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How-to Pool Closing: How to Close Your Pool

How to Close Your Above Ground Pool in the North

When closing above ground pools, it’s always a good idea to check out the pool manufacturer’s instructions on how to proceed. Here at Doheny’s, we have simplified the steps needed to close your pool the right way so that it will be protected during the cold winter months, no matter where you live.


It’s important to leave some water in your pool during the winter. If you have an above ground pool with a vinyl liner, leaving the pool dry could result in tearing and cracking in the cold weather. Once this happens, the liner has to be replaced.

1. It is crucial to Clean Up Around the Pool. Be sure your entire pool area is free of dirt, debris, leaves, branches and other materials that could blow in and change the chemistry of your pool water.

2. Inspect All Pool Equipment. Check your pool equipment for signs of damage or heavy wear and tear before those temps really start to decrease. Repair anything that is damaged and keep an eye open for cracks and tears in both your pool liner and plumbing equipment. If you see any issues with your pool equipment, including with the pool filter or the pool pump, our pool repair kits make repairs a breeze.

3. Clean the Pool Walls & Floor. Using either a hand held pool vacuum or an automatic pool cleaner, remove all dirt and debris, then scrub, filter, and clean anything that is left over.

4. Balance the Winter Chemicals. Before your above ground pool can be fully winterized, all pool chemicals must be at the right levels. Test the water with Doheny’s pool test kits to check the pool pH and alkalinity levels, allowing 24 hours for the full effect. A Doheny’s Winter Kit, which includes algaecide, metal out, and pool shock, is the easiest way to get all the winter pool chemicals you need with one purchase.

5. Run the Filtration System. It’s a good idea to turn your filtration system on and run it for an hour after the pool chemicals have been added to the water. The water circulation will remove any excess dirt and debris that still might be present in the water and help to evenly disperse the chemicals.

6. Lower the Water to Below the Skimmer. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations for lowering the water level in your pool and make sure it reaches about two inches beneath the surface of the skimmer. This prevents freezing and expansion when the temperatures in your area really start to drop. A skimmer plug is a great accessory to have here, as it will prevent any moisture from getting in.

7. Clean the Filters. For D.E filters, flush out the D.E. and thoroughly clean out the grid. For cartridge filters, make sure to clean the cartridge and the inside of the tank and for sand filters, run an extra-long backwash to thoroughly clean the sand. After your filter is clean, remove all filter hoses and remove the drain plugs from the pump, filter, and heater, making sure no excess water is trapped. Finally, store all equipment in a safe, dry place for easy access next spring.

8. Tablet Dispenser. After using a pool closing kit, a handy winter oxidizing tablet dispenser can be added. Gently slide it into your pool and avoid throwing it in, as this could release too much of the oxidizing agent into your water and create an uneven chemical balance.

9. Skim It! To make sure your pool skimmer system is up and running efficiently for next year by protecting it all winter long, add Skim Insure directly to your skimmer. This will prevent freezing water from damaging it internally.

10.Remove all Pool Accessories. Remove all above ground pool accessories, including the pool ladder, pool steps, pool lights and other accessories. Store them in a cool, dry, place to keep them safe for next year.

11.Cover Your Pool with a Winter Pool Cover. Now is the time to install your winter pool covers. Be sure to read the directions carefully, and take the time to spread the cover evenly across the surface of the pool.

• If you live in a windy area that occasionally has bad storms, consider using air pillows underneath the middle of your cover to prevent any excess water, snow, and rain from damaging it. This setup puts less stress on the cover, as it distributes the weight evenly over the surface of the pool.

• Check out Doheny’s cable and ratchet kit to help you install air pillows and pool covers correctly.

Cover clips are a great investment that really secure above ground pool covers for winter. They hold everything down, even in the windiest weather.

12.Use Seal Wrap Seal Wrap is like Saran™ Wrap for your pool cover! Wrap the entire area of your pool with seal wrap and you won’t have to worry about your cover flying off in a windstorm. It’s a fun pool accessory that can put your mind at ease. No Seal Wrap? No problem! Pool Wall bags can be placed over the sides and on top of your pool cover. Fill them with approximately ¾ of water to allow freezing water expansion to take place, and your pool cover will remain secure all season long.

13.Remove Snow and Ice During Cold Weather. Water and snow that accumulates throughout the winter months can cause serious damage to your pool cover that you may unable to repair. Prevent this by always removing snow and ice after a big storm to keep it from piling up.

14.Try a Winter Pill. Doheny’s Winter Pill works all winter long to help keep pool water sparkling clean and slime free. Simply slip it under your pool cover and let this handy little pill do all the dirty work for you so you can get back to that hot cocoa and stay warm.

15.Keep it Clean! Make sure that all debris, such as leaves and branches, are removed from your winter cover throughout the fall and winter months. As with snow and ice, you don’t want to risk heavy objects weighing down an above ground pool cover and creating thin tears that might not be visible until it’s too late. By following the right pool closing steps this year and with a little bit of cleaning and maintenance during the season, your pool will be easy to open next Spring.