It’s that time of year again.
Time to start thinking about closing your pool for the cooler months ahead.
Properly preparing your pool for the winter will lengthen its life, and it’ll also make things easier when it’s time to open it again.
There’s a lot more to it than just slapping a cover on and calling it a day.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do to get your swimmin’ hole ready for its long winter’s rest.
1. Get the timing right
Make your life easier and enjoy your pool by longer by waiting until late summer.
If your pool is heated, you can get away with waiting until October.
A good rule of thumb is to wait until the water is consistently lower than 65 degrees before closing.
Begin the process about a week before you actually want the pool to be closed.
2. Clean it up
Brush the sides and bottom of your pool and then vacuum it. A thorough cleaning before closing for the season will help to prevent algae growth and lighten your workload when it’s time to open it back up.
3. Test the waters
You’ll want the pH to be between 7.4 and 7.6 and the alkalinity to be between 100 and 150 ppm.
Shoot for the top of these ranges when you’re closing your pool for the winter.
4. Add the chemicals
The winterizing chemicals you’ll add to your pool are:
A pH increaser and/or an alkalinity increaser.
Sanitizer, such as Chlorine or Bromine.
Keep in mind that the chlorine shock will destroy the algaecide.
The best course of action is to add the shock five to seven days before closing your pool, and then waiting to add the algaecide until right before you put the cover on.
5. What about the filter and pump?
Remove the drain plugs and allow the pump to drain. Remove the pump and all the hoses that are attached. If you have a chlorinator, that should be removed at this time as well.
If you keep all the drain plugs in the pump basket, you’ll know right where they are and you won’t risk them getting misplaced.
The hoses, pump, and chlorinator will last longer if you store them inside during the cold winter months.
No matter what type of filter you have, it will need to be removed and cleaned before storage. Filters should also be stored inside, with the exception of a sand filter, which may be too large and/or heavy to take indoors.
6. To drain or not to drain?
For an above ground pool, removing the hose from the skimmer and using a winter skimmer cover plate will remove the need to drain the pool at all. The normal level will actually be better.
An inground pool is a bit different. Your best bet is to hire a professional to come and blow out the pipes. They can insert a rubber piece that will protect the skimmer from damage in the freezing cold. If this is done, you won’t need to drain the pool.
If you have tile on the sides of your pool, you should lower the water level to about 4 inches beneath the tile. This will prevent it from possible damage.
At this point in the process, it’s also the best time to remove ladders and any other accessories that can be stored.
7. Cover it up
An above ground pool will need an air pillow beneath the cover.
You can use clips and cables to secure your cover.
An inground pool doesn’t require an air pillow but should use clips to secure the cover.
The long wait for spring
You’ve cleaned and scrubbed, added chemicals and covered up your pool.
It’s a good idea to be in contact with your pool care professionals over the winter months.
Give us a call at Family Pools and Spas for all your winter pool care needs!
Do you follow all of these steps when closing up your pool?