As cool weather begins to take over the day, it is time to think about preparing above ground pools for the winter months. Taking a little extra time in the late summer to prepare your pool for winter will make it easier and quicker to re-open your pool next spring. This extra routine ensures better pool water quality and less damage to the pool structure for next season.
Plan a day for post season maintenance for your above ground pool. When the temperatures dip into the 60s in the evening, it is time to think about closing the pool for the winter. The water will no longer get warm enough during the day for swimming when the evening temperatures get so cool.
Clean the pool one last time. Use a soft scrub brush to scrape down algae on the interior walls of the pool. Vacuum the bottom of the pool to remove any solid debris such as leaves, algae or sand. Wipe down any ladders, slides or other accessories that have been resting in the pool water.
Drain your above ground pool halfway. This will take several hours, so plan ahead. Start by backwashing, to remove excess debris from your pool filter. Follow with a rinse cycle on your pool filter. While the pool is draining, uninstall your pool ladder and any accessories that have been attached for the season. Deflate pool toys and put them in storage. Remove any lawn chairs that won't survive winter weather.
Add a chemical treatment to the water. Superchlorinate the pool by adding a double dose of shock treatment to kill any algae or bacteria in the pool water. Add the chlorine shock in the evening, when the sun is just about to go down, so it is more effective. Sunrays can break down chlorine, making it less effective. Add a double dose of algecide to prevent algae growth.
Prepare your pool cover. If you are using last season's pool cover, look for any rips in the fabric. Mend the tears, or consider purchasing a new cover. If the pool cover wasn't cleaned before it was stored last year, take a moment to use a chemical pool cover cleaner to remove debris. This will make the fabric stronger.
Disconnect all pool hoses from the pool, filter and motor. Drain all the hoses. Place winter caps on the filter drainage area and the wall of the pool. Place the pool cover over the pool and secure.