Free Winter Pool Closing Checklist

Pool Closing Hero image

Before trading your swim trunks for snow boots, follow this Pool Closing Checklist to protect your pool during the cold winter months.

Click here to download the FREE Pool Closing Checklist!

check mark ORGANIZE

Choose the correct winter-closing accessories for your pool: valve plugs, skimmer plugs, water bags or tubes, cover pump, winterizing chemicals, air pillows and cover seal (for above ground pools). If you will be using a Winter or Safety Cover, make sure to double check for any rips or tears in the material. For a small tear, use a cover patch for an easy and reliable fix.

checkmark CLEAN

Brush, skim and vacuum the pool to remove all dirt and debris. Brushing removes the food source algae needs to bloom. Test and balance the chemicals to make sure the water is in the normal range.

After your pump runs one complete cycle, backwash or clean the pool filter to remove all dirt and debris from your filtration system. If you have a Sand Filter, you can set the filter to ‘Waste’, which will remove dirty water while lowering your water level at the same time.

Remove any hoses, ladders and equipment from the surrounding area. Make sure to drain all water from any automatic pool cleaners.

checkmark CLEAR

You can now lower the water level with a submersible (sump) pump, if it has not already been lowered from backwashing.

If you live in a region that experiences below-freezing temperatures, you’ll want to blow-out the pool’s plumbing and equipment with a liner vac or shop vac. Make sure to plug each valve and add pool antifreeze immediately after clearing the plumbing. For Above Ground Pools, you’ll want to disconnect the filter hoses from the skimmer and pool return fittings. For In-Ground pools, don’t forget to use a skimmer winter plug to absorb freezing water and protect your swimming pool’s plumbing.

Now, disconnect and drain your pool pump by removing the drain plug. The same goes for your filter and pool heater, as well. Skimmer baskets make for a great place to store all drain plugs for the winter.

checkmark CHEMICALS

Now, it’s time to add winter chemicals. We recommend using the Winter Closing Kit for a worry-free close. Evenly disperse any liquid chemicals, as well. We also recommend attaching the floating chlorine feeder to the air pillow (above-ground pools). Make sure to set the feeder to the lowest possible feed rate. Before laying the cover across your pool, we recommend placing an AquaPill WinterPill in the pool to preserve water chemistry.

checkmark COVER

Last, but certainly not least, it’s time to install your Winter Cover. For an Above Ground pool, you will need a cable and winch, air pillow, water bags, and a cover pump. Thread the cable through the grommets on each water bag while installing the cover. Make sure to place the air pillow under your cover before cinching the cable tight and sealing the edges.

For an In-Ground pool, place water tubes on the excess Winter Cover material around the perimeter of the pool after installing the cover. It’s important to only fill the water tubes about ¾ full to avoid freezing and breaking. Place a water siphon or cover pump on top of the cover.

checkmark COMPLETE

Be sure to unplug the main power supply and remove the “on” and “off” trippers on your timer clock, if you have one.

Tip: Check the pool chemicals about once a month and remove any excess water and debris from the cover’s surface.

Make sure to check out our Winter Pool Closing products on for everything you need for a successful winter pool closing!

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Brian Champ
When Brian isn't writing pool-related articles, he enjoys anything that will take him outdoors: hiking, biking and trail running name a few. Brian is excited to share his pool knowledge with helpful how-to guides, product reviews, comparisons, and more!