Winterizing your pool effectively prevents stained walls and algae buildup. As a result, homeowners can significantly reduce pool maintenance work and costs before spring.
Lucky for you, the following guide describes the steps to winterize the swimming pool.
- What is Winterizing?
- Remove pool accessories
- Gathering pool equipment
- Water balancing
- Pool shock
- Gradual water level reduction
- Cover pool
If you don’t winterize, the water freezes and expands, causing severe damage to the equipment, filtration, plumbing, and vinyl walls of the pool.
What is Winterizing?
As the name suggests, winterizing is a process of closing the pool during cold months to prevent winter-related damage due to temperature fluctuation.
It’s one of the most effective ways to keep debris, dirt, and other contaminants away from the pool.
If water remains in the pool for an extended period in winter after disconnecting the filtration system, the still water becomes a perfect home for algae, bacteria, and other viruses.
Generally speaking, there are two types of winterizing:
- Active - If the outdoor temperature remains above 41F degrees, the swimming pool doesn’t freeze. In such cases, you can keep the pool field while running the filtration system in idle mode for at least two hours per day. However, homeowners must monitor the pool to prevent freezing if the outdoor temperature drops below freezing.
- Passive - If the outdoor temperature falls below 41F degrees, the owners must drain the water out of the pool to prevent any freezing damage.
Remove Pool Accessories
First, remove all inflatables, pool toys, and other accessories from the pool. Next, you can deflate the tubes and store these accessories for next season's use.
Leaving the accessories in the dry or filled pool during winter attracts algae and mold.
Similarly, you should remove detachable hand railing and ladder from the swimming pool. Before storing the pool accessories, you can rub alcohol or bleach on them to kill off bacteria or germs on their surface.
Gather Pool Equipment
Before winterizing the pool, you can go through the following checklist:
- Comprehensive test kit to check water alkalinity, pH levels, and calcium traces.
- Chlorine and other pool chemicals.
- Protective gear and safety gadgets like gloves and goggles while working with chemicals.
- Pool vacuum, brush, telescoping pole, and skimmer.
- A swimming pool cover to prevent any accident of someone falling in the pool while unattended.
It’s best to check the pH levels of water before draining. This way, you can record the water chemistry to save yourself from the hassle of water balancing and pool filling after the winter season.
Generally, the alkaline levels of the pool range from 80 to 120 PPM (parts per million). Similarly, the calcium hardness is approximately 200 PPM. Lastly, the pH levels should vary between 7.4 to 7.6.
You can invest in a good quality kit to check the alkalinity, pH, and hardness and write on paper to use the information while filling the pool again in spring.
On the downside, if the above levels are significantly off, it may lead to corrosion and algae buildup.
Pool shock adds chlorine and other chemicals in the water to kill germs, bacteria, and other contaminants.
These pool chemicals include:
- Chlorine - tablets, liquid, or powder
- Pool shock
- Sodium bicarbonate to improve pH levels
The goal of pool owners is to sanitize the pool to ensure the family’s health as well as reduce maintenance costs. Therefore, it’s best to shock the pool for two to three days before draining it.
To actively winterize the pool, you should regularly test the pool water and check chlorine levels. Typically, one to three PPM of chlorine levels is effective in preventing algae and bacteria growth.
Gradual Water Level Reduction
You shouldn’t drain the water in one go; instead, it’s best to lower the levels slowly. Generally, you can keep the water levels around 5 to 6 inches below the skimmer intake.
Pool chemicals certainly kill off the bacteria, while the pool net removes the leaves and other visible dirt. However, scrubbing is an effective way to clean the pool walls and floor to remove dirt buildup.
Next, you can completely drain the water and clean the filter. However, owners have different viewpoints regarding completely emptying the water from the pool.
Owners lower the water and place a solid cover to ensure air circulation to prevent damage and dryness. However, the pool can overflow in case of excess rain and snow.
Nonetheless, it’s best to keep the water levels as low as possible; else, water can freeze, damaging the skimmer.
You can backwash the sand or diatomaceous earth (DE) filter, disconnect and store it. The filter’s manual can guide you in selecting the settings for backwashing.
Conversely, if you have a cartridge filter, you can remove and clean the filter using a garden hose before draining the pool.
While cleaning the filter, you can inspect the filter’s condition and check for any damages that can hamper its performance. You should immediately replace a damaged cartridge filter.
A pool cover is a long-term investment for pool owners to protect the pool from harsh weather while keeping the rain, snow, debris, and dirt away from the pool.
It’s best to use a mesh pool cover which collects the leaves, debris, and other dirt on the surface while allowing the rainwater to pass through.
Trust Experts to Winterize Your Pool
Are the holidays approaching, and you haven’t winterized your pool yet?
Don’t worry; you can call the Clean Living Pool and Spa, offering professional winterizing services. Hence, you don’t have to perform the tedious effort of cleaning and draining the pool.
A staff of expert pool cleaners performs high-quality pool maintenance, which includes chemical costs. From pool repair to maintenance and other consulting services, they have covered for you.
Clean Living Pool and Spa offers the following benefits:
- Certified team members
- Guaranteed services
- Higher customer satisfaction
- Decades of experience
- Affordable services
You can’t compromise on the maintenance and cleanliness of your swimming pool. That’s why it’s best to winterize the pool by SCHEDULING an appointment today.