How to Store Your Above Ground Pool for the Winter

Written by Michael Dean
August 28, 2023

storing an above ground pool for the winter

An above ground pool is one of the best additions to any home during the summer. But as the seasons change and the temperatures begin to drop, it becomes time to start thinking about what to do with your pool in the winter. In this article, I will discuss how to store your above ground pool for the winter. I will also go over when to store and when to winterize your above ground pool. Let’s dive in!

Main Takeaways

  • If feasible, you should store your above ground pool in a warm, dry shed during the winter.
  • Fold your above ground pool liner neatly, roll it up into a tight cylinder, and store it in a sturdy bag to prevent creasing and protect it during storage.
  • You don’t need to store most above ground pools if you have mild winters and the temperatures don’t drop below freezing.
  • Intex above ground pools should be stored if winter temperatures drop below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step-by-Step: How to Store Your Above Ground Pool for the Winter

Here’s everything you need to know to store your above ground pool for the winter.

Supplies Checklist

  • Sump pump or garden hose
  • Detergent
  • 10-gallon bucket
  • Pool brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill (not always required)
  • Large dry bag for the liner

Step One: Drain Your Above Ground Pool 

The first thing you’ll need to do when storing your above ground pool is to drain out all the water. For this, you can either siphon the water using a garden hose (slowest option), use a submersible pump (fastest option for large pools), or use the drain adapter (if the pool has one) with an attachable pump hose.

Make sure you have a plan of where the excess water will go. There may be some regulations and permits required for draining pools, and you should always drain your pool responsibly.

Step Two: Clean Your Liner

This is a good time to clean your pool liner. It is never a good idea to store any of your pool equipment when it is dirty or wet, as it may accumulate mold while stored away. Mix one part detergent (dish soap works great) with ten parts water and pour some on your above ground pool liner. Then use a pool brush to clean the liner. After properly cleaning the liner, hose it down to rinse off all the soap.

Step Three: Let Your Pool Liner Dry

Once you have cleaned the pool liner, allow the liner to dry before you uninstall it properly. This shouldn’t take more than 24 hours, as long as the pool gets some direct sun.

Step Four: Take Down your Above Ground Pool

Now, it is time to uninstall the above ground pool. This involves unhooking the pump, filter, and any other equipment, as well as taking apart the frame (or simply deflating the pool if it is inflatable). Most simple above ground pools should not be too complicated to take apart, but you can always contact a pool professional for help if you are worried about damaging something. Make sure to keep track of all the parts. The last thing you want is to discover you have a missing screw in the spring when you reinstall the pool!

Step Five: Neatly Fold Up The Liner

The next step is to fold the above ground pool liner neatly. When doing so, ensure no sticks, pebbles, or other obstructions could puncture the liner while it is stored. The best way to fold an above ground pool liner is to fold it several times and then roll it up into a tight cylinder. Keeping your folding neat and tight as possible prevents permanent creases from forming.

Step Six: Store the Liner and Any Other Parts in a Safe, Dry Place

Finally, it is time to store all of the parts of the above ground pool in a shed or another warm, dry place for the winter. I highly recommend placing your folded pool liner in a large bag or sack to keep it safe. You may also consider hanging it to keep it off the ground. This keeps rodents away, which may be looking to make your liner their warm winter home. Make sure you safely store all pool chemicals as well! Here’s a good EPA resource on that topic, too.

Do You Have to Store Your Above Ground Pool?

Not all types of above ground pools need to be stored for the winter. Whether you need to take apart and store your pool depends on the type of above ground pool and how cold it gets in your region.

For Intex pools, you should store it once temperatures drop below 40 degrees. For all other pools, you’ll generally have to take down and store your pool once temperatures drop below freezing. However, if you have a sturdier, more permanent above ground pool, you may not need to store it at all but, instead, leave it up and properly winterize the pool – just like an inground pool.

Why Should You Store Your Above Ground Pool for the Winter?

