Your Handy Checklist for Winterizing a Pool

For those of us in the northeast, the summer season seems to fly by. As the days start getting shorter and the temperatures start dropping, pool owners are forced to start thinking about the inevitable pool closing.

Filters, pipes, heaters and pumps-they’re all made of durable materials, but when they’re exposed to colder temperatures and ice, they run the risk of cracking. Unless you take the proper precautions for winterizing a pool, you can do serious damage to this important investment-and ruin next year’s swimming enjoyment at the same time!

Start Planning Your Pool Closing Today

While all pools are slightly different in their setup, you can use these simple tips if you’re just learning how to winterize a pool.

Balance your pool water.

When it comes to pool closing, chemicals and pool closing supplies need to be dealt with first. You’ll want to adjust your pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness levels several days to a week before to your pool closing so that you have the time to adjust them if necessary. About one week prior to pool closing, you should shock your pool with granular chlorine to allow the chlorine level to drop before placing the pool cover. Remember, high levels of chlorine can weaken a pool cover, so don’t allow the highly chlorinated pool water to come in contact with it.

Thoroughly clean the pool.

The cleaner your pool is when you cover it, the better it will look next year. In your arsenal of pool closing supplies, you should have pool closing chemicals, which will work on organic matter left in the pool so there’s less chance of algae growth in the winter.

Decrease the level of pool water.

Using a mesh safety cover? Take the level to 8-12″ below the pools  For solid pool covers, lower the level to 3-5″ below the tile. The lower the water, the less damage to your cover.

Introduce your winter pool chemicals.

Look into buying kit, which typically contains algaecide, borate floaters, stain and scale, and non-chlorine shock. While the package instructions usually suggest adding the chemicals before lowering the water, you may find that adding them after boosts so the chemicals’ concentration. Spread the chemicals over your pool surface, using your pool brush to help disseminate them.


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