As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, it’s time to prepare your pool for the winter season. Proper pool winterization is essential to prevent the buildup of chemical residues and algae, which can lead to costly and time-consuming cleanup efforts in the spring. The second reason it’s important is because it minimizes the risk of bacterial infections in untreated, standing water.
Closing the pool correctly ahead of winter helps avoid potential malfunctioning of equipment and prevents wear and tear due to frozen water. For many people, pool maintenance during the freezing winter months can be impractical, making winterization an essential endeavor
Tortorella experts have developed this comprehensive and professional guide to winterizing your pool. Let us get started:
- Use the Right Winterizing Supplies
A pool maintenance professional will have all the right supplies at hand to make sure the winterization goes smoothly – this includes:
- Pool cover (either a solid or mesh cover)
- Winterizing chemicals (pool shock, algaecide, and winterizing kits)
- Skimmer guards or plugs
- Pool air pillow or a pool cover pump
- Pool brush and vacuum
- Winterizing plugs for return lines
- A pool cover cable and winch or cover clips
- Clean and Balance the Water
A professional will start by thoroughly cleaning your pool. They will most likely use a combination of pool brush and vacuum to remove debris, leaves, and algae from the pool walls and floor. The professional will ensure the water is as clean as possible before closing it for the season. Next, they will test the water chemistry using a reliable pool water test kit. Adjusting the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels to their recommended ranges. This step is crucial because unbalanced water can lead to scaling or corrosion during winter.
- Lower the Water Level
To prevent damage from freezing, a pool maintenance professional will always lower the water level in your pool. Using the submersible pump to lower the water level to just below the skimmer opening. This ensures that ice expansion won’t damage the skimmer or pool plumbing.
- Winterize the Plumbing
To protect your pool’s plumbing from freezing, the next step is to blow out the lines or use antifreeze. This step is a little tricky, but a professional pool service technician will know exactly what to do here. In basic terms here is a simplified overview of the process:
- Disconnect and drain the pool pump, filter, and heater if you have one.
- Remove any drain plugs from the pump and filter and store them safely.
- Blow out the return lines using a pool blower or shop vacuum.
- Add antifreeze to the lines or use winterizing plugs to seal them.
- Cap the skimmer and main drain lines to prevent water from entering.
- Add Winterizing Chemicals
The next step involves adding winterizing chemicals to your pool. Typically, this involves adding pool shock and algaecide to prevent algae growth and keep the water clear throughout the winter.
- Cover Your Pool
Your pool company will likely have advised on a solid or mesh pool cover, depending on your preferences and climate. Closing your pool with a solid cover will block out all sunlight and prevent algae growth, while a mesh cover will allow water to pass through but keep debris out. They will work to secure the cover using cover clips or a cable and winch and ensure it’s taut.
- Winterize the Pool Equipment
Lastly, a good pool company will go the extra mile and store all pool equipment such as skimmer baskets, hoses, and brushes in a dry and protected area for the winter. They will ensure everything is clean and in good condition to prevent damage during storage.
- Monitor Your Pool Throughout Winter
Having a pool technician pop back over the winter months to check your pool periodically is a good idea. They will remove excess water or debris from the pool cover using a pump or siphon. Ensure that the cover remains secure and that there are no tears or openings where debris can fall through.
- Plan for Spring Opening
As winter ends and the weather starts warming up, it’s time to reopen your pool. Your pool maintenance provider will remove the pool cover carefully, clean it, and store it properly. They will reinstall all pool equipment, reconnect plumbing, and refill the pool to its normal water level. Lastly, they will test the water chemistry and adjust so you can enjoy a clean and refreshing dip.
We hope these tips help you be better prepared to winterize your pool and protect it from the harsh winter conditions. Contact Tortorella if you’re new to pool closing and need guidance on how to close your pool before winter.