The most depressing season of the year has arrived for pool owners: pool closure season. The last thing you want to do after the previous pool celebrations on Labor Day is to worry about whether you closed your pool correctly.
That’s why, just like we did in May for opening your pool, we created a list of instructions for closing your pool in winter. Follow these nine steps to properly close your pool so you don’t have to worry about it throughout the winter and may enjoy it for many years.
Closing Your Pool in Winter with These Easy Steps
Bring the water’s chemistry into balance
This step needs to be completed 24 hours before the following stages. Balancing chemicals adjust the water’s pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness. Chemical balancing prevents the pool from scale formation throughout the cold months. Additionally, you may shock the pool with chlorine and use algae removal solutions to eliminate any lingering germs and prevent algae growth.
Clean the pool
After allowing the chemicals to circulate for twenty-four hours, you should clean the pool in the same manner as you would during a standard cleaning by vacuuming the sides and bottom of the pool and removing any debris that is floating in the water. Empty the skimmer basket. Afterward, you may take down the rails and ladders, wash them, spread them out to dry, and then put them away appropriately.
Switch off the filter and skimmer valve
Turn off your pool heater’s pilot, the gas supply, and the valve. Disconnect the pressure switch on gas heaters with pressure switches attached to a siphon loop to empty the copper tubing. Ensure your heater is clean of pool water by opening the drain plugs on both the intake and output headers.
Turn off the pump, light, and heating using the circuit breaker panel. If your pool pump has a timer clock, switch it off and remove the timer dogs. Disconnect electricity to any additional electrical components, such as a salt system or chemical pump, that you do not wish to function throughout the winter.
Add shock and algaecide
Add shock, which kills germs, and algaecide, which kills algae, before covering the pool. Depending on the sort of shock you purchase, you may need to perform this a few days before closing the pool. Follow the instructions on the packaging and be careful to equally disperse the chemicals around the pool rather than dumping them in one spot. Only add algaecide simultaneously if you are utilizing chlorine shock (as opposed to non-chlorine surprise).
Clean the filter and filter tank
Now you can start taking apart the filter and cleaning it. Open the vent valve at the top of the tank to get started. Take out the plug at the bottom of the tank to wash the water quickly. Once it’s been drained, take the tank’s lid off. Take the filter grids out of the tank by lifting them. To clean them, you can hose them off and let them soak in a filter cleaner for 12 hours. A large bucket or trash can is an excellent place to soak them. After they have been cleaned and dried, you can put them back in the filter tank, which has been emptied and dried.
Cover the pool
Cover your pool completely to protect it from damage caused by weather or extreme temperatures in the wintertime. If you allow the water to freeze over, it can cause you costly repairs. Even the slightest crack can cause massive damage if freezing water freezes around your filter.
Open the pool end to drain the water thoroughly so that ice doesn’t form around the filter. Cover the water and the pump with heavy-duty plastic sheeting and ensure no gaps for the water to leak out.
Remove All Pool Equipment
Always shut down the pool so debris won’t fall to the bottom. Please remove all pool equipment (filter, pump, heater, motor, etc.), so they won’t rust when the weather gets warm again. If you have a removable ladder or something you can hang over your ladder, it will help prevent the spread of debris when you pull the ladder in and save your back when you pull the ladder up.
Ensure all the pipes attached to your pump or filter are drained adequately with water. Since most of these pipes get air in them during winter, ensure they are properly drained, or else it will cause your pump to rust.
Use Air Pillow for an Above-Ground Pool
This is ideal for above-ground pools that don’t have walls that protect them from the cold as in-ground pools do. Between the water and the cover, an air pillow helps take the pressure of freezing and thawing.
Always check the manufacturer’s instructions, but here are the steps to put in an air pillow:
- Allow the air cushion to compress, and only fill it up to 60% to 80% of its maximum capacity.
- Put a strong string through the holes on each end of the pillow.
- Place the air pillow in the middle of the pool.
Monitor on a Monthly Basis
To keep your pool free of germs and stains, and scale all winter long, stock up on additional test kits and use one each month. Remember that you want your water to be between 7.3 and 7.6 on the pH scale, have a calcium hardness of 175-225 parts per million, and have an alkalinity of 80 to 120 parts per million.
Closing a pool for winter can be an unpleasant task and is an essential part of pool maintenance. During the winter, it’s vital to protect the pool to avoid damage from freezing temperatures or water damage from water entering and accumulating in the pit. This step must be done carefully, as pools must be drained completely, so they cannot re-fill after winter. Following these basic steps will allow you to close your pool for winter effectively and ensure your pool is healthy for use next Spring. You will be so glad next year that you did! We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!
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