the bottom of the pool. A pool vacuum can be attached to your filtration system or used manually with a telescoping pole. Be sure to vacuum the walls and floor thoroughly to remove any dirt or algae buildup.

After cleaning the pool, it’s essential to treat it with chemicals to prevent bacteria and algae growth. Start by adjusting the pH level to between 7.2 and 7.6 using a pH increaser or decreaser. Next, add a shock treatment to kill any bacteria or algae. Follow the instructions on the package carefully, as the amount needed will depend on the size of your pool. It’s recommended to shock the pool once a week during the offseason.

Add a winter algaecide to the water. This will prevent any algae growth and keep the water clear throughout the winter months. Follow the instructions on the package for the correct amount to use based on your pool’s size.

Once the chemicals have been added, run the filtration system for at least 24 hours to ensure they are distributed evenly throughout the water.

By regularly cleaning and treating your pool water during the offseason, you can protect your investment and ensure it’s ready for swimming when the warmer weather returns.

Protecting the Pool’s Pipes and Equipment

Don’t neglect your pool’s pipes and equipment – it’s crucial to take steps to prevent damage during the offseason.

One of the most important steps in winterizing your pool is to clear the pipes of all water. Any water left in the pipes can freeze, expand and cause the pipes to crack or burst. To prevent this, use an air compressor to blow out the lines, starting at the pump and working your way through all the pipes. Once all the water has been removed, seal the lines with winterizing plugs or caps.

Aside from clearing the pipes, it’s also important to protect the pool’s equipment. The pump, filter, heater and other equipment should be disconnected and drained of any water. Store the equipment indoors, if possible, to protect it from harsh weather conditions, like snow and ice. If indoor storage isn’t an option, cover the equipment with a waterproof cover to protect it from the elements.

Don’t forget to protect the pool’s skimmer and return lines. These can be protected by using a device called a Gizzmo. A Gizzmo is a plastic device that’s screwed into the skimmer or return line and acts as a plug to prevent water from entering the pipes. This device also allows for expansion and contraction of any remaining water in the pipes, preventing damage.

By taking these steps to protect your pool’s pipes and equipment, you can ensure that your investment is protected and ready to use when the warmer weather returns.

Covering the Pool to Prevent Debris Buildup

Covering the pool with a high-quality pool cover is a smart move for any pool owner looking to keep their pool clean and ready to use. When left uncovered, the pool can become a magnet for debris, such as leaves, twigs, and insects. These unwanted elements can make their way into the pool water, causing it to become cloudy and uninviting.

By using a pool cover, you can prevent debris from entering the pool, reducing the need for cleaning and maintenance. When choosing a pool cover, it’s essential to opt for a cover that’s durable and designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. A high-quality pool cover should be made from sturdy materials that can hold up against wind, rain, and snow. It should also be easy to install and remove, allowing you to use your pool whenever you want without any hassle.

In addition to keeping the pool clean, covering it with a pool cover can also help to conserve energy and reduce heating costs. A pool cover can help to retain the heat in the pool, reducing the amount of energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. This can result in significant cost savings over time, making a pool cover a smart investment for any pool owner looking to keep their pool in top condition.

Checking and Adjusting Chemical Levels

It’s crucial to regularly monitor and adjust the chemical levels in your pool to ensure it’s safe and clean for swimmers. Neglecting this task could result in harmful bacteria and algae growth, as well as skin and eye irritation.

Here are three essential steps to help maintain proper chemical levels in your winterized pool:

  • Test the water: Use a pool testing kit to measure the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels in the water. Adjust these levels as needed to ensure they fall within the recommended range. A pH level between 7.2 and 7.8 is optimal, while alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm. Chlorine levels should be maintained between 1 and 3 ppm.
  • Shock the pool: Shocking the pool involves adding a large dose of chlorine to eliminate any bacteria or algae that may have accumulated in the water. This should be done once a month during the winter months. Follow the instructions on the shock treatment product carefully, and avoid swimming for at least 24 hours after shocking the pool.
  • Use an algaecide: Adding an algaecide to the pool can help prevent the growth of algae during the winter months. This is especially important if you live in an area with mild winters or if your pool is exposed to sunlight. Follow the instructions on the algaecide product and add it to the pool as recommended.

By following these three essential steps, you can help maintain the proper chemical levels in your winterized pool and ensure it’s safe and clean for swimmers when it’s time to open it back up in the spring. Remember to always read and follow the instructions on all pool chemicals carefully and wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling them.

Removing and Storing Pool Accessories

When you’re ready to close up shop for the winter, grab your trusty net and start scooping up all the pool accessories that need to be removed and stored away. This includes items such as pool toys, floats, and any other decorations or accessories that you may have added throughout the season.

It’s important to remove these items from the pool and store them properly to prevent damage from winter weather. Before storing your pool accessories, make sure to clean them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. This will help to prevent mold and mildew from growing while they’re in storage.

You can use a mild soap and water solution to clean them, or a specialized pool cleaner if necessary. Once they’re clean, make sure they’re completely dry before storing them away. When storing your pool accessories, it’s important to keep them in a dry, protected area. You can use a storage shed or garage, or even a large plastic bin with a lid.

Make sure to label the container so you know what’s inside, and keep it in a location where it won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures or moisture. By taking the time to properly remove and store your pool accessories, you’ll be protecting your investment and ensuring that they’ll be ready to use again when the next pool season rolls around.

Hiring a Professional for Assistance (Optional)

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can always consider hiring a professional to provide additional assistance with winter preparation for your pool. While it may seem like an added expense, hiring a professional can ultimately save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional for winterizing your pool:

  • Professional expertise: A pool professional will have the knowledge and experience needed to winterize your pool correctly, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to protect your investment from the harsh winter elements.
  • Time-saving: Winterizing your pool can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. By hiring a professional, you can save yourself the time and hassle of figuring out what needs to be done and how to do it.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that a professional has taken care of your pool winterization can give you peace of mind throughout the winter months. You won’t have to worry about any unexpected issues arising due to improper winterization, and you can rest easy knowing that your pool is protected until the warmer months return.

Overall, while hiring a professional for winterizing your pool is an optional step, it’s one that can provide many benefits. From expert knowledge to time-saving convenience, a professional can help ensure that your pool is properly protected throughout the winter months, giving you the peace of mind you need to relax and enjoy the season ahead.


In conclusion, winterizing your pool is an essential step to protect your investment and ensure its longevity. By following the steps outlined above, you can rest assured that your pool will be in good condition when you open it up again in the spring.

But before you go out and start winterizing your pool, ask yourself this: can you truly do it all on your own? While it’s possible to winterize your pool by yourself, hiring a professional can save you time, ensure that everything’s done correctly, and prevent any costly mistakes.

So, if you’re unsure about any of the steps or simply don’t have the time, consider calling in a professional to assist you.

Remember, winterizing your pool is a crucial investment in its longevity and your peace of mind. Don’t skip any steps or take any shortcuts, and always prioritize safety.

With a little effort and preparation, you can keep your pool in excellent condition for years to come.

Brian Ozorco

Author: Brian Ozorco

Brian started working with pools more than two decades ago. He's really good at making old pools look new and beautiful again. This is called pool resurfacing, and it's one of his specialties. Brian is not just good at fixing pools; he's also great at helping people. He set up to provide pool services, via a network of expert pool contractors, to home owners all over the US. Brian believes it's important to treat customers well, and that's a big part of his business.