Close An Inground Pool? Answers To Your Questions

Labor Day has just passed. You are looking at your beautiful pool and feeling a bit sad because due to the New Jersey summer weather you did not enjoy it as much as you would have liked. And now its time to think about closing it. If you live in NJ it’s important to know that when closing your pool, winterizing it is essential. You will be protecting the lining and pipes against cracks that can happen due to the freezing water as well as protecting the foundation. You will be extending the life of your pool.

Is this the first summer you had a pool or are you use to closing it year after year? Here we list a few questions with answers to help you if you are planning to adventure into the closing process by yourself. For those, who have done this before, you may know that is can be far less stressful and easier to call in a pool builder professional who opens and closes pools to close your pool. However, for those of you who want to do it yourself, DIY, here we answer a few questions you may have regarding how to close an inground pool.

Where do I start and what do I need?

First, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies that will be needed to properly close your pool.

  • Tools needed to remove any equipment, accessories, and ladders such as screwdrivers
  • Water test kit or test strips
  • Air Compressor or Shop-Vac
  • Pool Brush
  • Pool Vacuum
  • You can choose to purchase the chemicals separately or purchase a winterizing kit which will include the necessary chemicals.
  • Winter pool cover (pool cover weights and pool tubes if needed)
  • Rubber plugs or straight pressure plugs for the return jets
  • Skimmer plug

Steps to follow to close your pool.

  1. A week before you winterize add a phosphate remover. Clean your pool with a pool brush and vacuum. To be completely thorough use an algae brush. This bush will break up the algae and make is easier to vacuum up. It will disturb the blooms making them easier to treat with the chemicals. The phosphate remover will prevent algae from forming while the pool is covered.
  2. Add winterizing chemicals. Balance water chemistry, chlorinate and shock
  3. Drain your pool to the recommended levels as stated below.
  4. Remove and drain the pump of all water. Disconnect the drain plugs, pump, filter, and heater.
  5. Blow out all pipes so they are completely dry. Add swimming pool antifreeze. Make sure the antifreeze you choose is designed for a pool not a car antifreeze.
  6. Cover the skimmer opening with a skimmer plug and plug the return jet with an airtight rubber plug
  7. Remove all pool accessories such as diving boards, ladders, return jet fittings and skimmer baskets
  8. Cover with a pool cover. The most effective pool cover is a safety cover that is custom made to perfectly fit and cover your pool.
  9. Thoroughly clean the filter and pump. Blow it out with a compressor or vacuum if needed. You do not need unnecessary debris and bacteria sitting in your filter all winter.

How far down do you drain an inground pool for the winter?

Draining the water allows you to disconnect the filter from the pool. Removing water is essential and will prevent damage that can occur with the freezing water temperature. Draining the water below the skimmer is needed to completely blow out the pipe. Even the smallest amount of water left inside can make the pipes freeze, expand and crack. The amount of water to be drained will be determined by the pool cover you will be using. When the water is lowered to the appropriate level, place an airtight rubber plug into the return jet and attach a skimmer plug inside the pool on the skimmer opening.

  • Standard floating or custom fit safety cover: Drain the water 6 inches below the skimmer.
  • Mesh pool cover: Because a mesh cover is porous, it will keep out the dirt and debris, however, it will allow your pool to fill up with water. This requires you to drain the water more than a standard floating cover, 12 – 18 inches is recommended.

What chemicals do you put in the pool for the winter?

Balancing the water with the right chemicals helps prevent complications that poor water chemistry can cause. Test the water with a test kit or take it to the nearest pool store to get a more accurate reading. The chemical levels must be properly balanced to avoid corrosion and scale build-up that can occur while the pool is closed. Here we list the chemicals that will be needed if you decide to purchase the chemicals individually. If you have been maintaining your pool water chemistry right up until closing you may not need many of these chemicals which will make the closing process much easier.

  • Pool sanitizer either chlorine or bromine
  • pH increaser (if needed)
  • pH decreaser (if needed)
  • Alkalinity increaser (if needed)
  • Calcium hardness increaser (if needed)
  • Cyanuric acid
  • algaecide
  • Shock
  • Metal sequestrant

Pool winterizing kit: These kits usually supply all of the necessary chemicals need to close your pool.

These instructions may seem for some to be a lot to absorb. At Atlantic Pool & Spa we can close your pool quickly and properly. If you want to open it in the spring/summer and want little or no work contact Atlantic Pool & Spa. If you choose to close your pool by yourself stop by our Atlantic Pool & Spa Store in Lake Hopatcong, NJ. We have all of the closing supplies you will need. We will be happy to help you with any additional information you may need on how to close an inground pool.