How to winterize your inground pool? (2023)

Whether it is the first time you close your pool or the tenth, you can rest assured that following the six steps described in this video will ensure you to winterize your pool properly.

Depending on your experience level, it should take you two to three hours to complete the process.

⚠️ Today, we will be winterizing an in-ground pool with a cover. If you are the owner of a fibreglass pool, please refer to the owner’s manual or contact your local Club Piscine Super Fitness store.

Before we begin, please note that it is recommended that you close your pool as late as possible. The water should be cold enough and the outside temperature should drop below 10 degrees Celsius. The month of October is usually a good time to do this.

To prevent the formation of ice on the surface and inside the plumbing, it is important to leave the pump and filtration system running until you close the pool. The water circulation will help keep your pool clean. Keep maintaining your water with care, even if you no longer go swimming.

You will find the complete list of the required material at the bottom of this page. If anything’s missing, you will be able to find it at your local Club Piscine store.

1) Inspection and maintenance of the pool

  1. Before you begin, check your pool’s water level for any variations. A lowered water level could indicate a potential leak. If necessary, carry out repairs before winterizing the pool to avoid major damages.

  2. You should also inspect the other components and equipment to ensure they are operating properly. This is a good time to take pictures of the setup and connections of your current equipment. You will thank yourself next spring.

  3. Before you continue, you will need to determine whether your bottom drain is connected to the pump or the skimmer. The configuration of the bottom drain has an important impact on the closing procedures. The pipes are generally clearly identified, as is the case in this capsule. This video is intended for owners of pools which bottom drain is connected to the pump; it is the most common configuration nowadays.

    To determine which type of bottom drain you have, simply look inside the skimmer.

    - If your skimmer only has one hole or if it has a second hole that is blocked with a plug, then your bottom drain is simply connected to the pump. If there is a plug-in place, it should never be removed.

    - If the skimmer has two functioning holes, then your bottom drain is directly connected to the skimmer, and not the pump. Contact one of our specialists for assistance.

  4. Once you have completed the inspection of your pool and determined the configuration of your bottom drain, you are ready to give your pool a final cleaning. The idea is to leave it clean so that it will already be clean when you open it.

  5. Test your water and make sure the pH and alkalinity values are within norms. For more precision, we recommend that you have your water tested at your local Club Piscine.

  6. Adjust the water parameters if needed, using your current maintenance products.

  7. Now is also a good time to remove the ladder, the thermometer and any other removable accessories.

  8. Clean and store everything.

  9. Using a leaf collector, remove the leaves in the water. If there are many trees on your property, the use of a leaf net or a mesh cover could be an option worth considering. This 2 in 1 net can also be used as a winter cover. We will come back to that later. (Step #6)

  10. Finally, vacuum the bottom of the pool one last time.

This is it. Your pool is now clean and you completed the first segment!!

2) Cleaning the filtering media (backwash)

In this segment, we will be cleaning the filter and its filtering media to remove the accumulated dirt and grease.

The filtering media we are using here is sand. The following steps also apply to pool filter beads, recycled glass, as well as natural stones. For filter cartridges and filter balls, please refer to the owner’s manual.

  1. You must first turn off the pump.

  2. Then, turn the filter handle until it reaches the “backwash” position.

  3. Restart the pump to get the water flowing inside the filter.

  4. Pour the filter cleaner directly into the skimmer and wait until the water you see in the sight glass is clear and uncoloured. This should take 2 to 3 minutes.

  5. Turn off the pump and turn the filter handle to the “rinse” position.

  6. Restart the pump and run it for about 1 minute, then turn it off again.

  7. Set the filter handle to “whirlpool” and let the pump run for 30 seconds to 1 minute before turning it off.

Your filtering media is clean and ready for next season!

3) Lowering the water level

If your in-ground pool installation is equipped with a dewatering well, it is important to check its water level before lowering the pool water level.

  1. Look around your pool for a plate like the skimmer, the dewatering well should be there.

  2. Using a measuring tape, make sure the well’s water level does not exceed 18 inches. If the water level is higher, remove the surplus water using a submersible pump. By doing this, you will avoid possible damages and complications, such as wrinkles or bubbles in the pool liner. You should keep checking the well’s water level until the first frost.

  3. Lower the pool water level to 2 to 6 inches below the water returns, which will leave enough room for a layer of ice to form in the winter. Be careful not to lower the water too much, as this could lead to complications.

  4. Close the valve from the skimmer; this way, the water will only flow out through the bottom drain.

  5. Set the filter handle to "waste".

  6. Turn on the pump and start draining the pool. Take extra care not to empty the pool in "backwash mode", as this could seriously damage your filter.

