Closing Down Your Swimming Pool for Winter
As the summer season begins to wind down to an end, you should begin to think about closing down your swimming pool. Taking proper care of your swimming pool in the off-season months will prevent a lot of issues that could arise costing you time and money.
When is the Right Time?
The biggest determining factor in when you should close down your swimming pool is the seasonal temperatures of the region you live in. If you live in an area that stays warm year-round like Florida, then you may never need to close your pool. The majority of us are subjected to the cold of the winter months and follow the same schedule as the public pools which is from Memorial Day in May to Labor Day in September.
However, if you use a pool heater this can lengthen your swimming season. For more information on pool heaters see our previous blog, Pool Heaters Can Extend Your Swimming Season.
Another point to take into consideration is the amount of foliage in your area. If you live in a heavily wooded area that produces a large number of leaves you may want to close your pool down instead of constantly cleaning the leaves out and adjusting your chemicals in your pool.
Starting the Process
The first step in closing down your swimming pool is taking care of the water. Check that your water’s pH level is around 7.5. If it’s not, add some dry acid to get it up to that level. Check your chlorine level as well. Use a winterizing product to protect your water from algae that could form during the months your pool is not in use.
You should run your pump around 6 hours a day during the winter months to prevent algae from settling in. This is a good time to check for any leaks, then turn off your skimmer valve and allow the water to drain 6 inches below the skimmer’s bottom. This will put your water level where it should be.
Your Pool Cover
If you have been using a summer cover, remove it and clean well using fresh water. A pressure washer is an ideal cleaning tool if you have access to one. Time to store your summer cover and break out your winter cover. When you place the winter cover over the pool, have a lot of tension on the cover, to prevent and debris from getting underneath it. Routinely check the cover to ensure it remains tight. Tell your family and friends that you have closed down the pool for the winter, and they shouldn’t be around it until re-opened. Pool covers are made to protect your water. Never let a person or pet get on the cover. For helpful information on how you can protect your pool cover from the winter weather visit Swim University.
Your Pool Equipment
After you have finished with the cover it is time to take care of the equipment. Your pump, filter, and heater need to have the water drained from them. They each have a drain plug located at the bottom which makes it simple to drain the water. DO NOT skip over this step when closing down your swimming pool. If the water is not drained, it will freeze and expand inside your equipment, resulting in permanent damage and more expenses for you.
Once you have completed your pool winterizing process, it’s important to still check on it every few days to make sure that everything's still secure and protected. Opening your swimming pool next season will go smoothly when you take the time to close it down properly at the end of the summer.