How to Winterize Your Above Ground Swimming Pool

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The heat is beginning to die down, and the early evenings aren’t quite as sunlit as they were. It’s Fall, everyone. This is the time when your above-ground pool is ripe for autumn and winter hibernation until next year.

But, if this is your first year with an above ground pool, what are the steps in winterizing it?

Writer, design expert, and pool owner Alyssa Davis is here to take you through the basics …


The dog days of summer are winding to an end and the chore of winterizing the pool is at hand. I am a firm believer in winterizing our above ground swimming pool because it saves me effort, time, and money when summertime rolls around again and it is time to open the pool.

Getting your pool ready for the winter ahead is not a huge task, but it is an important one. The main goal in winterizing your pool is to protect it from damage that can occur if the water freezes and expands. If you live in a mild climate, it may not be that big a deal for you to winterize your pool, but either way, it will help to keep your water cleaner, which means less work next year!

Pool Water Chemistry

Before your pool is ready for hibernation for the winter, you need to get the water in balance. Be certain that all chemicals are balanced, and that the water’s calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and pH level are all where they should be. Balanced water is important to protecting the surface of your pool from etching and staining. I always use a special winterizing chemical kit (found at any pool store) to help keep the water clear and blue until the pool is reopened the following season. Do not use a floater during winter storage to distribute chlorine to the pool. The winterizing kit is all that you need to add to the water to keep it clean over the winter.

Closing the Pool

Before adding any chemicals, lower the level of the pool to just below the skimmer mouth. This gets water out of the skimmer’s throat to protect it from freezing and the damage of expansion. You can also put a cover of the mouth of the skimmer. If you use a cover, you don’t need to lower the pool’s water level. Put a plug in the return fitting to the pool, which is the point where water returns from your filtration system into your pool water.

Disconnect and drain

Disconnect hoses from your water return and from the skimmer or the filter system. Drain all hoses. You will find a plug in the bottom of your filter that allows you to drain water from it. Move your multiport valve into the winterize or closed position. Remove your pressure gauge and take it inside with you or to a heated garage. After your pump has drained, turn it on and allow it to run for a few seconds. This will remove the water that gets lodged in the impeller. Caution: do not allow the pump to run for more than a second or so since this can burn out the seal of the pump.

Store pump and plugs inside

If you have the room, bring the pump inside with you during the winter. Store all plugs that you have removed in the strainer basket that normally goes in the skimmer – and you will find them against easily when it is time to open the pool.

As a final step, I always use a pool cover with a fitted band to keep out leaves and debris. You might also add an air pillow to the center of the pool to keep it raised and to keep rain water, melted snow, and other matter from accumulating on top of the cover.

With these tips in tow, your above ground swimming pool will be winter ready and best of all, summer ready, when you are!


Thanks, Alyssa!

Alyssa Davis is a staff writer and decorating specialist with and she offers stylish suggestions for decorating with metal wall coat racks and fish metal wall art.



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Alyssa Davis

Always looking for ways to add a rainbow to her world, Alyssa Davis became interested in botany and horticulture and earned her place in the field as a master gardener. She specializes in designing living rooms, which add a whole, new dimension and layer to interior design. As she discovered this design niche, she has written about it in a way that makes it easy for anyone to decorate his or her home with plants.