  7. When the water level is 2 to 6 inches below the water returns, you can turn off the pump.

  8. Reset the filter in "filtration" mode to prevent the pool from continuing to drain by the principle of communicating vessels.

  9. Take a moment to inspect the liner for tears and damages.

  10. Clean it if needed.

  11. Clean the pool liner above the water line using a specially formulated cleaner. Give it a gentle rub using a cloth or sponge. It is important not to use an all-purpose household cleaner, as it may affect the water chemistry as well as damage the liner’s material.

4) Removing all residual water from the water lines and antifreeze

We are now at the most important segment of the closing process. The goal is to remove all residual water from the various pipes to avoid possible damage during freezing temperatures.

Several techniques can be used to do this. In this video, we will be removing the residual water through the skimmer. Take the time to follow the steps below. If you have any doubt, consult your local Club Piscine Super Fitness store.

  1. Lift the skimmer’s lid and remove the door and basket.

  2. Next, you will need to disassemble the various water returns. To do this, unscrew the water return, starting with the exterior ring, then the eyeball.

  3. Use the specially designed blue removal wrench to unscrew the inner part.

  4. Repeat the process for every water return of your pool.

  5. Gather all the parts and store them in a bag for the winter, along with the skimmer’s basket.

  6. Then, close your bottom drain’s water inlet.

  7. Make sure the skimmer’s water line is open.

  8. Set the filter handle to "whirlpool".

  9. Since we want to concentrate the air pressure in one water line at a time, we will need to block the other pipes. To do this, you can simply place a plug over the water returns, leaving only one open.

  10. We recommend you start blowing the air out of the water line that is located furthest from the pump; you will therefore want to leave that one open first.

    Note: To fully dry the water returns, you will need a wet/dry vacuum that has a BLOWER mode with a peak horsepower (php) of at least 5.5. It should also feature a 1.5-to-2-inch nozzle that will perfectly fit your skimmer’s plumbing. It is also recommended that you clean your vacuum beforehand to avoid contaminating your pool.

  11. Start the vacuum in "blower" mode. You should see the water being expelled through the water return.

  12. Continue until all the water is purged. After about 2 minutes, the pipe should be completely dry.

  13. Repeat the process with the next water line.

  14. Remove the plug, then block the water return you have just drained.

  15. Let the vacuum run until the second water line is completely dry.

  16. Repeat the previous steps for each of your pool’s additional water returns. As a precaution, we recommend you repeat the entire process a second time.

  17. Repeat the operation in the same order.

  18. Once all the water return lines are completely dry, you can winterize each one using plugs.

    If you have waterfalls or a water return integrated to the step, you will have to do the same manipulations with their respective valves.

    If your water drain line is permanently installed, you will also need to dry it.

    For this, you simply need to set the handle of your filter to "waste".

    Leave the vacuum in ‘blower’ mode inside the skimmer for at least 2 minutes until no more water comes out of the drain line.

    Once all the water lines of the pool are completely dry, we can move to the next step: pouring the antifreeze. Especially formulated for pools, this antifreeze is a calcium-based compound that is denser than water; it will completely fill your pool’s plumbing.

  19. It is recommended to apply Teflon tape to increase their airtightness during winter.

  20. Turn off the vacuum and then remove it from the skimmer.

  21. Pour 90% of the gallon of antifreeze directly in the hole of the skimmer.

  22. To winterize the skimmer, start by blocking it with a 1.5-inch or 2-inch plug, depending on the model.

  23. Insert the Styrofoam pieces. Start by placing the two small pieces at the bottom of the skimmer, then secure the two remaining pieces by placing them through the opening from inside the pool.

  24. Lastly, fasten both pieces together using the wooden skewer.

  25. As an extra precaution, pour the rest of the gallon of antifreeze directly in the skimmer, then replace the lid.

  26. Make sure you insert small pieces of coiled insulating foam (eta foam) in the hole on the lid.

  27. It is recommended to do the same for the holes of your pool ladder.

If your water drain line is permanently installed, you will also need to dry it.

For this, you simply need to set the handle of your filter to "waste".

Leave the vacuum in "blower" mode inside the skimmer for at least 2 minutes until no more water comes out of the drain line.

Once all the water lines of the pool are completely dry, we can move to the next step: pouring the antifreeze. Especially formulated for pools, this antifreeze is a calcium-based compound that is denser than water; it will completely fill your pool’s plumbing.

Your pool and its plumbing are now ready for winter!

5) Winterizing the pool’s external equipment

It is now time to winterize your pool’s external components; it is therefore important to shut off the breakers before you start.

