The cool weather has now arrived, at least in Canada and the Northern States, and many families are starting to close down their pools.
If you’ve been a pool owner for a while now, you probably know the steps you need to take in order to properly winterize your pool, but for many, it is a relatively new process.
So how do you close your pool down until next summer? We are here to help!
One of the first thing you want to do is clean the pool out. This includes removing leaves, sand, bugs and other debris. To do this, you will want to have your pool skimmer and vacuum handy. You will also want to clean out your skimmer and pump basket of leaves and debris. If you have any accessories such as ladders and decorative fitting, be sure to rinse them off and dry them thoroughly before you put them away.
You will also want to clean your liner using your pool vacuum or brush, and tile cleaner if necessary. This will make sure that any scum is effectively removed and removing it before you close the pool is easier than waiting until the spring, when it has had time to set in.
Be sure to clean your pool the same day that you are closing it. There is nothing worse than doing all the work, only to wake up the next day and find out some of the debris has returned.
The next thing you have to do is balance the water chemistry, protecting your investment from corrosion and scale buildups during the winter months. Use the same test kit you use during the summer to ensure the chemicals are at the right level. Adjust the pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness as necessary.
You may also want to take this time to increase the chlorine levels and add algaecide. You can buy the necessary products separately or you can buy a kit, making the process much easier.
Shocking the water and adding algaecide helps kill off bacteria as well as some fungi that are in your pool. Algaecide will kill existing algae and protect your pool against new algae blooms.
During this stage of the process, it’s important that you follow each chemicals instructions. If you don’t follow the provided guidelines, you could hurt yourself and damage your pool.
Now that the pool is clean and the water is prepped, you want to lower the level of water in your pool, but not drain it completely.
Water expands when it freezes. If you leave too much water in your pool, it will expand and damage your pool by cracking pool filters, pumps, pipes and other elements. If you empty it completely, you risk damaging your liner. Winter time debris can crack, tear or other damage on your pool. The frozen water you leave in your pool also acts as a weight, keeping your pool in place (because the soil under your pool can also freeze and shift) and ensuring your linear doesn’t shrink or crack.
The type of cover you use will also affect the amount of water you need to drain from your pool. We suggest contacting your local pool company to ensure you leave the correct amount of water in the pool.
Next you want to disconnect your pump and filter and ensure all of your lines are drained. You want to do the same with any heaters, chlorinators or similar accessories and equipment. (This is also a good time to ensure that your filter is cleaned properly).
If you have a shop vacuum, use it to blow all the water out of your appliances, pipes and lines. If you don’t blow out your lines, think about adding swimming pool antifreeze. This will help prevent any standing water from freezing.
Add a Float
Before you finish closing the pool, add an air pillow. While they aren’t necessary for in-ground pools, they provide an extra level of protection. It will help prop up your cover in the case of rain, or built up snow and ice, and will also ease the pressure on your pool’s walls - the frozen pool water, when it expands, will push against the float instead of your pool.
It is now time to cover your pool, but not with your normal summer cover. Instead, invest in a winter cover. It is stronger and will protect your pool from ice and snow as well as prevent people and pets from falling in.
Now your pool is ready for winter, so curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy the coming snow.
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Check out HeaterReader™! It gives you remote access to a pool's heater and pump - without the expensive and complex installation that is required by other devices. And, with our cost analysis tool, you can monitor how much it is costing you to warm up your pool for a late season swim!