Winter is officially here! It’s time to winterize the pool. You may be thinking “but it’s so warm out, I can use my pool year round!” but unless you plan on using the pool and cleaning it regularly, you may want to consider winterization to save time, effort, and money during the season you probably won’t want to swim.
Let’s talk about the steps of winterization
1. Remove debris
Using a pool vacuum or a net, remove leaves, dirt, bugs, and other debris from the pool water. Clean the skimmer and pump basket. Clean tile with tile cleaner, to prevent buildup over winter.
2. pH levels
Adjust the water to the recommended pH levels to keep corrosion and build up from damaging your pool. Things like alkalinity, calcium, and chlorination should also be checked and adjusted. Some chemical kits are designed for winterization and should be considered. They often contain algaecide and extra chlorine.
3. Be careful of chemical levels
More chlorine isn’t always a good idea. To prevent damage to equipment, avoid using tablets or floaters. If you’ve used a tablet or other chemicals recently, you may want to wait for those chemicals to wear off before adding a winterization kit.
4. Drain water to below the skimmer
Do not fully empty the pool, it can cause freeze damage if temperatures get low enough.
5. Disconnect pumps and heaters
Once the water is drained, unplug pumps and heaters, and if possible, turn them upside down to ensure excess water is removed. You can use a compressor or shop vac to assure all water is removed from a heater. Drain plugs should be removed and stored. Also remove jet fittings, skimmer baskets, and pump baskets.
6. Remove water from all pipes
Using a compressor or a wet-dry shop vac, force all air out of plumbing and skimmers, drain lines, gate valves, etc.
7. Clean filter
Remove filter hoses, spray the filter elements and diatomaceous earth grids with Filter Cleaner, and rinse. Sand filters will need back-washing. Drain water from the filter as well.
8. Flotation device
This is used to balance the rainwater and ice that will form on the winter cover and it eases the pressure on the pool walls.
These covers are stronger and more reliable than summer covers since they’re meant to withstand rain and ice. Ensure the cover has no rips, tears, or holes. They can be patched to an extent, but replacement may be needed. There are multiple cover options, so do your research or ask your local pool companies.
10. Store diving boards, ropes, floats, and supplies
Keep things like ladders, diving boards, pump baskets, and anything that was removed during winterization and keep them in a garage or other dry place to prevent damage.