Winter is not the best time for your pool, so before the snowy season comes in with full force, you should prepare your pool for the tough weather. Winterizing your pool guarantees you that it would survive the season and be spared from possible winter damages.
Pools differ from one another, that is why it is best to consult your pool manufacturer about properly winterizing your pool. But although that’s the case, there are general guidelines in winterizing pools, which would give you a good head start. Here’s a few of them:
1. Remove any deck equipment. This includes ladders, diving boards, rails, and slides. Store them in places where they will be secure and away from the harsh weather.
2. Check the water’s chemical balance. The pH level should be anywhere between 7.2 to 7.6; alkalinity, 80 to 120 ppm; and calcium hardness, 180 to 220 ppm. If the water chemistry is unbalanced, you run the risk of damaging the pool surface. Chemical winterizing kits, which contain the necessary chemical treatments, are available from pool supply stores. Use them as instructed in the product label.
3. Blow out the water from pumping, heating, and filtering systems. You can use a shop vac or air compressor to do this job. Make sure all water comes out. By draining these systems, you avoid the possibility of freezing water and cracking the lines.
4. Lower the water level. This is necessary if your pool has tile liner, because when the water expands, it can push outward and may crack the tile. Keep the water 4 to 6 inches below the skimmer. However, if you have drained your underground pipes and are using gizzmos to plug the skimmer, there is no need to lower the water lever. Remember, the higher the water, the better for the pool to hold the cover.
5. Clean the pool. Remove leaves and other debris using a filter or net. Some owners prefer not to clean the pool, especially if there’s only a few floating debris, and clean it only upon opening the pool in the spring. That would be a logical choice since there is always the possibility of debris getting their way into the pool. However, it is still advisable to clean the pool before closing it for winter to ensure you of clean water come spring.
6. Cover the pool. This will keep debris out of the pool and prevent algae build-up. Pool covers come in different varieties and likewise offer various advantages and disadvantages. Regardless, choose the cover that provides the most protection and fits your pool the best. When installing the cover, make sure the wire is tight enough, so no amount of wind can topple off the cover and expose your pool. To provide support, you can use air pillow or any other floating devices. These devices absorb ice expansion in the pool and prevent the pool sides from cracking.
Be extra careful when winterizing your pool. If you have any questions, contact your pool manufacturer or any pool expert. Don’t take chances, as repairs are painfully costly.