Storing your above ground pool during the winter ensures that the pool stays safe when the temperatures drop. Here are some of the top reasons to store your pool for the winter.

Structural Damage

In most places in the USA, the winter comes with freezing temperatures, which can cause the water in your pool to freeze. When water freezes, it expands, potentially damaging the walls and structure of your above ground pool. Unless you winterize your pool and have a sturdy above ground pool structure, this can result in cracks, leaks, and other issues that can be expensive and time-consuming to fix.

Water Chemistry Issues

Pool maintenance becomes more and more difficult in cold weather. Chlorine is much less effective at temperatures less than 65 degrees, so it is better to either winterize the pool or tear it down for the season.

Damage to Your Equipment

During the winter, your pool pump, heater, and filter can also get damaged when the temperature dips. To prevent your costly pool equipment from getting destroyed, it is best to unhook them, drain the water out, and store them in a safe, dry place for the winter.

Enjoy Your Pool For Longer

Storing your pool for the winter means that it is only exposed to the elements for half the year. This generally results in your above ground pool lasting longer, allowing you and your family to enjoy it for more seasons.

Winterizing vs. Storing an Above Ground Pool in the Winter

You can’t take down and store an inground pool, so it will always have to be winterized. But, above ground pool owners have a choice: 1) winterize during the colder months, or 2) take down and store the pool. In this section, I will go over when to winterize an above ground pool and when to store one.

Winterize If You Have a Permanent Above Ground Pool

If you have an Intex or Bestway above ground pool or another above ground pool that is easy to take down and store for the winter, I recommend doing so. But some above ground pools are more permanent structures, which wouldn’t be feasible to store for the winter. This type of above ground pool should be winterized.

Winterize Your Above Ground Pool If the Temperatures Don’t Drop Below Freezing

If you live in a region with mild winters, such as Texas, Florida, Southern California, Hawaii, or Arizona, where freezing temperatures are extremely rare, you likely won’t need to store your pool for the winter. In these regions, you can simply winterize your pool and leave the structure up. You should winterize when the temperatures drop consistently below 65 degrees.

Store Your Pool If You Have an Intex Pool

Intex pools are an excellent affordable above ground pool option, but they do not do well in cold weather. Even if your area doesn’t experience cold winters, you should take down your Intex pool when it is not in use to ensure you get as many pool seasons as possible out of it.

Store Your Pool If It Makes Sense

The bottom line is that you should store your above ground pool for the winter when feasible. Your liner, frame, and equipment will be much safer in a warm, dry shed during the winter than they would be if exposed to the elements. So ultimately, your pool will last longer if you store it during the winter.

How Do You Winterize an Above Ground Pool?

You can winterize your pool once the temperature is consistently below 65 degrees. This is because algae does not bloom and multiply at this temperature. Here are the necessary steps for winterizing an above ground pool.

  • Clean the pool, removing debris and leaves.
  • Balance ALL chemicals to the appropriate levels.
  • Lower the water below the skimmer and return lines.
  • Blow out plumbing lines with an air compressor.
  • Unhook all pool equipment (heater, filter, pump) and store for the winter
  • Add winterizing chemicals to your pool water, like algaecide and shock treatment.
  • Remove pool accessories such as ladders, stairs, and pool toys and store them.
  • Install a secure winter pool cover and an air pillow if desired.
  • Monitor the pool throughout winter to ensure snow, ice, or water do not build up on the cover, weighing it down.

Check out my complete guide on winterizing your pool for more on this topic.

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

Download my free, printable pool maintenance checklist to help you accomplish regular pool care tasks for any type of swimming pool.

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Protect Your Pool For the Winter

Now that your pool is stored for the winter, you can rest assured that it will be safe and ready for you when the weather begins to warm up again in the spring. For now, stay warm and cozy inside and dream about when the glorious pool season will come around again!

Need more help storing your above ground pool? Feel free to reach out! I am always happy to help!

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