It’s been great. We’ve had a perfect summer of swimming in the cool blue water of our backyard pools. Our tans haven’t completely faded yet, and the memories of all the fun are very much with us. It is sad, but we have to face it. Summer is over and we need to close up the pool for the winter. For those of us in the Homer Glen and Worth area of Illinois, closing our pools at the end of the season isn’t a simple matter of putting on the pool cover and shutting down the heater. Due to our severe winters, we need to winterize our pools to protect our pool equipment from damage due to freezing. Do we have your attention now? You definitely want to know the answer to the question: “How do I protect pool equipment from freezing?” The answer is you need to winterize your swimming pool.
Why Do We Need to Winterize Our Pools?
It is essential to protect pool equipment from freezing. If water is left behind in pipes, pumps, heaters, or filtration equipment it will freeze, expand, and cause considerable damage. When water freezes, it expands 9-10% in volume, which can burst pipes, and crack any plastic or metal machinery that has been left with water in it. Those repairs or equipment replacements are very costly. Winterizing your swimming pool means draining water from all pipes and equipment, among other things.
What Steps to Take to Protect Pool Equipment from Freezing
When our Chicago area weather starts to cool down, typically mid to late October, we need to winterize our pools. Our daytime temperatures will be consistently lower than 65° and nighttime temperatures in the mid-40s. What are the steps to take when winterizing your pool?
- Clean the pool. Give the pool a thorough cleaning, including skimming all debris, brushing the sides, and vacuuming. It is a good idea to backwash the filter as well.
- Add winter chemicals. There are convenient winter pool closing kits available to facilitate this process. You will balance the pH, shock the pool, run the filter for 24-48 hours, and add algaecide.
- Winterize the equipment. Following your equipment manufacturer’s instructions, all water needs to be drained from the pump and heater. Remove all plugs and stash them away where you can find them. Blow all water out of the plumbing lines using an air blower or liner vac. Plug up the skimmer and returns so no water goes in or out. Many people use a skimmer plate guard to prevent any water from getting in which could freeze and crack the skimmer.
- Remove pool accessories. Take down diving boards, ladders, railings, and other pool accessories and store them away.
- Turn off all power to equipment and flip the circuit breakers to the off position.
- Cover the pool. Use a solid or mesh safety cover, or an automatic cover.
In our climate, you need to protect your pool equipment from freezing. As you can see from the information above, there are a lot of steps involved in the process of winterizing your pool. It definitely can be a DIY project, but if it all seems too involved or complicated, you can call in the pros from Aqua Pools to do the job for you. Our pool techs have years of experience winterizing pools in our area. Don’t hesitate to call on Aqua Pools to perform this service. You can be at peace all winter long, knowing that when you reopen your pool in the spring, all will be as it should be.