As winter approaches, you may want to start thinking about closing your pool for the cold weather. This will not only protect it from damage because of freezing water but also keep it as clean as possible for the next season. Closing your pool properly in the winter can save you a lot of work when you open your pool for the spring.
Even if you live somewhere in the Sunbelt, like Salt Lake City, this kind of swimming pool maintenance is still important. The folks at Preferred Pool and Spa have detailed the following steps to prepare your pool for the cold weather.
Balance the Water
About 4 to 7 days before you close your pool, you should bring your pool pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness to the proper ranges:
- pH – 7.2-7.8
- Alkalinity – 80-120 ppm
- Calcium hardness – 100-400 ppm
This will ensure that the chemicals in your water are balanced. You should treat your pool water with a sanitizer, stabilizer, and algaecide or winterizing chemicals so that the water doesn’t become corrosive when the water temperature drops.
Remove Pool Accessories
You should remove your pool’s skimmer baskets, heaters, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets, and ladders so that they don’t get dirty when they aren’t in use. Put these items in a safe location during the winter. Make sure that the cleaners and hoses are completely drained.
Clean the Pool
It’s important that you skim, vacuum, and brush your swimming pool. Your pool should be as clean and clear as possible before you cover it so that you won’t have to worry about a build-up of debris clogging your filters and leading to algae growth.
Lower the Water Level
You can use either a filter pump or a submersible pump to lower your pool water level. Make sure that the water level is below the skimmer.
Drain All Equipment
Every pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator has a drain plug to allow water to drain out. All the water must be drained out of the equipment to avoid the risk of freezing and cracking. After draining, the filter grids should be removed and cleaned thoroughly. You should also keep the drain plugs removed during winter, just in case any pipes become un-winterized.
Winterize Pool Plumbing
If you have an above-ground pool, all you have to do is disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and filter. Then, you should plug the wall outlets. Meanwhile, if you have an in-ground pool, you should clear all the water from the plumbing lines. You can do this by using a blower to push air from the skimmer, through the equipment, then back to the pool. Then, you should plug the lines in the pool using expansion plugs.
Cover the Pool
According to pool experts, a tight fit for the pool cover is vital. This kind of swimming pool maintenance, whether done in Salt Lake City or New York City, would be useless without a proper pool cover. Your cover should not have any holes or gaps where leaves and other debris can get in and dirty up your pool. These solid covers should keep your pool clean while preventing algae growth.
Now that your pool is fully winterized, you can look forward to using it in spring without worrying about clogged filters or dirty water.