Closing your swimming pool, or “winterizing” your pool for the season is extremely important. It does take a little time and effort, but doing it right will save you all sorts of unwelcome problems in the spring when you re-open. (Algae, stains, damaged equipment … things could get ugly!) To head off any issues come spring, here are 10 professional tips for closing your swimming pool at the end of the season.
1) When to Close
You don’t want to close your pool too early. If you close too early, you could experience algae growth due to the water temperature being too high. That would be an unfortunate thing to discover next spring. The right time to close your pool is when the temperature is consistently 65°F or lower, but before nighttime temperatures hit freezing. Our weather in Chicagoland can fluctuate, but in general, you can expect to close your pool during October.
2) How Long Does It Take?
Pool closing will probably be about a week-long project. There is no getting around the fact that there are a few tasks on your checklist for closing your pool, but we can’t stress enough how glad you will be that you did them all right.
3) Clean the Pool
Meticulously clean the pool. Debris left behind will decay and can stain your pool and provide food for algae to grow. Run your pump, vacuum, brush the sides, and skim out all debris. A clean pool makes it easy to balance your water properly.
4) Test and Balance the Water
Balance your pool chemistry. Use a water testing kit or come into Aqua Pools and have us test your water for you. You will then need to adjust the water to the recommended chemical levels.
5) Add Winterizing Chemicals
If you buy a winterizing chemical kit, follow the instructions for adding high levels of chlorine (shock) and algaecide to prepare your pool for winter. Typically the chlorine shock is added first, then a day or more later, the algaecide is added.
6) Manage the Water Level
Many of us in Chicagoland do not change the pool water level when closing for the season, other than making sure the water is below the skim line. Check with your local retail pool professionals if you are unsure whether you should adjust your water level. Whether you do so will depend on the type of pool you have.
7) Drain Pump, Filters, Heater, Chlorinator
Drain your pump, making sure no water remains in it. If you have a heater, drain it, and make sure there is no water left inside. If you have a sand filter, clean it by backwashing, then drain thoroughly. Check the chlorinator and be sure nothing remains in it. Remove all plugs and store together in a safe place such as the pump basket. There is also a “Gizzmo” gadget that is often put into skimmers to prevent damage from freezing. Sometimes people add an antifreeze to their pool lines as an extra precaution, but as long as you blow out the lines and winterize properly, it’s really not needed.
8) Remove Pool Accessories
We recommend you remove the pool accessories such as ladders, railings and diving boards to avoid rust damage. Clean and dry any accessories and store them in a dry place.
9) Cover the Pool
There are several options for pool covers, which range considerably in price. Most people opt for a security cover that keeps out sunlight and debris and is strong enough to prevent people or animals from falling through. You will need to remove any water that accumulates on top of the cover. A pool pump is useful for this, and there are both manual and automatic pumps available.
Follow these steps and you’ll have a properly winterized pool! Many people use Winterizing Pool Kits with all the ingredients required and instructions to walk you through the procedure. Closing your pool yourself is a DIY project you can do yourself with a bit of guidance. The professionals at Aqua Pools are here to answer any questions.
And here’s a bonus tip: Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals! Closing your pool for the season isn’t that difficult. However, there are many steps involved in the process, and it can seem intimidating if you have not done it before. If the pool is closed incorrectly you could encounter a number of issues in the spring when you reopen. So, why not save yourself the hassle and call in Aqua Pools to do the job for you?