VivoAquatics Updates

How to Winterize Your Commercial Pool

September 9, 2022

As freezing temperatures approach, it's time to start winterizing your commercial pool. Don't be overwhelmed, because a successful pool closing paves the way for a successful pool opening next year!

Properly winterizing your commercial pool is crucial for cost savings, improved efficiency, and a seamless start to the next season.

In this article, we will guide you through the necessary measures to close your pool, prepare it for winter, and identify the chemicals required for the process.


Step 1: Secure the Pool Properly

By far, the most important step of winterizing your commercial pool is securing it. Ensuring the safety and security of your pool during the off-season is crucial to protect against accidents, reduce liability, and provide peace of mind.


Pro Tips:

    • Check all perimeter fencing. Inspect the fencing for any damages or weaknesses, such as broken panels or loose posts. Repair or replace any damaged sections to maintain the integrity of the fence.
    • Make sure that all gates and latches are up to code. Check that the gates close and latch properly and consider adding self-latching gates to wading pools for extra security.
    • Always keep the front gate locked, even if you are performing maintenance on site. This prevents anyone from entering the pool area without permission and reduces the risk of accidents or damage.
    • Take stock of all pool entryways and ensure that they are properly secured. Lock any doors or windows that provide access to the pool area, and consider installing security cameras or alarms to deter trespassers.
    • Perform regular security checks during the off-season to ensure that the pool remains secure. Inspect the fencing, gates, and entryways for any signs of damage or tampering. Address any issues immediately to maintain a safe and secure environment.


Step 2: Lower the Water Level

The next step in the winterizing process is to lower the water level. It is crucial to drain the equipment and lines as well.

The amount of water you remove should be enough to ensure that the water level is below the skimmer. This precaution is necessary because when water freezes, it expands.

To prevent the water from freezing, there are two options: either remove all water from the lines or add antifreeze. It is important to use appropriate winterizing chemicals and specifically choose a non-toxic form of antifreeze suitable for commercial pool use.

How to Remove Water

  1. Consider using a shop vac. This helps to blow water from the lines, making sure that they are safe while allowing you to efficiently and effectively winterize the commercial pool.
  2. Plug the lines. Once your lines are drained, it can be helpful to plug them to make sure that the pipes do not explode or crack over the course of winter. This is particularly helpful and relevant in colder climates that have harsh weather conditions.
  3. Make sure that there are no open valves. You don’t want valves that can leak water into the filter, which can cause irreparable damage to your expensive pool equipment.


Things to Keep in Mind

    • We don’t recommend you completely drain your commercial in ground pool. This can cause high amounts of hydrostatic pressure from groundwater, meaning that groundwater can create high amounts of pressure on your pool. It can crack the shell, or even ruin the structure of your commercial pool by pushing it out of the ground!
    • Pools that are lined with vinyl will wrinkle if drained, and can be very expensive to repair.
    • Water out for heavy snowfall or rain. This can cause water to collect and rise over the recommended level for your pool, tile line, cover, or equipment. This can be costly and problematic.


Step 3: Prevent Algae Growth

To prevent algae growth during the off season, it’s necessary to use a winter algaecide. This is imperative, as algae is the number one cause of off season surface staining.

Make sure that the pool is circulated before you shut it down. If you live in a warmer climate, you may need to do this during the middle of the winter seasons if the temperature does not actually drop below freezing.

Here are some of the most popular pool winterizing chemicals:

    • Chlorine: This is one of the most important pool winterizing chemicals because it will kill any bacteria or algae that might be present in your pool. It is also important to maintain the right pH level in your pool during winter.
    • Algaecide: This chemical will help prevent algae growth in your pool during winter.
    • Clarifier: This chemical will help keep your pool water clear by removing small particles from the water.
    • pH adjuster: This chemical is important in order to maintain the right pH level in your pool.

Make sure to choose the right chemicals per your pool manufacturer.

Using an aquatics operations software like VivoPoint can also help you determine which chemicals are recommended based on ongoing monitoring of your chemical balance.


