Plumbing, Heating and Pool Repair Guides

How To Winterize Your Inground Pool


If you are looking to winterize your above ground or in ground swimming pool yourself there are a few steps you will have to take to ensure you properly close your pool to avoid winter damage. You will also need an air compressor if you are planning to close an inground pool. If your swimming pool is large in size you may also need a friend or neighbor to help you install or put on your winter cover. You will also want to make sure that your water is clear and all the water chemistry is correct before closing you swimming pool.Winterizing Inground Swimming Pool

Winterizing The Pool Filter System

When winterizing your pool you will want to remove all of the drain plugs from both the swimming pool filter and the pump. If you have a chlorinator you will also want to remove the drain plug from that as well. Once you have removed the drain plugs from everything you will want to make sure that all of the water is out. You can do this by turning the pump upside down so that any water left inside will pour out. As for the filter you will want to leave the drain plug off all winter long. If you have a sand filter you may see water dripping from the drain port for a few hours, this is normal and the filter will drip drain after a few hours.

Removing The Skimmer Baskets, Return Jets & Vacuum Fittings

You will want to remove all of your swimming baskets from inside of the pool skimmers. If you have an above ground pool you should have one skimmer basket. If you have an inground swimming pool you can have anywhere from 1 – 4 skimmer baskets or more depending on how big your pool is. You will then want to remove all of the return jet fittings which are often called the return eye balls by many people. You will want to remove these return jets from the pool wall and also the pool steps if you have jets in your steps. After removing the skimmer baskets and the return jets you will want to remove any vacuum fittings you may have in the pool wall. If you own any type of swimming pool system powered pool sweep or automatic pool cleaner like the Polaris you may have a wall fitting that will have to be removed. Th reason you will want to remove the wall return fittings, the skimmer baskets and the vacuum fittings is so that you can insert the winter plugs and Gizmos into these spots when you blow the water out out of the swimming pool lines.

Winterizing The Swimming Pool Plumbing

If you have an above ground swimming pool with flexible hoses you will want to disconnect them from the pump and the filter. Once disconnected you will want to store them in a safe, dry place for the winter time. If you have an in ground swimming pool you are going to want to blow out the pool lines with either and air compressor or a blower. You will want to blow out the main drain, the skimmer lines, the return jet lines and also the vacuum line if you have one, i.e. your Polaris sweep vacuum. once you have blown all the water from the pool plumbing you will want to plug up the returns with either thread plugs with o-rings or black rubber plugs with wing nuts. You will also want to insert Gizmos into your pool skimmers so they are fully protected from the freezing water that may creep into the skimmers over the winter.

Storing The Pool Deck Equipment

In order to properly install the winter cover and protect the pool from the harsh winter elements you will have to remove and store all of the deck equipment. You will want to remove the pool ladder, pool diving board, and also the handrails if your pool has them. Once you have removed all of the deck equipment you will want to store it into a safe place where you will be able to find it when the summer time comes.

Adding The Swimming Pool Winter Chemicals

Before you put the cover on your swimming pool you will first want to make sure that the water chemistry in your pool is balanced. After your pool chemistry is all within range you will want to add some winter pool chemicals. Depending on how many gallons of water your pool holds will depend on how much of the winter chemicals you will have to add. Also be sure to read the sides of the packages when you buy your winter pool chemicals to make sure that you are adding the proper amount.

Putting The Cover On The Pool

Once you have winterized the filter system, stored the pool deck equipment, blown out the pool plumbing lines free of water and adding the winter chemicals you will now be ready to install or put on your winter cover. If you have an in ground swimming pool you will want to use water bags or water blocks to hold the pool cover down, If you have an in ground swimming pool with a Loop Loc or a mesh safety cover you will want to raise the anchors and strap on the cover. If you have an above ground pool you will want to loop the cable through the eyelets of the cover and the tighten down the cover with the winch.


  1. I procrastinated too long on the winterizing of my pool. I finally did the chemicals, blew water from lines, removed drain plugs from filter and pump, put winterizing plugs in return jets, and added my antifreeze. All that was left was the cover. I had to wait a few days for some help, and during those few days, we had a nice little rainstorm resulting in HUNDREDS of leaves (and some worms) going into my pool. I have managed to remove most of them with a net (several hours worth), but had a few questions. 1- My water now looks a bit green. Is it from the leaves? What can I do to make sure it isn’t green in spring? 2- What damage will be done if a few leaves stay in pool? Thanks so much!

  2. Been there and done that. I’ve had an inground pool for 18 years and learned that you should ALWAYS shock and cover the pool first. You can always pull back the cover to get to your inlets and skimmer when you’re ready to blow them out.

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