How To Winterize An Inground Pool: Complete Step-By-Step Guide

Last Updated on September 11, 2020

This year’s pool season is coming to a close and now is a good time to prepare and learn how to winterize an inground pool if this is your first time doing it.

Contrary to popular belief that winterizing can be such a tedious task, you’d be surprised at how easy it can be. It just takes a little effort on your part to protect your pool and its equipment against the cold weather. It even extends beyond that since doing this will make it easier for you to open your pool once the new pool season begins.

We have here a step-by-step guide you can follow that tells you everything you need to know when closing your swimming pool.

But before going through that, let’s discuss first all the required tools and equipment you will be needing to close your inground pool for the winter.

Recommended Tools And Equipment When Closing Your Inground Pool

For you to winterize an inground pool, you will need to use the following equipment and materials.

Pool Brushes

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The Wall Whale Classic Swimming Pool Brush
  • The tail holds the brush against the wall with more than 10x the force
  • Brush with one hand
  • Great for routine brushing or tough algae problems

Pool brushes help you scrub off dirt and debris on your pool’s walls and floor. You should check out this pool brush by The Wall Whale Classic that’s recommended for those homeowners who do weekly brushing, startup brushing, and algae removal.

Pool Vacuum

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Easy To Clean Large Top Load Filter Cartridges and Tangle-Free Swivel Cord, Ideal for In-Ground Swimming Pools Up To 50 Feet
  • Hello, free time! Let the Nautilus CC Plus take over your pool cleaning duties for good. Ideal for swimming pools up to 50 feet, this cleaner will leave your pool sparkling clean in just 2 hours....
  • The clean you need without the hassle. The Nautilus CC Plus was designed to clean your pool, effortlessly. With dual scrubbing brushes and superior filtering capabilities, you can relax knowing your...
  • Ditch the pumps and hose. Unlike the energy hogs that are pressure and suction cleaners, Dolphins are independent cleaning machines and do not rely on any additional equipment to get the job done....
  • Clean your pool with the touch of a button. Schedule the Nautilus CC Plus to clean your swimming pool each week using 3 settings- every day, every other day, or every 3rd day. Pool cleaning has never...

A pool vacuum helps thoroughly clean your inground pool’s interior walls and floors. We suggest getting a robotic pool cleaner since it can do all the work for you. You just have to sit back and relax and wait for them to be done cleaning your whole pool.

Pool Testing Kit

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Pool and Spa Test Strips 100 Count - 7 Way Swimming Pool Testing Strip Kit for Chlorine Bromine Alkalinity pH Hardness & Cyanuric Acid - Chemical Tester Strips for Fast and Accurate Water Maintenance
  • ✅ DIVE IN & SWIM CAREFREE - Relax into your pool or spa’s sparkling clean water. These testing strips provide a reliable, accurate reading in seconds so you can enjoy your next swim, stress-free.
  • ✅ FASTER & EASIER THAN LIQUID TEST KITS - Strips are faster and simpler than liquid testing kits, with accuracy as good or better. Our strips are about 20% wider than most other brands, making them...
  • ✅ SAVE HUNDREDS & FREQUENT TRIPS TO THE POOL STORE - This kit includes 2 packs of 50 pool test strips, which will last 4-6 months testing 2-3 times per week. Save time, money, and avoid hassle while...
  • ✅ 7-IN-1 COMPLETE CHEMICAL TESTING - Test for Total Chlorine or Bromine, Free Chlorine, Total Alkalinity, pH, Total Hardness, and Cyanuric Acid. These seven tests provide extensive info for keeping...

Test kits are vital in making sure you’re pool is ready to be closed. You should get one that can test the pH, total chlorine or bromine, free chlorine, total alkalinity, and total hardness of your inground pool like this test kit from Health Metric.

Winterizing Pool Chemicals

On Sale Now!
In The Swim Pool Winterizing and Closing Chemical Kit - Up to 35,000 Gallons
  • For use with pools up to 35,000 gallons only
  • Kits use chlorine-free chemicals that will not stain or bleach liners and is safe for use on all pool surfaces
  • Slow-release floater keeps your pool oxidized all winter long
  • Not for use in pools on a biguanide based sanitizing system

When it comes to winterizing your inground pool, the pool chemicals that you’ll be using play an important part in the whole process. Using the right amount of chemicals before closing your pool can make it that much easier to get things going again when the new pool season begins.

Inground Pool Cover

On Sale Now!
Pool Mate 572040R Sandstone Winter Pool Cover for In-Ground Swimming Pools, 20 x 40-ft. In-Ground Pool
  • Winter pool cover to be used with in-ground swimming pools - Solid material will not let water pass through
  • Pool Size: 20 x 40 Foot Rectangle - Cover Size: 25 x 45 Feet (includes overlap in total)
  • Extra heavy-duty polyethylene material - All seams are heat sealed for better performance
  • 5 foot overlap (Includes 5 feet of extra material beyond pool size, making this cover easier to install, included in cover size above) - 15 Year Warranty

The most important equipment in keeping your inground pool protected against weather is your pool cover. We recommend getting this pool cover from Pool Mate that will protect your pool from winter elements and ensure no amount of water passes through its material.

