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How to Close an Above-Ground Pool for Winter

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Learn how to close an above-ground pool for the winter. Don’t forget to download a printable checklist with step-by-step instructions to winterize your pool.

You might also like this post on easy pool maintenance.

pin image - above ground pool with tarp on it

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How to Close an Above-Ground Pool

Supplies Needed:


  1. Remove pool toys and the ladder. pool with float in it
  2. Clean the pool. Brush the bottom of the pool and use the vacuum to remove any leaves.man cleaning pool with brush
  3. Add the chemicals in the pool closing kit. Follow the directions on the kit for the size of the pool that you have.

    Your pool pump needs to be on and circulating in this step.puncturing winter chemicals for pool
  4. Lower the pool water level to about 4″ below the skimmer.

    To do this, we connect the pool hose to the skimmer, then use the backwash setting on the pump to remove the water to the appropriate level.

    (This takes a while so don’t forget to come back and check on it or your pool will be empty!)pool pump releasing water
  5. Cover the pool with the pool cover. This is easier with 2 people, (one on each side to pull the tarp across the pool.) Be sure to secure it.
  6. We also use a leaf net which makes clean up easier in the spring. Install the leaf net in the same manner as the pool cover. Be sure to clear away the leaves while they’re dry and before the tarp accumulates too much water.pool with tarp and leaf net
  7. Close all of the levers on the pipes to the skimmer and the exhaust.
  8. Remove the pump and store it inside where it won’t freeze.
  9. Drain the filter. It can be bought inside if desired.

Other Things to Do

For a complete list of fall maintenance tasks, check out this post.

  • Deflate pool floats and put them away. I use this tool to deflate our floats in minutes. Then I fold them up and place them in a plastic bin.
  • Put away deck furniture. Make sure the cushions are dry before putting them away. It’s helpful to set them upright to drain away any water.

    The furniture frames get covered with these covers, which are amazing! Water beads up on the surface fo the cover instead of soaking into the furniture.patio furniture with covers
  • Bring deck plants inside.plants on deck
  • Wash all pool towels and swimsuits.
  • Take note of what you need to replace next year. You can either order it now or set a reminder on your phone to order it in the spring.

Pool Closing FAQs

What chemicals do I need to close my pool?

A pool closing kit will take care of your needs. It consists of winterizer, winter stain away, shock, pool floater (slow release of chemicals throughout the winter), and a winter sorb (a sponge-like thing that soaks up oils and lotions.)

We’ve bought this same kit for the past 4 years (and the opening kit as well) and we’ve been very happy with it.

How low do you drain an above ground pool for winter?

An above-ground pool should be drained to about 4″ below the skimmer. Alternatively, you can install a skimmer plate.

Never drain the pool completely for the winter.

When should I close my pool for the winter?

Close your pool when the weather starts dipping below 60-65ยบ at night consistently.

We live in central Maryland, and for us, this is typically around the middle of September.

Download a Printable Checklist for Closing a Pool for Winter

mock up of clipboard with pool closing checklist

All downloads are for personal use only. Please do not redistribute or sell files.

Above Ground Pool Closing Checklist

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pin image - collage of pool and pool with tarp

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