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Closing a Pool in Winter

How to Close Your Swimming Pool for the Winter in Greece and Cyprus

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Here is a check list of things to do before closing your pool for the winter. By properly closing your pool for the Winter, you spend less time and money opening your pool in the Spring. You will eliminate additional electrical costs, chemicals, cleaning and avoid possible freeze damage to equipment and plumbing. Close your pool properly in the Autumn and Spring, start up will be a snap. This advice applies to any swimming pool to fit in the garden of your home living as an ex-pat in the Greek Islands such as Crete, on Mainland Greece or Cyprus. With climate change, be prepared for more extremes in temperature and that includes wintertime. Allow for wide temperature range when you plan also the landscaping, outdoor buildings, walls fences and decks for an eco-friendly environment, and yet still needs to be pleasing to look at.

Practical Steps

Step 1: Several days prior to closing the pool

  1. Test the water for pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and chlorine.
  2. Adjust levels if necessary. It is important to get the water balanced to protect the pool from corrosion or scale buildup that can occur during the period the pool is shut down.
    • Use a water test kit to test for:
    • PH 7.2 - 7.6 Alkalinity
    • 80 - 120 ppm
    • Calcium Hardness 175 - 250 ppm
    • Chlorine 1 - 3 ppm

Step 2: During the Winterizing Process

  1. Clean your pool before winterizing.
    1. Brush and vacuum sides and bottom.
    2. Use a Clarifier to get water crystal clear.
    3. Lower water level while vacuuming (set filter to waste bypassing sand).
    4. Clean the tile line with Tile and Vinyl Cleaner to remove oil and scum line. This will be easier to get off now before it sets on during winter months.

Step 3: During the Winter Proper:

  1. Protect water quality during the winter months. Use a Winterizing Kit. Follow instructions on product labels. Additional algaecide and shock can be purchased separately for larger size pools.
  2. Clean the filter, skimmer, and pump basket.
  3. Remove all unused chlorine product from Chlorinator.
  4. Cartridge filter elements and D.E. grids should be sprayed with Filter Cleaner and rinsed clean with a garden hose. Sand Filters should be backwashed.
  5. Lower the water level. It should be below the returns and skimmers.
  6. Never completely drain a pool - Hydrostatic pressure can cause damage. Using an air compressor or shop vac (attached to the blower side of the vac), blow water out of system by forcing air down skimmer and through the plumbing.
  7. Add Anti-Freeze to plumbing and install threaded winter plugs to return fittings to keep water out of lines. Anti-Freeze is a non-toxic formula. DO NOT USE AUTOMOBILE ANTIFREEZE.
  8. Remove all drain plugs from pump, filter tank and any other pool equipment. Follow the manufacturers' instructions for your specific equipment. Place all drain plugs in pump basket for storage.
  9. Use air pillows. Air pillows need to be inflated with a leaf blower or shop vac. Tie off air pillow in the center of pool, larger pools will require 2 or more air pillows. The air pillows will shed water toward the edge of pool for easier removal. They also allow forming ice to crack inward preventing damage to the shell or structure of the pool.
  10. Place winter cover over pool surface, black side down. There are different covers for in ground and above ground pools.
  11. If you follow these easy steps in the winter. Spring Start up will be a snap!

Useful Tips

  • Covers for above Ground Pools : A cable and winch are included to fasten cover under top ledge of pool.
  • In Ground Pools and Pools With Decks: Place water tubes end to end around edge of pool. Fill water tubes 1/2 full of water (do not over fill or expanding water will damage water tube). Water tubes are sold separately. Never use concrete blocks, bricks, etc to secure cover because they can damage pool cover or pool.


  • Keep a pool alarm active during the winter months. Pets and children will have accidents regardless of the season, that is why a pool alarm is essential.

Things You'll Need

  • Pool Test Kit
  • Tile and Vinyl Cleaner
  • Super Shimmer
  • Winterizing Chemical Kit
  • Algaecide
  • Shock Treatment
  • Filter Cleaner
  • Pool cover

Related wikiHows

This is a re-worked article tailor made for the BritsinCrete audience and living on one of the Greek Islands such as Crete or mainland Greece/Cyprus as an ex-pat. Original Article is to be found at wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Original Author credits are found at the original wikiHow article on How to Close Your Swimming Pool for the Winter. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons Licence.

Further reading on swimming pools if you plan to rent out your property in Crete to be found on our "Getting a Greek Government approved EOT License" page.

Experiences of foreign residents of Building Swimming Pools in Greece and their comments as well as advice from Brits in Crete.