You will notice that the same logic that applies to one piece of equipment applies to all of them. It will be necessary to clean, empty, dry. If they are not permanently attached to the plumbing, we recommend you store them in a dry, frost-free place for winter.

1. Sand filter

  1. To drain the filter, first unscrew the drain cap at the bottom.

  2. Unscrew the pressure gauge and sight glass, then store them in the skimmer’s basket, along with the drain cap.

  3. Unscrew the pipes that connect the filter to the pump, then slightly loosen the other two pipes.

  4. You will then place the filter handle in the "winter" position.

  5. If your filter does not have a "winter" mode, simply place the handle between two modes.

  6. You can also place a plastic bag over the filter head to protect it during winter.

2. Pump

If your pump is equipped with a removable outlet that was installed by a master electrician, it can be stored.

  1. You can now disconnect it.

  2. Next, disconnect the water outlet pipe that connects to the filter.

  3. Unscrew the drain cap(s) underneath the pump.

  4. Remove the lid and empty the basket.

  5. You can now disconnect the water inlet pipe. Take care to thoroughly clean and rinse the unit with clean water.

  6. Clean and dry all the parts, then store them in a frost-free place for winter.

If you store the plumbing, you should winterize it using expandable plugs.

3. Heater

Is your pool is equipped with a heater?

  1. Make sure it is set to "OFF" mode and that the breaker is shut off.

  2. Disconnect the pipe at the back of the heater.

  3. Drain the water from the heat pump with a wet/dry vacuum, first in suction mode, then in blower mode.

  4. Make sure you wipe away all residual water.

  5. Reconnect the pipe, without overtightening it.

  6. Cover the heater with a waterproof cover.

  7. Check for snow buildup during winter and clear it if needed.

4. Chlorinator or Nature2 vision

If you have a chlorinator or a Nature2 system:

  1. Start by disconnecting the two pipes connected to the system.

  2. Unscrew the drain cap and empty out the water.

  3. Dispose of the contents of the chlorine dispenser.

  4. Clean it carefully.

  5. Dry all the parts.

    Even though the cartridge of the Nature2 system cannot be used for more than one season, we recommend that you leave it in the unit for when you open your pool next spring. You will replace it once your pool water is clean and balanced.

  6. Store the Nature2 in a frost-free place for winter.

  7. If needed, place plugs on the pipes that will remain outside.

5. Salt chlorine generator

If your pool is equipped with a salt chlorine generator:

  1. Disconnect the power from the control panel and disconnect the cell.

  2. You will need to clean it, then store it for winter.

  3. To do this, start by unscrewing and disconnecting the 2 pipes from the cell.

  4. Make sure you place the cell on a flat surface, with the opening pointing upwards.

  5. Then, pour the cell cleaner directly into the cell. Use a cell stand if applicable. Be sure to use chemical products with care.

  6. Allow it to work for about 30 minutes until the liquid is no longer effervescent.

  7. You can now carefully pour the liquid back into the bottle using a funnel.

  8. After cleaning, rinse the cell with clean water.

  9. Dry it thoroughly, then store it in a dry, frost-free place.

Once all the equipment has been winterized, make sure you slightly open the various valves in your plumbing system. This will prevent small accumulations of water from breaking the pipes during the winter.


Nowadays, pool return lights like these in the capsule are very common and do not require any special attention when closing the pool.

If you have light shells, please refer to the owner’s manual or contact your local Club Piscine Super Fitness store.

6) Closing kit and mesh cover installation

For this last step, make sure you have the proper closing kit for your pool’s sanitation system whether chlorine or salt.

  1. Empty the contents of the closing kit into the pool water.

  2. Follow all instructions provided on the product packaging.

  3. Handle the chemical products with care.

There you go! All the components of your pool are properly winterized.

However, the use of a protective cover is highly recommended.

  1. To install it, you must set up the elastic system. The elastics should be placed at a distance of 1.5 m from each other, along both the length and the width of the pool.

  2. Make sure you attach the elastics to a solid anchor point.

  3. Next, place the cover on the elastic system and fasten it using the appropriate method. We recommend you have a second person to help you place the cover.

  4. Now that your cover is in place, your pool will be well protected from leaves and other debris.


Nice work!

You just completed all the required steps to winterize your in-ground pool; it is now ready to face the coming winter.

If you have questions, require additional information on how to close your pool, or if you wish to make an appointment for our turnkey pool closing service, please feel free to contact your local Club Piscine Super Fitness store

Need help winterizing your pool?

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Products you will need:

Cell stand$25.99Available in store
Mesh winter cover - 12' Round$75.99Available in store
Aquachek Red$17.99Available in store
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