The main purpose in winterizing your swimming pool is to protect it from damage due to freezing water. Another reason to close the pool correctly is to keep it as clean as possible for the next season. Closing your swimming pool properly can save you a lot of work when it comes time to open the swimming pool for the summer. Here are a few steps to follow that will make your pool as safe as possible for the winter and low maintenance to open when warm weather returns in the spring.
1. Balance The Water
About 4-7 days prior to closing your pool for winter, bring your pool pH (7.6-7.8), pool alkalinity (80-100), and calcium hardness (150-250) in line. Shock the pool with a chlorine shock to bring the chlorine level up to 10-12ppm. Allow the pool chlorine to come down to its normal level, about 1.5-3.5ppm before adding any pool algaecides, pool winterizing chemicals, or your pool cover.
2. Removal Of Inground and Above Ground Pool Accessories
Remove the skimmer baskets, heaters, slide, any wall fittings, vacuums, pool cleaners, ladders, handrails, or anything else that shouldn’t be in the pool. Scoop out any debris on the top and bottom of the pool using a good leaf rake. At this point you may want to invest in a winter conditioner or a winterization swimming pool water treatment kit to keep your pool water chemistry on track.
3. Clean And Backwash The Filter
You’ll want to do one final brush and vacuum to winterize your swimming pool. Once this is done, it’s time to backwash your filter.
4. Lower The Water Level
You can either use your filter pump or a submersible pump to lower your pool water level. You’ll need to lower the level about 4″-6″ below the lowest plumbing line, normally the water return line. Be sure the water level is at least below the skimmer. You can remove the above ground pool skimmer.
5. Drain Your Pump, Filters, Heaters, and Chlorinating Equipment
Your pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator all have a drain plug. Either drain the water out of these or blow the line out with a shop vac. This will ensure all of the water has drained and none is left inside any plumbing lines. If you have a DE pool Filter or a cartridge filter, now would be a good time to take them out and clean the grids or cartridges and store them away for the winter. If the filter is small enough, you might be able to take it apart and store it for the winter. Keep the plugs out of these units. If you plug them back up and water happens to get into them, they might freeze over and crack your equipment. Place all the plugs in the skimmer basket during your pool winterization maintenance.
6. Winter Pool Covers
Now is the time to break out your above ground pool winter cover or inground pool winter cover to keep the debris out of the pool. Use a solid cover that keeps out all debris and sun. These solid covers should keep the pool clean and prevent algae growth. You should also use an air pillow. These air pillows hold the pool cover up like a tent so water and debris fall off instead of collecting on the top. They also help to take up any water expansion which could occur from freezing and possibly cause your above ground pool wall to split.
Most major plumbing damage happens during the winter months due to cold and/or freezing temperatures and equipment failures. Let our technicians check your equipment for any leaks, make sure your control system is optimized for a winter run schedule, and install and/or test your freeze protection system.