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above ground pool

Draining Your Above Ground Pool for Winter - Pros and Cons

Should you drain your above ground pool for winter? This is a common question we get from new above ground pool owners. Although this seems like a completely reasonable question, there is definitely a correct and incorrect answer. In fact the incorrect answer just might destroy your pool! The correct answer is no. 

Believe it or not, your pools water is actually an important part of your pools very structure. Draining the water during any season can have negative consequences, it's not just a winter thing. 

Your pool's liner and walls rely on the weight and mass of the water for their strength and stability. One very important rule of thumb for above ground swimming pool is - never leave your pool empty for long periods of time. 

The Liner

The weight and outward pressing force of your pool water are the two forces that keep your above ground pool's liner stretched out to its full size. The pool liner is

Your above ground pool liner

high gauge vinyl. That means it is sort of thick and impossible to stretch by hand. The pressure the mass of the water exerts on your liner is the force that keeps it completely stretched out. Your pools liner would likely shrink beyond repair if left empty over winter. 

The Walls

Your above ground pool walls rely on the water for their shape. Again, the force of the water creates the tension that stabilizes the walls. The walls would likely sag inward or outward if the water were removed for a couple of days. In entire winter could disfigure the walls for ever. This sagging could cause the walls to pop right our of their tracks as well. One winter without water could ruin your walls and tracks forever. 

Even if your walls have permanent support like decking around the pool, it is never a good idea to leave the pool empty for long!

above ground pool empty

You may on occasion need to drain your above ground pool for maintenance or cleaning purposes. This process should take place on a warm (not below 80 degrees F) day. Water should be returned to the pool as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage. Alternatively, you can drain and safely store the pool walls, track, floor, and liner inside for the off season. 

Instead of draining your pool, consider developing a good end of season pool closing process. There are many things to consider when thinking about winterizing your above ground pool. If you are in the process of creating your end-of-season routine check out the post below, 10 Steps to Winterizing Your Above Ground Pool. It's one of our most viewed posts and packed full of helpful tips. 

 10 Steps to Winterizing Your Above Ground Pool

 Hopefully this article has given you enough information to safely close your above ground pool for winter. Remember, the first day of pool season depends on the work you do at the end of the pool season.

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