Specializing in Liner Replacements and Safety Covers
How Do I Winterize My In-Ground Pool?
In areas like the northeast, where the cold winter weather can significantly affect everything around your home, protecting your most important products from the cold is key. That especially goes for your in-ground pool. Winterizing your pool involves removing water and important parts while preventing bacteria from building in your pool that could lead to an awfully uncomfortable swim next summer. But how do you properly complete the process? We’ll show you how to winterize your pool!
The Importance of Winterizing
Making sure your pool is adequately winterized accomplishes the dual task of maintaining your equipment and plumbing while making it easier to open up your pool once the weather gets warmer. Costly damage can occur when your pool is not properly closed during the winter months. Surface freezes can tear through vinyl pool liners, and winterizing can also prevent the need for the expensive removal of algae and other bacteria. The last thing you want to do is send your kids into a pool filled with filthy debris, so make sure to winterize your pool.
The First Step — Collect Your Tools
The first thing you want to do before starting the process is collect the tools you need for the job. Not only will this prepare you for battle, but it will save you a ton of time, especially if you’re working on a cold day. Here are the things you’ll need to properly winterize your pool:
- Water balancing chemicals
- Skimmer, brush, and vacuum attachments
- Winter cover
- Leaf net
- Non-toxic pool anti-freeze
- Water tubes/water cover blocks
- Submersible pump
- Blowout extension
- Safety cover
Remove and Store Your Pool Accessories
Before beginning, make sure to remove essential accessories from your pool. Things like ladders, handrails, skimmer baskets, fill spouts, pool cleaners, and more can be stored away for safekeeping. Wash them off and place them in a safe location for the winter months.
Deep Clean Your Pool
Giving your pool a deep clean makes it much easier to prevent algae, dirt, and debris from staying present or growing over winter. First, use skim nets to go over the pool’s surface, then brush off the sides and floor of the pool to loosen any hardened remnants. Additionally, don’t forget to keep your pool covered when completing the following steps, as it can prevent falling leaves and elements from ruining your hard work.
The water chemistry of your pool must be perfectly balanced when winterizing. So you first want to add chemicals to the pool and ensure they’re shock, algaecide, and metal-free. Add chemicals first to allow them to dissolve completely in the water. If any of the chemicals settle to the bottom of the pool, use a pool brush to move them around and make it easier for them to dissolve.
Before adding your chemicals, make sure you adhere to proper balancing ranges. Your pH should be 7.4-7.6 ppm, total alkalinity around 80-120 ppm, calcium hardness anywhere from 200-400 ppm, and chlorine anywhere from 2.0-4.0 ppm.
Lower Water Level Below Skimmer
Lowering the water level below the skimmer makes it easier to blow out the skimmer lines and ensure they are entirely free from any water during the winter. If you have a vinyl pool liner and live in an area with high water tables, you should keep your water at a normal operating level for the entire winter; this will help ensure that your liner does not float.
Remove Fittings From the Return Lines
Remove all fittings from your return lines, including directional flow fittings, quick-release fittings for your pool vacuum, or anything else attached to your pool returns. You should also remove baskets from both the skimmer and from the pump and the plug from your filter. If you have a DE filter, replace the plug when you blow the lines after the water has drained.
Blow Out The Lines
Blow all the water out of the skimmer, the main drain, and your returns. It’s essential to keep the air blowing through your returns until you have them all plugged in. Start with the return that is closest to the pool pump and filter. Make sure to open all the lines in the pool to blow the air through your chlorinator hot water heater or any other things that are plumbed and not in line with the rest of the pool. After you have blown all of your returns, your main drain should have air bubbles coming through it from your blower. Close the valve for the main drain to block water from returning to the line.
The next step involves removing all the plugs from your filter, pump, chlorinator, and heater (if you have one). Any other equipment around the pool should be checked to see if there are plugs that need to be removed during the winterizing process. If your pool has a heater, check the owner’s manual for any other steps that need to be taken while winterizing, or reach out to a local pool expert for additional information.
Now is the time to put on your safety cover. Getting a pool safety cover installation is vital during the winter, as the safety cover protects your pool and keeps you, your family, and your pets safe through the winter. A good safety cover will keep your water clean and free from algae all winter long, allowing for a more straightforward process when starting up during the winter. Additionally, safety covers prevent the elements from ruining all the work you did to keep the pool clean. Why go through all that trouble just to wake up the next day and find debris scattered all over? Get your safety cover installed today and avoid preventable pool problems.
Protect Your Pool the Right Way — Let S&R Pools Provide What You Need
Remember, every pool is different, and there could be some things that are not mentioned that should be done for your pool. It is best to consult a pool professional, especially if this is your first year owning a pool. Pools are investments and ones that you likely plan on having for a long time. So take your time protecting it the right way, and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come! Contact S&R Pools today for more insight into winterizing your pool, or learn about our beautiful pool liner patterns and designs that help create the aesthetic you crave!