As the summer ends and winter approaches,
it is time to close and winterize your pool. There are several reasons why it is important to take the appropriate steps in winterizing your pool and using durable, weather resistant winter covers. When the pool is closed correctly it protects it against the elements and makes opening it easier next season. Whether you have an in-ground or an above ground pool, the closing process is similar and these tips will help you correctly close the pool for the winter.
Clean the Pool
Remove all of the pool accessories, such as the heater, diving board, and ladder, grab rail and floats. Thoroughly clean each of these items and store in a dry area for the winter. Clean out any debris, such as leaves, grass clippings and branches with a net. Use a pool brush to clean the walls and floor, then vacuum with a pool vacuum to make sure you have gotten all of the dirt and debris out of the water.
One of the most important things when winterizing your pool is to check the water, adjust the pH, calcium and chlorine and shock with a winter algaecide. If you balance the water before using a winter cover, it will help to protect the surface of the pool from staining and etching as well as give you a pool full of clean water at the beginning of next summer. Before adding the winter algaecide, it is recommended that the pH balance be between 7.2 and 7.6, the calcium should be between 180-220 ppm, alkalinity is 80-120 ppm and the chlorine level should be between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm. Run the pump for a full day to make sure all of the chemicals have circulated.
Draining some of the water will help prevent the essential components, such as the pump and filter from freezing. Lower the level of the water, but do not completely drain the pool, typically the water level should be just below the mouth part of the skimmer. Clear all of the water from the heater, pump, filter and plumbing. The filter can usually be drained by pulling the plug found at the bottom of the filter and open the air valve to all of the water to flow out. Drain the pump and turn it on again to make sure you get all of the remaining water out.
A pool cover is the final and most important step to winterizing your pool. The cover is important because it protects the pool from dirt, debris and light, which can cause mold and algae. The winter pool cover should be designed for the type of pool you have, in-ground or above ground. Winter covers come in two different styles, a solid cover or a mesh cover. Make sure the cover fits securely, using pillows or sand weights if necessary.
Throughout the winter, you should periodically check on the pool and the cover. Make sure there are no puddles settling on the cover and brush away deep snow to prevent the cover from sagging and allow debris to get into the pool.