Nothing beats the convenience of having a private pool in your own backyard. But learning how to winterize a pool is crucial to ownership. Opening a pool that was properly cleaned and balanced is much quicker and easier than opening one that was improperly closed. If you’re looking for instructions on how to clean and winterize your pool, then keep on reading!
When Should you Winterize?
The answer to this question depends heavily on where you live. Homes in California or Arizona probably won’t have to close at all. But, if you live where it gets frigid, your pool will need to be winterized before temperatures dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this it’s best to have your pool shut down in late October, or by mid-November at the latest.
Steps for Winterizing
- Test and Balance the Water: The first step in learning how to close a pool for winter is to test your water using an at-home pool test kit. Once tested, balance your water based on the results–start with balancing alkalinity, then pH, then total hardness. This helps protect your pool from anything that may occur during the off-season. Ideal levels for each are as follows:
- Alkalinity: 80 to 150 ppm
- pH: 7.2 to 7.6
- Total Hardness: 175 to 275 ppm
- Clean the Pool and its Filter: Cleaning the pool thoroughly is an essential part of winterizing a pool. First remove any floating debris from the water with a pool skimmer. Next, using a pole brush and pool vacuum, scrub the sides of the pool and vacuum the pool floor. Lastly, backwash the filter thoroughly and chemically clean the filter media or elements.
- Shock and Circulate: Shocking a pool is a fast and easy way to destroy bacteria, algae, and other waste matter that could already be in your pool. Be sure to shock your pool according to manufacturer’s dosing guidelines to remove contaminants. After shocking your pool, circulate your water for at least four hours to allow the product to disperse throughout the pool.
- Prevent Algae and Circulate: Wind can blow algae spores into the water of outdoor pools. However, proper prevention can keep the spores from blooming into a colony. Add a dose of an algaecide according to label directions during pool closing, then let the pump run for 24 hrs. so the product fully circulates throughout the water.
- Turn off and Winterize Pool Equipment: Pool equipment must also be winterized before it’s stored away for the season. It’s recommended that you complete the checklist below when winterizing your equipment.
- Remove all drain plugs, then remove the pool pump, chlorinator and hoses.
- If you have a sand filter, set the multiplier valve to winterize. If there is no winter setting, set it between the two positions and remove the plug at the bottom, let the filter drain out.
- If you have a cartridge filter, drain it, rinse off the cartridge and store it indoors.
- DE filters should be drained, the DE grids or fingers cleaned and the filter reassembled.
- Bring all equipment indoors for storage over the winter.
- Plug and Cover the Pool: The pool cover you choose should be durable and a good fit. Make sure when picking you know the proper measurements of your pool. Before installing the cover, remove the eyeball fitting on your return line and plug it with a rubber plug and wing nut. Next, drain the pool about four to six inches below the skimmer then add a skimmer cover. While waiting for your pool to drain a couple inches, it would be a good time to blow up the air pillow to be placed in the middle of your pool. Once those steps are complete, you can remove the ladder and other deck equipment, then put on the pool cover and secure it with cover clips.
A Few Final Notes
If you love the idea of a pool, but don’t have the time or the motivation to keep up with it yourself you can always hire someone to take care of the maintenance for you. This will cost you roughly $100 per hour through most services, but you may be able to cut out the middleman by paying someone directly.
Give us a call. You won’t be disappointed!
When in doubt, give us a call at Terry’s Plumbing! As your reputable plumber in Pittsburgh, we can help you with your plumbing-related issues. Call today at 412-364-9114.