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The Home Depot

Swimming Pool Winterization Steps

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Seasonal > Swimming Pool Winterization Steps
Swimming Pool Winterization Steps

Well, summer’s over. It is time to pack up the barbecue, take the kids shopping for school shoes and pull the sweaters out of storage. Oh – and there’s one more thing you should add to your end-of-summer to-do list: winterizing your swimming pool.


If you live in a place where it gets cold for part of the year, there are probably long periods of time when your pool sits unused. During that time, your pool is vulnerable to a number of things including cracks, mold and algae.


If this is your first time shutting down your pool for the winter, don’t worry. This guide will tell you exactly what you need to know. Read below to find a few key swimming pool winterization steps.

  1. If you live in a place where it gets cold for part of the year, there are probably long periods of time when your pool sits unused.

    1.Balance the Water

    You may think that your pool has to be drained completely at the end of each swimming season. Actually, it’s actually better for your pool if you leave a good amount of water in your pool over the winter break. However, there must be a certain balance of chemicals in the water to make sure it stays clean and doesn’t do any damage to the inside of the pool. Most experts agree that the pH of the water in your pool should be between 7.2 and 7.6. The alkalinity of the water should be 80-120 ppm and the calcium hardness should be 180-220 ppm. You may need to “shock” your pool. Shocking your pool is the process of using oxidization to break down dirt and debris that may have accumulated in your pool water. Simply buy a swimming pool shocker at a pool supply store and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

  2. 2.Drain the Pool

    Again, you won’t have to completely empty the pool. However, you will need to lower the level of the water a bit. Experts say you need only lower the level until it’s slightly below the skimmer. This is also a good time to drain and remove the pump, drain, heater, hoses and vacuum equipment. Dry them completely and store them in a safe place. You should not leave them outside in the cold because they could freeze and then crack.

  3. 3.Cover the Pool

    Covering your pool means that it’s not a safety hazard for animals and small children who could venture near it. It also helps protect your pool from harsh weather and things that could harm the quality of the water. Finally, covering your pool means the water you want to stay in your pool stays there and doesn’t evaporate. There are lots of different pool covers on the market for you to choose from. There are covers designed for safety, solar covers and more. The kind you buy will depend on your priorities, budget and type of pool.

  5. 4.Cleaning and Maintenance

    This is a great time to do whatever you may have neglected during the all-too-brief and busy swim season. Give the area around the pool a good cleaning. Make sure to remove all debris and put all pool equipment and accessories in their designated places. Use this time to make sure all the parts of your pool – things like the pump, filter, heater, etc. – are also clean and working well. If they aren’t, bring in a professional to give them the TLC they need.


    If the idea of winterizing your own pool gives you pause, don’t worry! You don’t have to do it yourself. You can hire a pool professional to do it for you. Use to find a reliable pro near you. Red Beacon screens and evaluates all the professionals they list, which makes it easier for you to quickly find a company you’re sure to love.

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