With temperatures dipping down in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, knowing how to winterize your pool will save you heartache and money next spring. Hawaiian Pools outlines seven basic steps for your in-ground swimming pools’ protection.
- Balance the water chemistry:About a week prior to closing your pool, adjust the water balance within the ranges below:
Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm
Several days before closing, shock the pool with a chlorine shock, or non-chlorine shock. Using at least 2 lb. per 10,000 gallons of water (follow the instructions on the package). Allow the chlorine level to return to 1.0-3.0 ppm before adding any winter algaecide and placing on your cover. Never add chlorine shock and algaecide at the same time and not right before covering it. At the very least, shock the night before you plan to close your pool, and run the filter all night long.2. Remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaner, solar cover and ladders from the pool.Put these in a safe location during the winter. Don’t coil pool cleaners’ hoses tight, and be sure the cleaner and hose is completely drained.3. Clean the pool. Skim, vacuum and brush the pool. The leaf-rake type of skim nets is best, and are useful for scooping large amounts of leaves and debris from the pool floor. Brush your pool thoroughly after vacuuming it. You want your pool as clean as possible before covering, so give it one more skimming right before you put on the cover. If possible, give it some extra filtering before closing, and run it 24 hours a day for a few days.4. Lower water level in the pool. Using the filter pump, or a submersible pump, lower the level 12-18” below the skimmer mesh covers, and 3-6” below the skimmer for solid, floating covers. For pools with a separate main drain, close off the skimmers and drain to waste (DE and sand filters), out the waste line. For cartridge filters, or systems with no main drain, use a submersible pump or self-priming pump on the deck, to lower the water level.5. Drain all pumping, filtering, heating and chlorinating equipment. Most every pump, filter, heater and some chlorinators have drain plugs or caps to allow the water to drain. All water must be drained or blown out of it, or it will freeze and crack. After draining, D.E. filter grids or cartridge filters should be removed and cleaned thoroughly. Using a small amount of air from a shop vacuum or a compressor, blow out any water that may still be in the equipment. Keep the drain plugs removed during the winter.6. Winterize the plumbing to and from the pool. After you are done draining the system, plug the lines at the pool using expansion plugs. If you don’t blow the lines, you can add swimming pool antifreeze to the line by following the directions on the packaging. This is a good time to add winterizing algaecides and other floaters.
7. Cover the pool. A tight fit for your pool cover is essential. Your cover should be free of holes or gaps where leaves and debris may enter the pool. Water bags can be used to secure the pool cover. A leaf net can be used if you have a lot of trees surrounding your pool.
The above steps are the basics to winterize your pool. We have maintenance packages available for your convenience that can save you valuable time. Feel free to stop in our showroom or call to set up an appointment to discuss your options.