During the cold days of winter, your above-ground pool probably doesn’t get much use. So what should you do with your pool? Can you leave it standing as is?
Above-ground pools can stay outside year-round, but you have to winterize them for the coldest months. You can do this by storing accessories, adjusting the chemical levels, detaching the pump and filter, and using an ice compensator and winter pool cover.
Let’s take a closer look at these winterization measures and how to execute them so that your above-ground pool stays in tip-top shape for next summer.
Can You Leave an Above-Ground Pool Up Over Winter?
Since above-ground pools are generally mobile, you might be stuck between packing yours up for the winter or simply leaving it outside. Either way should be fine, but it also depends on the type of above-ground pool you have.
Some above-ground pools are easier to dismantle than others. For instance, ring pools are easy to set up and dismantle, so if you’ve got one of those, packing it up for the winter might be the easiest way to go.
However, other pools — like frame pools — are much more of a hassle to dismantle. It could take several days just to take it down. So in that case, you may prefer to leave it outside to save time and effort.
If you decide to leave your above-ground pool outside over the winter, you need to know how to get it ready for the cold season. Winterizing your pool correctly will ensure that it’s well preserved and won’t cause you problems when it’s time to use it again.
Below are some of the ways to preserve your pool throughout the winter.
Remove Any Accessories and Clean
Your above-ground pool can stay outdoors all winter, but its accessories often can’t. Items like the hand skimmer, vacuum, ladder, and others should be stored somewhere dry and warm.
Leaving these tools outside will expose them to harsh weather conditions, which can cause unnecessary damage.
In the same vein, you should clean the sides of the pool and vacuum it to clear off any debris that might linger over the winter.
Adjust the Chemical Levels
If you drain the water in your above-ground pool, it might collapse — and you probably don’t want that to happen. It makes much more sense to leave water in the pool, but you have to be careful about the chemical levels.
If the chemical levels in your pool aren’t balanced, it might lead to corrosion and scale buildup. Here are the ideal chemical measurements for your pool:
- pH: 7.2 – 7.6
- Calcium: 175 – 250 ppm (parts per million)
- Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
- Chlorine: 1 – 3 ppm
Pump and Filter
You need to drain the pump, hose, and filter connected to your above-ground pool. Afterward, remove them and keep them in a storage area. This protects them from freezing in the winter.
Since you’ll be leaving water in your pool, you’ll also want to prevent it from freezing. To do this, you should place an ice compensator in the pool.
You can also cover the pool with a winter pool cover (on Amazon) to stop debris from getting inside. Secure the cover tightly around the pool to ensure that it doesn’t get carried away by the wind.
Another useful tool is a winter pool pillow, like the Aquabeacon Ultra Thick Pool Pillow (on Amazon). This special pillow protects your pool from the pressure caused by expanding ice.
Can an Intex Pool Stay Up for the Winter?
Do you have one of the popular Intex above-ground pools? If so, you may be wondering if this brand has any special requirements for winter weather.
For those who live in warmer climates, you can leave your Intex pool outside all year if you like. Some winterization measures may be needed nonetheless, depending on just how warm the weather in your area is.
However, in colder climates where the temperature could drop below 32°F, it’s recommended that you dismantle your Intex pool and store it in the winter. At that temperature, leaving your pool outdoor could lead to ice damage.