Step 4: Cover the Pool

By covering the pool, you can effectively minimize the amount of debris, leaves, and dirt that enter the pool during the offseason. Not only does this help maintain the cleanliness of the pool, but it also reduces the chances of algae growth, making it easier to reopen the pool when the time comes.

If your commercial pool is equipped with a solid cover, it is recommended to use a siphon to remove any accumulated debris and water on top of the cover. On the other hand, if you have a mesh cover, it allows rainwater to pass through while still providing an additional layer of filtration.

Furthermore, it is important to ensure that all anchors and springs that secure the cover are intact, functioning properly, and in their designated positions.

Be sure to regularly check on this throughout the offseason, as snow or rain can cause the water level to rise or even lead to the cover sinking due to accumulation. By taking prompt corrective action, you can prevent further damage and avoid costly repairs.

Advantages of Using a Pool Cover

    • Using a cover helps you save on draining water and refilling costs, electricity, chemicals, and more
    • Pool covers look great to prospective guests, members, tenants, or patrons
    • Using a high quality pool cover can help extend the life of your pool
    • The right pool cover delays costly maintenance like a full pool re-plaster


Prevent Pool Cover Accidents

An uncovered, partially drained pool is a fall hazard and leaves your property vulnerable to many accidents. Protect yourself against things like children climbing into the pool area, a pet digging under the fence, and more.

Keep in mind that a pool cover that is old and/or is not properly maintained can be just as dangerous as a pool that isn’t covered at all.


Step 5: Store Chemicals Properly

It's important to properly store all of your chemicals so that they don't go bad or become dangerous. With a little bit of planning, you can easily store your pool chemicals until next season.

One of the most important things to remember when storing pool chemicals is to keep them away from heat and direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures can cause pool chemicals to break down and become less effective, so it's important to store them in a cool, dark place. A locked storage shed or garage is usually the best spot.

It's also important to make sure that your pool chemicals are securely sealed in their original containers. If you need to transfer them to another container, be sure to use one that is clearly labeled and made of a material that won't react with the chemicals. Once everything is sealed up tight, be sure to store the containers in a safe place where they won't be accidentally knocked over or stepped on.

It is best to discard test strips as well as any partially used containers of pool chemicals. These can easily become contaminated and may cause problems when you go to use them next season.

With a little bit of planning, you can easily store your pool chemicals until next season. By keeping them in a cool, dark place and making sure they are securely sealed, you can help to ensure that your pool is ready for another fun summer.


Step 6: Take Care of Equipment

You'll need to remove and/or turn off all of the equipment, including:

    • Filter
    • Pump
    • Ladders or steps
    • Diving board
    • Handrails
    • Deactivate pool lights to prevent overheating or damage, but ensure the water level is above lights for safety


Step 7: Prevent Expansion


To safeguard your commercial pool, it is essential to properly seal the pool area to prevent the accumulation of underground water. Depending on the pool's construction and age, there might be concealed air pockets beneath the surface.

These air pockets can pose a significant risk. When these pockets fill with water, they can freeze in colder temperatures, exerting pressure on the pool structure and potentially causing damage. As the water expands, so does the pressure, leading to shifts and cracks in the deck and coping.

Thankfully, this potential disaster can be completely avoided. To ensure that water doesn't collect underground, it is crucial to carefully inspect the surface for any cracks, seal all joints along the pool and deck perimeter, and eliminate any gaps around fittings.



Bottom Line

Whew! Managing a commercial pool can be a demanding task, with numerous responsibilities to handle during peak season. And while winterizing may seem like a time-consuming chore, it's essential to avoid costly errors. Remember, the success of your pool opening hinges on a well-executed closing.

Properly cleaning the pool, implementing safety measures, removing equipment, and achieving optimal balance are all crucial steps to ensure an efficient pool closure. It's vital to prioritize both the safety and longevity of your commercial pool or spa. By dedicating the necessary time and effort, you can save yourself from future headaches, as well as valuable time and money.


Improve Your Pool Winterizing with VivoAquatics

Vivo Aquatics is an industry-leading aquatics management software company that's serious about pool safety, profitability, and growth.

Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you:

    • Save money
    • Increase pool safety
    • Empower and train your employees
    • Skyrocket your revenue
This is the default value for this text field
Book A Demo