Closing your inground pool properly can really make a huge difference, especially when you reopen it in the spring season. It’s the contrast between uncovering a clean and clear, swim-ready pool water, versus a green and murky, leaf-filled swamp. Closing your inground pool may seem like a ton of work, but you can get it done quickly with the right approach. We’re talking about a day or less. Closing your inground pool with save you not only time but money as well. So if you’re ready, here are some tips on how to close inground pool with safety cover like a pro.
Reasons Why You Should Properly Close Inground Pool
Why is it important to properly close your inground pool.
- To avoid costly freeze damage to pool equipment and pipes
- So you can spend less money on pool opening chemicals
- Save energy
- Avoid metal and organic staining
- Prevent unnecessary debris and buildup during offseason (less cleanup later)
- Avoid wasting time reopening in the spring (get back in the water faster)
- Reduce anxiety knowing everything will work the day you reopen
When to Close Your Inground Pool?
Before we proceed on how to close inground pool with safety cover, let’s talk first about when you should close your inground pool. Deciding on the right time to close your pool, and how to do it boils down to two factors: location, and the time of year. If you are located in a place with a colder climate, and winter temperature goes below 60 degrees, begin closing your pool once the temperatures steadily drop below that point. This time is usually around August to November.
However, if you’re utilizing a pool heat pump, you can simply keep your pool warm and prolong your swimming season by a few months, which means a later closing.
But if you are located in a more tropical climate, with mostly warm and sunny weather year-round (above 60 degrees), you need not close your pool. You can also keep your pool open during winter, but just remember to keep your pump up and running, and your pool water warm and clean.
If you live in a warm climate and you still want to close your inground pool, wait until the colder months roll in – that’s usually between November and January.
Things Needed for Closing Inground Pool
Before we start on how to close inground pool with safety cover, check out this list to make sure you are ready. Here’s a list of the supplies you need for closing an inground pool:
- Pool water test kit
- Alkalinity increaser
- Alkalinity decreaser (if needed)
- pH increaser
- pH decreaser (if necessary)
- Chlorine (or pool sanitizer of your choice)
- Calcium hardness increaser
- Cyanuric acid
- Air compressor or Shop-vac
- Pool brush
- Pool skimmer attachment
- Winter pool cover
- Rubber plugs
- Skimmer plug/guards
- Pool vacuum
- Telescopic pole
Specific chemicals you need to put in your pool during winter closing (pool winterizing chemicals):
- Algaecide – This will kill algae and stops algae growth
- Pool enzymes – This will prevent organic staining and also fights buildups
- Metal sequestrant – Captures loose metals in the water and prevents staining
- Optional: Pool winterizing kit
Steps on How to Close Inground Pool with Safety Cover
To get you started, here are the steps on how to close inground pool with safety cover:
- Clean the pool and balance the water. Even if you think your pool looks somewhat clean, never skip this step. Contaminants in the pool are often unseen. Take your telescopic pole and brush attachment, and scrub your pool’s walls thoroughly from left to right. This will help loosens the buildup and algae spores, which will make them fall to the floor for simple treatment and cleanup. After you’re done with brushing, grab your skimmer attachment, and skim out everything you see on the surface of the pool. Lastly, connect your vacuum hose to your skimmer line and thoroughly vacuum-clean the floor of your pool. With your water is visibly clean, it’s now time to clean it up using chemicals. This means that your water should be balanced appropriately and sanitized for the offseason.
- Clean the filter and other pool equipment. Now that your pool water is clean and balanced, it’s time to clean your pool equipment. Focus on cleaning the pool filter, skimmer basket, pool pump basket. To clean the cartridge filter, remove the top housing and the cartridges. From there, flush the cartridges with a filter cleaner or water with soap. Rinse them with a hose, and replace or keep them in storage once dry. Use your sand filter valve to backwash and run the pump to clean the filter. You can also utilize a special sand filter cleaner alternatively. Remember to also open the skimmer lid to clean the basket and the pool pump basket before moving on.
- Lower the water level. You’re almost halfway done! This step is very simple. All you’ve got to do is lower the water below the skimmer. This step will prevent overflow and will stop the water from getting into pipes or equipment that will cause freeze damage. If you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, lower your water not lower than the bottom skimmer level. If you have a concrete pool, lower the water by six to twelve inches below the bottom skimmer level. When you’re using a solid pool cover, lower the water level about six to eight inches below your skimmer line. If you are using a mesh or hybrid cover, lower the water level about twelve to eighteen inches to make room for water draining in the pool.
Remove the drain plugs and empty the water from the pump, filter, and heater. Remove all the drain plugs from your pool equipment (pump, heater, filter). The filter and heater may have more than one plug, so check it to be safe. When drain plugs are removed, clear out the pool equipment. Blow out the remaining water in the pool equipment by following these steps:
- Close the main valve
- Connect a shop-vac to the pool pump’s drainage port (Note: You might need a specialized attachment for this)Turn on the vac to start blowing out the water inside the pump, heater, and filter
- Water should flow out of the different drain holes of the filter and heaterOnce the water stops flowing out, turn off the vac
Blow out and plug the plumbing lines (air compressor). For this step, things will get a bit more technical. So if you lack the know-how or the proper equipment, we strongly advise hiring a pro pool service to you clear your lines. They will get the job done quickly and safely. Otherwise, you can follow these steps to do the job yourself:
- Open the main valve and skimmer lines
- Connect an air compressor (or shop-vac) to the pool pump’s drain plug opening (may require a specialized attachment to connect to the pump drain plug)
- Turn on the compressor
- Watch out for bubbles coming out of the return lines
- The moment you see bubbles, start plugging each line, beginning with the skimmer
- Once you see bubbles coming out of the pool’s main drain, turn off the compressor (close the suction valve if possible)
Cover the Pool with a Winter Cover
There are 3 main options for covering your pool in the winter:
- Winter cover – A thin vinyl cover held down by water bags. Protects your water from the elements. Does not support heavy loads.
- Solid Safety cover – A thicker vinyl cover, safely secured by cover anchors, that protects your water and prevents hazard by supporting large amounts of weight.
- Vinyl Safety cover – Similar to a solid cover, but constructed from mesh that allows for drainage. Supports heavy loads.
Closing your pool for the winter may really seem too difficult and tedious. But following these steps on how to close inground pool with safety cover will surely make your job easier. But,if you’re not that confident enough to do it, it’s okay. Don’be be afraid to hire a pro. Doing these steps will help you preserve your clean and clear pool waters for you and your family to enjoy when winter is over and just in time for spring season. Happy closing! Here’s how to learn more about Pool Safety Covers.