Many new pool owners know very little about winter season pool ownership. Although pools need very little maintenance in the winter, closing the pool for the year is a process with which many new pool owners are unfamiliar. This FAQ will help you understand your new pool's winter needs.

What's the purpose of winterizing an in-ground swimming pool?

In-ground swimming pools typically get winterized because of the threat of a hard freeze during the winter. If the water in your pool, pipes and pool pump were to freeze, the pipes could burst and the equipment could become damaged or destroyed. During the winterizing process, the pool is drained just enough so that water is no longer in the pipes and equipment. The equipment is then turned off for the season and appropriate chemicals are added to protect the pool.

Do you have to winterize your pool?

Not all people winterize their in-ground swimming pools. In some areas of the country where the outdoor temperatures rarely drop below freezing, many homeowners choose to leave their pools open year-round. If you would like to know whether or not it's necessary to winterize your swimming pool in your area, talk to your pool professional.

Can you winterize your pool on your own, or do you have to have a professional do it for you?

Winterizing requires special knowledge of the pool equipment and operation, and it also requires tools like a compressor. For this reason, many homeowners have their pools professionally winterized. If you want to winterize your pool personally, you should ask a professional for help the first time. Have your pool professional give you a step-by-step tutorial and teach you important details like the best way to drain water from the pool, how to avoid draining too much water, which chemicals to put in the pool (and what not to put in the pool), etc. Homeowners who attempt to winterize on their own without knowing what they're doing can do damage to the pool.

When should you winterize your pool?

The best time to winterize your pool is after it becomes too cold to comfortably use the pool and before the threat of the first hard freeze. This could be somewhere at the beginning or middle of the fall, depending on the region where you live. To find out what is typical for your area, talk to a pool professional like those at Easton Pool & Spa.