Should I Drain My Above-Ground Pool For The Winter?

From having the time of your life, having warm baths, and making precious memories to wondering what to do next and avoiding your pool because of the blistering cold, winter is here and confusion arises on what to do next.

Pool owners, especially new ones, are likely to be confused during their first winter experience because it is alien to them and they have no core knowledge of what to do. At such times, do not worry. This article will address your worries about what to do with your pool during the winter.

Draining your pool during winter is good, but take note: do not drain completely, because if you do, you just might damage your pool eventually.

Here are ways you can winterize your pool.

  1. You can close the pool during the winter but do not drain it. Drain the pool water below the water level to avoid preventing the filter system from freezing.
  2. Close up the pool properly: obviously, it is impossible to swim during the winter period, except you’ll love to die of frostbite (lol), which I know you don’t. Add the needed chemicals to the pool. This keeps the water safe and clean throughout the period. Algaecides, chlorine, etc. can help keep the pool clean.
  3. Draining your pool completely will require a lot of water later on.

When you drain the pool, you drain all its water. So, it is sensible to drain a little below the skimmer level. This will save you time, money, and a lot.

What happens if you do not close your pool in the winter?

The winter season comes with a lot of situations, and how to better manage your pool is one of them. We’ll be addressing how to navigate the winter period as we continue.

Now, if you do not winterize your pool during the winter season, there are quite some consequences, as stated below.

  • A damaged pool: Your pool is likely to suffer from cracks. When you leave the water in your pool during the winter, it is likely to freeze and eventually start to have cracks on the wall and pipes.
  • Electric costs will rise: To keep your pump from being frozen during the winter period, you have to keep it running. And this means you have to use more electricity than needed. This can be avoided by winterizing.
  • Bacteria infestation: If you ignore your pool and stop applying chlorine to tackle algae and other contaminants, there will be a rise in bacteria infestation which can make it difficult to go back to using the pool after winter.
  • Filter damage: Leaving your pool filled up without draining below the skimmer level during winter will damage your filter. The water inside the filter will freeze and expand and in the process ruin your filter. This can cause you a lot of money to be fixed.

How do you drain the water in an above-ground pool?

Generally, it is not advised to drain your pool completely, especially during the winter, because it can cause cracks in your liners.

Well, if for some reason you must drain your pool, here are some ways you can drain your pool.

You can either use a submersible pump or a garden hose to drain your pool, depending on the purpose. If you’re draining it just to correct the chemistry of the water, then a garden hose would do.

But if you’re draining the pool completely to change the liner that the two options can be combined for maximum effect.

  • There has to be a drainage system to dump the water into. If you do not locate a place where the water drained from your pool runs to, it will flood the area or even destroy properties. Check out this article where we discussed in detail how you can drain your pool using French drains and creek beds.
  • Siphon the water: Attach the garden hose to your spigot and fill it with water. This can be best done with two people so that one person can cover the open end of the hose to prevent the water from going out.

Where do you drain the water in an above-ground pool?

You can drain the water in an above-ground pool with these easy steps.

  1. Put the pool pump’s intake hose under the water; it should be as close to the center of the pool as possible.
  2. Pick an area where you’ll like the water drained from the pool to run. The area should be away from the pool and the ground should be level to prevent flooding.
  3. Turn on the electric pump.
  4. When the pump begins running, ensure that your water level is decreasing before leaving the equipment.
  5. Always check on the pool to prevent flooding and equipment malfunctions.

Will draining a pool damage the liner?

Draining a pool completely is one thing every pool owner with years of experience always watches out for.

Do not drain your pool completely for serious reasons like balancing chemical levels in the swimming pool water.

It can cause the vinyl liner to shrink and crack. If it is refilled, if it has lost its elasticity, it will tear and wear down.

This is likely to happen, especially when the vinyl material is old and brittle.

How do you drain a pool without ruining the liner?

Draining the pool is not rocket science but it’s still not as easy as one might think.

In order to not ruin your liner while draining the pool, do not drain completely. You only risk destroying your liner with complete draining.

Drain your water just a little under six inches below the skimmer level and it’s safe.

When should you close a pool for the winter?

When winter comes with so many questions, especially from pool owners, when to close the pool during winter is one of them. Here are things to consider before closing your pool.

  • Weather conditions: Depending on your region, if the weather isn’t that cold yet, it is okay to keep it open even if it is winter.
  • Is the pool still in use? If the pool isn’t being used and you just don’t feel like using it anymore because of the season, then maybe it’s time to close it for the winter season.
  • Critical temperature: Once you notice the temperature is gradually starting to get very cold, it is already time to start planning on closing up the pool. You should close your pool once the temperature falls and remains below 65°F.

How do I prepare my pool for winter?

After the merriment of summer, comes winter and its challenges.

Here are some steps to follow towards closing your pool in the winter.

  1. Remove every accessory from the pool; skimmer baskets, hoses, ladders, solar blankets, etc. Clean them and keep them in a safe area.
  2. Clean the pool appropriately: Ensure the pool is properly cleaned, and take off leaves, silt, debris, and any other dirt particles from the surface. This will help keep the chemical level balanced and prevent bacteria growth.
  3. Adjust the chemistry: Before closing the pool, test the water chemistry level for balance. If it’s not, try to adjust it.
  4. Lower the water level: Lower the water level by six inches below the skimmer. This is important, especially if you don’t have a skimmer cover, as it’ll prevent freezing.
  5. Drain and store the equipment: Drain the equipment to avoid freezing.
  6. Put shock and algaecide: Shock the water and add algaecide one last time before you close the pool, to kill bacteria and algae.
  7. Finally, cover the pool.

What chemicals do you put in pools for winter?

There are a few chemicals needed to add to your pool before closing for winter.

  • Chlorine-free pool shock: to be added at least 2-3 days before closing the pool.
  • Stain and scale treatment: add 1-2 days before closing the pool.
  • Winter algaecide: add to the pool before closing.
  • Winter floater: place into the pool just before closing.

Should I shock the pool before winterizing it?

Yes, it is necessary that the pool be shocked before winterizing to have a safe and clean pool in the summer.

Does the pool need chlorine tablets in winter?

Yes, your pool needs to be treated for the last time before closing it up. This will help in killing bacteria as the pool awaits reopening in the summer.

How much shock do I need to winterize my pool?

For every 5,000 gallons of water, add 1 lb of granular shock or 1 gal of liquid shock.

Can I leave my pool uncovered all winter?

If your pool is not heated, do not leave your pool open all winter as the water can freeze, which can lead to damage to your pool and skimmer.

Can you leave leaves in the pool over winter?

It is not safe to leave leaves in your pool throughout the winter as this can allow bacteria and algae to thrive and throw the chemical balance of your pool off.

How do I keep leaves out of my pool during the winter?

Using a pool cover can help you prevent and safe guard your pool from leaves dropping in. This can keep your pool safe from bacteria.

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