As the leaves start to turn and the air grows crisp, pool owners in Pittsburgh know it’s time to start thinking about winterizing their above ground pools. Properly preparing your pool for the off-season is crucial to protect your investment and ensure a smooth opening when summer rolls around again.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of winterizing your above ground pool, including a handy checklist of essential tasks. So, let’s dive in and get your pool ready for the Pittsburgh winter!

How to Winterize Your Above Ground Pool?

Step 1: Clean Your Pool

Before you start the winterization process, give your pool a thorough cleaning. Remove any debris, such as leaves or twigs, with a skimmer net. Brush the walls and floor of the pool to remove any algae or dirt buildup. Vacuum the pool to ensure it’s completely clean.

Step 2: Test and Balance the Water

Test your pool water using a high-quality test kit. You’ll want to ensure that your pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels are within the recommended ranges. If necessary, add the appropriate chemicals to balance the water. Consult with a local pool supply store in Pittsburgh for guidance on the best products to use.

Step 3: Add Winterizing Chemicals

Once your pool water is balanced, it’s time to add winterizing chemicals. These typically include:

  • Shock treatment to eliminate any remaining contaminants
  • Algaecide to prevent algae growth during the winter
  • Stain and scale preventer to protect your pool’s surfaces

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper dosage based on your pool’s size.

Step 4: Lower the Water Level

Drain your pool until the water level is about 4-6 inches below the skimmer opening. This will prevent water from entering the skimmer and freezing, which can cause damage. Use a submersible pump or a siphon to remove the water.

Step 5: Winterize Your Pool Equipment

  • Remove the skimmer basket and store it in a dry place
  • Disconnect the hoses from your pool pump and filter
  • Drain the pump, filter, and heater (if applicable) according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Add pool antifreeze to your pipes to prevent freezing and cracking

Step 6: Install a Winter Cover

Invest in a high-quality winter cover specifically designed for above ground pools. Ensure the cover fits snugly and securely over your pool. Use cable ties or a winch and cable system to keep the cover in place. This will protect your pool from debris, animals, and winter weather.

Your Pittsburgh Above Ground Pool Winterization Checklist

To make your winterization process easier, we’ve compiled a checklist of essential tasks:

  •  Clean the pool thoroughly
  •  Test and balance the water chemistry
  •  Add winterizing chemicals (shock, algaecide, stain, and scale preventer)
  •  Lower the water level 4-6 inches below the skimmer
  •  Remove and store the skimmer basket
  •  Disconnect and drain pool equipment (pump, filter, heater)
  •  Add pool antifreeze to pipes
  •  Install a secure winter cover

By following these steps and using our checklist, you can ensure your Pittsburgh above ground pool is properly winterized and ready for the off-season.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When should I winterize my above ground pool in Pittsburgh?

It’s best to winterize your pool when the temperature consistently drops below 60°F (15°C). In Pittsburgh, this typically occurs around late September to early October.

  1. Can I use regular antifreeze in my pool pipes?

No, never use regular antifreeze in your pool pipes. Always use a non-toxic, propylene glycol-based pool antifreeze specifically designed for swimming pools.

  1. Do I need to remove the ladder and other accessories before installing the winter cover? 

Yes, it’s essential to remove all accessories, including ladders, diving boards, and pool toys, before installing the winter cover. This will prevent damage to the cover and the accessories.

  1. How can I prevent my winter cover from sagging? 

To prevent your winter cover from sagging, use a pool cover pump to remove any water, snow, or ice that accumulates on top of the cover throughout the winter.

  1. Can I winterize my above ground pool myself, or should I hire a professional? 

While it’s possible to winterize your above ground pool yourself, if you’re unsure about any step or lack the necessary equipment, it’s best to hire a professional pool service in Pittsburgh to ensure the job is done correctly.

  1. What happens if I don’t winterize my above ground pool?

If you don’t winterize your above ground pool, you risk damage to the pool liner, structure, and equipment due to freezing water. This can lead to costly repairs or even the need to replace your pool.


Winterizing your above ground pool in Pittsburgh is a crucial task that every pool owner should prioritize. By following our step-by-step guide and using the essential task checklist, you can ensure that your pool is properly prepared for the harsh winter months. Remember to clean your pool, balance the water chemistry, add winterizing chemicals, lower the water level, winterize your equipment, and install a secure winter cover.

If you have any doubts or concerns about the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional pool service in Pittsburgh for assistance. With proper winterization, your above ground pool will be ready to enjoy when summer returns to the Steel City!

About The Author

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Ryan Muraco is the owner and founder of Professional Pools Pittsburgh. A seasonal pool repair, maintenance, and renovation expert in all things residential and commercial pool service.