Winter Water Tubes/Bags

Pool Mate 1-3811-20-BLK-10 Extra Heavy-Duty 20 Gauge 10-Foot Black Winter Water Bag For Swimming Pool Covers, 10-Pack
  • Used with water bag loops included on your winter pool cover
  • Features a dual-chamber design
  • Extra Heavy-Duty 20 gauge vinyl
  • Includes leak-proof valves

Water tubes are used to secure your inground pool cover for the winter season. Water tubes are made from vinyl and are laid out to hold your cover down against rain, wind, and snow to prevent debris from getting into your pool water.

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Winterize Inground Pool

Keep in mind that preparation is key in keeping your inground pool safe during the cold winter months. Here’s a five-step guide on how to winterize an inground pool. This should help keep your pool safe and ready once the new pool season starts.

1. Clean your inground pool and its equipment

You should be familiar with this step already considering that you’ve been using your pool for more than a couple of months now. This mainly involves your typical pool maintenance steps such as:

  • Brushing of pool’s interior surfaces
  • Cleaning your pool’s filtration system
  • Changing your pool’s filter
  • Removal of large debris out of your pool
  • Vacuuming your pool

Closing your pool without proper cleaning may cause damage to your pool equipment in the long run.

Also, make sure that you’ve cleaned every part of your inground pool so won’t encounter any problems when you open your pool again.

2. Test and balance your pool water

Similar to what you normally do after cleaning your pool, you must test and balance your pool water to ensure they are at their proper levels.

You should be testing and monitoring your pool water’s pH, total alkalinity level, and calcium hardness.

Your pool’s pH level must be between 7.2 and 7.8 for inground pools, total alkalinity should be between 80 and 150 ppm, and calcium hardness should be at 180 ppm or higher.

Water balancing should be done several days before you plan on closing your inground pool to give the chemicals time to properly disperse.

how to winterize an inground pool properly

3. Add your winter closing kit chemicals

Once you achieve a well-balanced pool, the next step you should do is add your winterizing chemicals. When it comes to winterizing chemicals for inground pools you have dozens of available options to choose from. You also have the option to get a complete set of all the winterizing chemicals you will be needing or by them individually.

Pool winterizing kits for inground pools usually include a chlorine-free pool shock, algaecide, metal sequestrant, and pool enzymes.

Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how much you should be using for your inground pool.

Important Reminder: You should lower your water levels by 3 to 4 inches below the bottom of your pool’s skimmer opening before closing it. This helps prevent freeze damage and overflowing of your pool water.

4. Winterize your pool equipment

When closing your pool, you must also consider your pool equipment. Before closing your pool, you should already cleaned your pool’s filter and pump thoroughly. No debris or dirt should be left sitting inside your pool’s pump or filter since they can cause all sorts of problems once you decide to open your pool again.

For those who live in colder regions, you must blow out the lines to make sure no water stays inside your pool’s pumps, hoses, and filters.

Note: When it comes to blowing your pool’s lines, things can go bad pretty fast and cost you thousands of dollars in repair costs. If you’re not that confident in doing this step, you can always ask help from pool professionals in your area to help you out.

Remove all other pool equipment that’s prone to rust like your pool ladder and rails. They must be stored away unless you have a winter pool cover that can cover your pool properly even with them still installed.

You should also remove the fittings from the return lines and your skimmer basket, including the line for your automatic cleaner, if you got one.

5. Cover your pool

The final step on this guide on how to winterize an inground pool is to make sure that you’ll be covering it properly.

Before you close and cover your inground pool for good, make sure that your pool water is as clean and clear as possible.

Next, is prepare your winter water bags. Fill the water bags where they will be placed and only fill them up to 70% to 80% of their capacity to allow for expansions when the water inside them starts to freeze.

Once everything has been checked thoroughly, it’s time to install your winter pool cover. Now, as you spread the pool cover throughout your swimming pool, you should inspect closely for any tears or rips. Patch any rips or tear that you might find following the pool cover’s manufacturer instructions.

Even though you’re not required anymore to clean your pool daily when it’s closed, it’s still good to check on your pool cover regularly until the winter season ends.

Final Thoughts About Winterizing Inground Pool

For those who are used to doing everything on their own, winterizing inground pools can be a breeze for them.

Although, at least one or two steps mentioned above may require you to seek professional help, especially if you’re residing in a place where the winter season can get a bit too extreme. For example, blowing out the lines can be difficult to do all by yourself without much experience and the proper equipment.

Now, hiring pool professionals is never a bad thing. They’re there to help you out in preparing your pool for the winter and keep you from inadvertently damaging your swimming pool.

Closing your inground pool properly will prevent damage caused by the cold temperature, or commonly known as freeze damage, that can cost a fortune to fix. It also gives you a pretty good chance that you can open your pool again right away without any trouble.

What About Saltwater Pools?

If you have a saltwater inground pool at home, then you should check out our guide on how to winterize saltwater pools. It’s almost the same as the process above except for some steps that you have to use a couple of different tools. You also have to consider your saltwater chlorinator and protect it from winter elements.




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