Ten Steps to Closing your Pool the Right Way

Closing your pool for the season may make you a little melancholy – it’s a sad but important process so here are 10 steps to make sure it’s done properly.

As always, Hayward recommends contracting a reputable pool professional to close your pool for the season.  A properly closed pool will ensure there is no damage due to freezing and that spring start up is a breeze and less costly.

Find a servicer in your area.

Balance water chemistry:

The week you’re closing your pool, make sure your water falls within the ranges below.

  • pH:  7.2 – 7.8
  • Alkalinity:  80 – 120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness:  180 – 220 ppm

Add shock and algaecide:

Shock your pool by following the manufacturer’s package directions.  Allow the chlorine level to reach 1.0 – 3.0 ppm before adding winter algaecide.  Never add shock and algaecide to the pool at the same time.

Clean pool:

Vacuum and brush the pool’s walls.  If your pool is especially dirty or has a lot of algae, vacuum pool to waste.  This means to bypass the filter and vacuum waste out the backwash line.  This prevents constant filter clogging and cleaning.  Place the multiport filter valve on drain to waste position.  The pool should be as clean and clear as possible before covering.

Store equipment:

Remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets and ladders from the pool and store for the winter.  Don’t coil pool cleaner hoses tightly.

Lower water level:

Using the filter pump or a submersible pump to lower the water level 12″ – 18″ below the skimmer for mesh covers, and 3″ – 6″ below the tile for solid, floating covers.  Some covers do not require you to lower the water.  Check with your manufacture’s manual.

Drain pump, filter, chlorination and heating equipment:

Use drain plugs to drain water from your pump, filter, heater and chlorinator.  All water must be drained or blown out so your equipment doesn’t freeze and crack.  After draining, D.E. filter grids and cartridge filters should be removed and cleaned thoroughly.  If possible, store filter and pump indoors.  If not, use a shop vacuum or compressor to blow out any water that may still be in the equipment.


Fall closing is a good time to lubricate the pump lid o-rings.  If you have a push-pull valve (also known as a slide valve) on the filter, lubricate its o-rings as well.  If you have a gas heater with cast iron plugs, lubricate these threads or leave the plugs in after draining to prevent rusting.

Winterize plumbing:

If you have an in-ground pool, you should blow out the lines from the skimmer, through the equipment and back to the pool, then plug the lines at the pool using expansion plugs.  If you don’t blow the lines, add swimming pool antifreeze into the lines following manufacturer’s package directions.  If you have an above-ground pool, you usually just need to disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and filter and plug the wall outlets.

Cover the pool:

A tight fit of your pool cover is essential.  A mesh safety cover is the most desirable and safer.  Solid covers will require a cover pump or siphon to remove rain water and snow melt.  Above-ground pool covers use a cable winch device to secure the cover.

Rejoice and plan:

Although you’re closing your pool for the season, sit back and relax about the wonderful season you had.  And…plan for the next.  Make a mental punch list of the enhancements and improvements you want to make to the pool itself, its surroundings as well as equipment.  Looking forward to summer 2014!