Winter will soon be here, and even in warmer locales, homeowners are getting ready to close their pools and spas until springtime. It’s essential to get your pool in good shape for closing time. Reading through these common-sense closing instructions will make opening your pool in the spring so much easier! You can prevent algae and bacteria growth, tearing or staining of your liner, and cracking or damage to your pool structure – all by following these easy steps. Closing a pool is not as hard as it may seem, especially if you take the time to read about the process beforehand. In order to ensure the well-being of your pool, make sure you understand each part of the pool closing process and why it’s so essential.
- Check for leaks. Both above-ground and in-ground pool owners should double-check that their pool is free from leaks. Think about how pot-holes are created: If water enters a hole or cracked area and freezes, it will expand, causing additional damage to the road (or in this case, your pool).
- Winterize your pool one week before you decide to close. There are many product options for owners looking to prep their pool for winter. Phosphate removers are a great idea, as they prevent algae from growing in the water and make cleanup in the spring much easier.
- Vacuum and brush your pool to remove dirt and debris. Like adding phosphate removers, this also prevents algal growth in your pool over the winter.
- Make sure the water is at the proper level! If you live in a location that doesn’t experience freezing temperatures, your pool should be filled almost to the top. Residents of freezing climates should keep their water level two to six inches below the tile line or skimmer.
- Balance water chemistry: pH and alkalinity should be at normal levels. Make sure to mix all granulated chemicals in a bucket before pouring into the pool. It may seem like a pointless extra step, but it’s seriously important. This ensures that all granules are dissolved; if not, they will settle on the bottom of the pool and stain the liner.
- Shock and chlorinate your pool to kill any bacteria in the water that could multiply over the winter, making spring cleanup more difficult.
- Clean your filter. Cartridge filters must be removed and cleaned. Sand filters can be backwashed and used for approximately five seasons.
- Blow out or drain pool lines and heater compartments. This can be accomplished with an air compressor or shop vac. Add antifreeze if there is a chance that the lines may not be completely emptied of water.
- Remove ladders, handrails, toys, and accessories. Underwater lights do not need to be removed.
- Place an air pillow in the pool. This prevents ice from putting stress on the walls of the pool and forces debris/water to the sides of the pool.
- Cover the pool. Safety covers should be pulled taut over the surface of the pool. Winter covers should not be tented in the middle or tight across the surface of the pool – they should be larger than the pool itself and have room in the center to catch precipitation. However, if a large amount of standing water gathers on the cover during wintertime, remove it with a pump.
- Cover or remove your pool lift. If you have a lift that is removable, you may want to store it indoors over the winter months, especially if snow or freezing rain are in the forecast. Otherwise, plan on using a protective cover that is made for pool lifts.
This post was written by a contributor for Global Lift Corp – the leader in safe, high-quality, ADA-compliant pool lifts.