It’s important to properly winterize your in ground pool, otherwise it can become damaged when the water freezes. It’s also a good idea to chemically prepare the pool water so it’s clean when spring arrives. There are a few jobs that need to be completed to winterize your pool, but by preparing correctly you’ll save a lot of time when you want to go swimming next spring.
Adjusting Chemical Levels
The first step to winterizing your pool is to check the chemical levels. If any of the chemicals are unbalanced, or if the water is too acidic, the pool can suffer from corrosion during the winter months. Some chemical levels to check include the calcium hardness, pH and alkalinity. Adjust the levels before shutting down your pool.
To keep your pool looking attractive and inviting for next season, many people add a winterizing kit to the water. This helps to keep the water looking clear and blue.
It’s important to remember that if water freezes it’ll expand. This can damage the pool itself, along with any pipes and filters. The skimmer is one of the most vulnerable parts of the pool if the water freezes, so you should lower the water level below it. It’s important not to drain the entire pool though. After you’ve lowered the water levels, use an air compressor to force water through the skimmer and out of the system so it can’t freeze. You can also use a shop vac for this.
It’s a good idea to drain water from the filter too. This should be an easy process, as most filters have a built in plug to allow for drainage. The valve should be put into the closed position, and make sure the pump is also drained.
Once you’ve completed all the other jobs for winterizing your pool, you should cover it. This stops debris from falling into the pool water. If possible, you should use a completely opaque cover. This blocks all sunlight, and prevents algae from growing through the winter months. The better you winterize your pool the less work you’ll have to do in spring, so spending more on an opaque cover is often worth the money.
You shouldn’t use concrete blocks to hold covers in place. Instead, use water tubes as these are less likely to damage the pool or the cover. Don’t fill the tubes completely though – leave around a quarter of the volume free in case the water in the tubes freezes and expands.
A common problem when covering a pool is build-up of water on the liner. To prevent this, you can install a cover pump to drain any excess water. This is an important step, as if too much water builds up the cover could rip. You can also use an air pillow to raise the cover in a dome shape if you don’t want to use a pump.