The cold winter weather is here with us and you may want to start thinking about winterizing your pool.
The main purpose of closing your pool for winter is protecting it from freezing damage. Another good reason for this is to keep it clean and prevent mold growth. In fact, closing your swimming pool correctly will save you a lot of time and money when it comes to opening it in the spring.
Make sure you start the process a few weeks before the freezing weather fully kicks in. Also, you might want to wait until the weather is above 60 degrees so that you can start closing your pool – algae is less likely to grow in these weather conditions.
Steps to Closing Your Pool for the Winter
Here are steps on how to winterize a pool:
1. Removal All the Pool Accessories
Remove the ladders, handrails, pool cleaners, vacuums, wall fittings, slides, heaters, skimmer baskets, or anything that shouldn’t be in the swimming pool during the winter. Use a leaf rake to scoop out all the debris in the swimming pool.
2. Balance the Pool Water
Before closing your pool for winter, ensure that you bring the pool water’s pH to 7.5-7.8, the alkalinity to 80-100, and the calcium hardness to 150-250.
You should also use a chlorine shock to bring the pool’s chlorine level to around 10-12ppm. Allow the chlorine level to come down to about 1.5-3.5ppm before adding the algaecides and other chemicals from your pool winterizing kit.
If you’re unsure about how to correctly balance the pool water, you can take a sample to your local pool retailer and they’ll test it as well as make recommendations for you.
3. Protect the Skimmer
When the pool water freezes, it expands and this may damage your pool as well as its plumbing and filtering systems. Lower the water level below the skimmer mouth and let the water flow out through the throat.
Alternatively, you can use an Aquador which will hold out the water from the skimmer. Or, invest in a Gizzmo which will collapse to prevent water from getting into your pool’s skimmer and freeze.
4. Drain All the Heating, Filtering, Pumping, and Chlorinating Equipment
In most cases, pool filters, heaters, and chlorinators have drain caps or plugs to allow water to flow out. Before closing your pool for winter, ensure that all water is drained from these pool components to prevent freezing damage.
In addition, ensure the Cartridge filters and D.E filter grids are carefully removed and cleaned. If the pump and filters are small you can store them indoors until the next swimming season.
5. Blow the Lines
Pool care in winter is not complete without blowing the plumbing system and pool equipment. This will ensure there’s no water left in them that can freeze and damage them. If, for some reason, you can’t blow out the plumbing lines, ensure that all pool equipment is completely drained and add a non-toxic antifreeze to the lines.
6. Empty the Chemical Feeder
If your pool has a chemical feeder, this would be the best time to empty it. Leaving chemicals in the feeder during pool winterization can damage your equipment.
Don’t forget to put the cap back on the feeder after using it and ensure you wear safety gloves and goggles when handling the chemicals.
7. Cover Your Pool
To keep debris out of your pool, use an in-ground or above ground pool cover. These pool winter covers will keep your pool clean as well as prevent the growth of algae.
You should also invest in an air pillow to hold the cover up in a dome shape and prevent debris and water from collecting on top. They also reduce water expansion caused by freezing and prevent wall splitting in an above ground pool.
Your Swimming Pool is Now Ready for Winter
And that’s it!
Just keep in mind that all swimming pools are different and some may require extra steps to winterize.
Also, ensure you store your handrails, ladder, and other pool accessories properly and safely. You can use a large bucket to store all the nozzles, baskets, and anything that will go to your swimming pool when spring comes. By keeping these items together, it’ll be easy to find them when opening your pool.
Do not cover the pool’s equipment with plastic as this may trap moisture and promote rust. Store them in a cool and dry place.
You can winterize your pool all by yourself!