Now that pool closing season is here, everyone has opinions on how to close swimming pools correctly. Your next door neighbor may have one opinion, while the guy at the pool supply store has another. One of the first things that comes up is whether to drain a pool entirely for the season. There is some conflicting advice on the Internet, but not everyone knows best.
Most reliable pool closing checklists will tell you to lower the water to the skimmer level so that you leave the plumbing lines clear. This is correct. Unless you plan on taking down the pool for storage, you shouldn’t drain all the water.
Why Leave Water in the Pool?
So what’s the reason behind leaving water in the pool? Won’t it be gross come next spring? Actually, no.
As long as you add the right chemicals to the water before closing it, it will be just fine come spring. That’s why it’s important to do a series of water balance tests before closing the pool so that you can add the right chemicals to prevent calcium deposits and corrosion. When you open your pool come spring, the water will be there and you’ll just have to add the right chemicals to re-balance it.
Another reason for leaving water in the pool is that it protects the liner. If you drain your pool entirely, it puts the liner at risk for rips, tears and other damage. Even though it doesn’t get that cold in Mississippi, the liner is still vulnerable in the winter. Leaving some water in there keeps it in good condition.
How Low Should I Drain the Water?
Most pool experts will tell you to drain the water to the skimmer level, which you will have to do for an in-ground pool. An above-ground pool, on the other hand, can have the skimmer system removed (if it’s removable), so you can take this out and drain the water just slightly. Also be sure to choose a tight pool cover that will keep your pool protected from winter debris.