Why Do We Close Our Pools for the Winter?
pools in winter

Do you need to close your pool in preparation for the winter? Technically, we don’t need to, but it’s common for pool owners to close our pools in the early fall or late summer. It doesn’t sound like a terrible idea to leave it open longer if your pool is heated. But why not leave it open all year round? That way, you can swim in the warm water whenever you want, not only when the temperature is hot outside. 

Turns out, there are good reasons why most people don’t do that, and leaving it open isn’t highly recommended. If you wonder why we always close our pools and what happens if you don’t, we can explain. 

Do We Have to Close Our Pools Before Winter?

The short answer is no, we don’t have to do anything, and the long answer is that you can with a few risks. As with anything, there are pros and cons. To close or not to close our pools is no different.


It might seem like a good idea to leave your pool open all year round for a number of reasons that are fair to consider. These include:

  • Being able to swim whenever you want. Poor weather conditions notwithstanding, if you have a heated pool, you might be able to swim in the dead of winter. Depending on how you heat your pool, jumping in shouldn’t be a problem. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to safely swim when the weather is below freezing temperatures, but there will be times when a slight chill can’t stop you from swimming.
  • You can save money by not opening or closing the pool. Depending on the model of pool you have, you may have to pay for someone else to do it. Not everyone is good with their hands or with hard labor. It’s understandable if you have the money to do so, to pay someone else to do it. But if you’re someone who usually hires a professional, leaving your pool open all year instead will save you money.
  • You can keep the pool clean all year. Have you ever opened your pool and just found it to be utterly disgusting? Then you spend the next few weeks cleaning with chemicals and nets trying to get everything that crawled into your pool while it was covered. Leaving your pool open lets you clean it all year, so you don’t have to worry about it growing dirty and disgusting while it is covered.


While it may sound like a good idea to leave your pool open, there is a list of reasons why we close our pools that outweigh the benefits of leaving them open. These include:

  • Cold weather will damage your pool if it’s not closed. While heating your pool will minimize the risk, you can’t tell when a winter storm will come along and freeze the surface of your pool. If this happens, it can tear through your pool’s vinyl lining since water expands when it freezes. Even if the damage is minimal, vinyl liners may need extensive and expensive repairs regardless. Fiberglass pools are much tougher but are not entirely immune to the elements.
  • Cold weather can damage your pool’s plumbing. If your power goes out during an especially cold time, you won’t be able to heat the plumbing pipes, which can lead to them becoming damaged and cracked. Since the pool is exposed, several plumbing pipes will be exposed as well. 
  • Pool equipment will be damaged as well. Most head pumps don’t work well below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s possible you won’t even be able to heat your pool to get in. Instead, you’ll just damage the heater. Similar things happen to salt chlorinators which can’t create chlorine at temperatures below 60 degrees. You would need a pool heater that can keep itself and the pool above 60 degrees at all times to make sure everything is functioning properly.
  • Energy costs go up to maintain the temperature. If you want to avoid all the issues we’ve just mentioned, you’d have to keep your heater running almost all the time. This will cause your energy costs to go up, which in the long run, will likely cost more than having the pool professionally covered.

There are some more minor problems such as having to clean the pool all year round, but these feel small compared to the significant monetary investments to keep a pool open all year.

You Should Probably Close Your Pool

We wouldn’t recommend leaving your pool open all year round. While you may not have to close your pool as early as everyone else if you have a good heater, it’s likely for the best to still close it. This will protect your pool equipment and your pool’s structure so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on repairs. 

For Help and Supplies for Your Pool, Contact Aqua Leisure Pools & Spas

While the idea of jumping in the pool in the dead of winter sounds like it would be a lot of fun, it’s not feasible. We can help you with your pool needs. If you’re unsure of how to properly maintain it and your pool equipment through the summer, we can help you. Depending on your pool cover, we can even give you chemicals and tools you can use to clean it all year round. For help answering any of your questions, contact us today.