How To Winterize Your Inground Pool
There is nothing better than having a private pool in your own backyard. However, knowing how to take care of it and protect your investment for the long term is a must. Winterizing a pool is essential if you live in an area known for cold winter months or you just don't plan to use your pool during the off-season.
A well cleaned pool with correctly balanced water will open back up considerably faster and easier the following summer than one that has been improperly closed. Avoid costly pool repairs and maintenance costs by following the steps below. Learning how to winterize your swimming pool can help you save thousands in repair costs later on.
Pro Tip: Don't close the pool until you're sure it's the end of the swimming season - approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit and lower. This is ideal time to winterize a pool becomes the weather gets severely cold.
Before you begin, make sure to purchase the right products for winterizing a pool. Testing your water with test strips or an at-home pool test kit is the first step in understanding how to close a pool for the winter. Based on the test findings, adjust the pH of your water. This helps to safeguard your pool from any potential surface damage during the off-season.
Start with alkalinity, then pH, and finally overall hardness. The following levels are the ideal values for each parameter:
- Alkalinity ranges from 80 to 150 parts per million. Add a total alkalinity increaser if your total alkalinity is low.
- pH ranges from 7.2 to 7.6. Add an increaser or reducer as needed if the pH levels aren't adjusted.
- Total hardness should range 175 to 275 ppm. Add a hardness increaser if your total hardness is low.
A thorough cleaning of the pool is an important element of winterizing a pool. This step will be highlighted in any instructions on how to close a pool for the winter.
- Using a pool skimmer, clean the water and remove any floating debris.
- Brush the surface completely and vacuum the pool floor with a pool vacuum.
- Make sure the skimmer baskets are empty.
- Backwash the filter completely and use a filter cleaner to chemically clean the filter media or components.
Pool shock delivers a high-dose of chemicals quickly to kill germs, algae, and other trash. Shock is frequently used after a severe storm, in addition to as part of the pool closure process. For pools in warmer climates, a mid-winter shock may be required.
Algae can be found in plants and soil in their natural state. The spores are blown into the water of outdoor pools by the wind. The spores can, however, be prevented from blooming into a colony if suitable precautions are taken.
To protect your pool from algae growth during the off-season, add a dose of an algaecide according to the package guidelines for pool shutting. Choose one that won't leave a stain on the surface. Allow the pump to operate for 24 hours to ensure that the product is evenly distributed throughout the water.
To eliminate impurities and enhance chlorine residual, shock your pool according to the manufacturer's dosing specifications. To help defend against surface scale during the off-season, use a good pool shock that won't raise the calcium hardness or pH of the water. Allow at least four hours for the product to disseminate throughout the pool by circulating the water.
Winterizing and storing pool equipment is also required for the season. Allowing pool equipment to be exposed to the outdoors leaves it vulnerable to the elements and deterioration.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for turning off all pool equipment.
- Drain your pool slightly if necessary to keep the water level below the skimmer and return lines.
- Drain the equipment entirely by removing all drain plugs, then the pool pump, chlorinator, and hoses.
- Set the multi-valve to winterize if you have a sand filter. If the filter does not have a winter setting, place it between two locations and remove the bottom plug, allowing the filter to drain.
- If your filter is a cartridge, drain it, rinse it with a hose or tap water, and keep it indoors.
- Filters made of DE (diatomaceous earth) should be drained, the DE grids or fingers should be cleaned, and the filter should be reassembled.
The pool cover you select should be long-lasting and suit your pool perfectly. When ordering a pool cover, make sure you know the exact dimensions of the pool.
- Remove the return line's eyeball fitting and replace it with a rubber plug and wing nut.
- Add a skimmer cover after draining the pool to about four to six inches below the skimmer.
- Fill the air pillow with air and set it in the center of your pool.
- Place the pool cover over the pool and attach it with the winter cover clips.
- Remove the ladder and any other items off the deck.
- Store any unused pool chemicals according to the manufacturer's instructions, and discard any products that will lose their efficacy during the winter.