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CLOSING YOUR POOL FOR THE SEASON is a yearly rite of passage in some parts of the country where the pool isn’t used in the winter. Closing your pool for the season obviously isn’t needed where the weather stays temperate all year round, or even in a location where it can get chilly but you’ve opted to keep the pool heated all winter long.

The steps required to close your pool are going to be as follows, carried out through the last week of the season:


It may sound obvious that debris need to be removed out of the pool before chemicals are added, but most people forget this step. If there’s one time that you undertake a heavy duty scrubbing of the pool, this is it. Leaves and plant debris at the bottom of the pool also help algae thrive, so make sure the pool is utterly spotless.


pH balance is the primary mechanism that allows the sanitizer and other pool chemicals to work at their maximum effectiveness. If the pH is off, even by a little bit, the sanitizer won’t do its job as well as it could, and this will promote an environment where algae can grow and even thrive – exactly the type of environment you don’t want when leaving a pool unattended for months at a time. Alkalinity is also important, so make sure that is in check as well. Get this step right the first time, and your pool closing will be a success!


Within the last week, shock the pool by adding extra sanitizer and bringing the chlorine levels up to a point where all bacteria in the pool is neutralized. Clean, bacteria free water can last a long time unattended – if it really is clean and bacteria free. Bumping up the chlorine levels now will ensure it stays that way. Clearly, no swimmers go in the water after this step as people bring all sorts of chemicals on their bodies which foster bacteria growth in the pool.


Most people think that algaecide is used when there is algae in the pool, and that’s only half right. Algae is also preventative! You need to add it from time to time to ensure algae doesn’t begin to grow, because like any organism, once it gains a foothold in your pool, it’s very difficult to eradicate. When you thinking about closing your swimming pool, you want to leave the water the most pristine it has been all season long, so it makes it into the next season without too much headache. Now is the time to add preventative algaecide, something that is long lasting rather than the normal use stuff. Since there won’t be swimmers in the pool and the pool will be covered, the conditions will be less conducive to algae growth.


Cold climates have their own set of challenges where it pertains to closing your pool, with the biggest consideration being freezing. The pool water itself can freeze just fine, because it can expand upwards and thus not burst anything. Draining your pool six inches below your skimmer will ensure that freezing will have no effect. Pool supply and skimmer lines, however, are another story, and every line that carries water inside of it will need to be drained to avoid freezing, as well as your pool filter and pump. There are antifreezes that can be used in these applications as well, but for an idiot proof strategy that can be used in the coldest of climates, draining is the best way.

Closing your pool properly will result in the minimum headache at the beginning of next season, and you’ll spend the winter months resting assured that your crystal clear water is beckoning you in the spring!

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