Sunshine, warm breezes, pool-side fun…winter? Just when you get into the groove of enjoying day after day relaxing in the sparkling water of your swimming pool, the thermometer tells you it’s time to say goodbye to summer and close up the pool for the season. No one looks forward to it, but if done correctly, closing your pool will make opening your pool next spring a lot easier – allowing you and your family to enjoy the pleasures of your pool that much sooner when the warm weather returns. Here is our quick tutorial to help you learn how to close your pool.
Step 1: Balance Pool Water. Properly balancing your pool water can protect the pool’s vinyl liner or concrete surface and leave the water in top shape for next spring. To make sure your pool water is properly balanced for the winter, bring us a sample to be professionally tested in our in-store lab for total alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness levels. These levels should be adjusted to 80 – 120 ppm for total alkalinity; 7.2 – 7.6 for pH; and 200-300 ppm for calcium hardness.
Step 2: Water treatment. The next step is to pick up a pool winterizing kit, which contains the essential products that you will need to close your pool. These include ‘OxyPro’ chlorine shock for oxidizing out contaminants from pool water; ‘Stain Prevent’ for stopping mineral and scale deposits and water discolouration; and ‘Algikill 600’ for preventing algae growth in the pool.
Step 3: Make sure there are no leaks in your pool by keeping a close watch on pool water levels a few weeks before you close the pool. Water leaking from your pool during the winter will freeze – causing structural and liner damage.
Step 4: Remove the solar cover or solar blanket, clean it with ‘Cover Cleaner’ and allow it to dry before storing for the winter. Remove all leaves, twigs, insects and debris from the pool using a hand-held leaf skimmer. Smaller contaminants can be removed with a hand-held or automatic pool cleaner. Pool ladders, portable steps, automatic pool cleaners, safety ropes and solar cover reels can then be removed and stored for the winter.
Step 5: Lower the water level in in-ground pools by draining the pool 2.5 cm (1 in.) below the lowest fitting (return or suction) in the wall with a submersible pump. For aboveground pools, ask us for recommended water levels during the winter.
Step 6: Remove water from the lines using a shop vac. Gas, oil-fired and electric heaters and heat pumps – as well as chlorinators and brominators – must also be drained of water. Allow water to drain out of the filter tank and pump by removing the drain plugs. Any residual water in the pump can be removed with a cup or sponge. Remove and store the pump strainer basket, filter gauges and sight glasses. If your chorinator or brominator cannot be drained, remove it and store for the winter. Nature2 vessels should also be drained and removed. Adding specially formulated, non-toxic anti-freeze to the plumbing lines is an added safety measure. We offer this type of anti-freeze for closing your swimming pool. All returns and skimmer holes should be inserted with winterizing plugs. To prevent further damage to the skimmer, add a foam skimmer block.
Step 7: Clean sand filters and cartridge filters with ‘Filter Cleaner’ and store the cartridge filter element. For diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filters, disassemble the filter and clean the elements or grids.
Step 8: After a visual check to see if everything has been done around the pool, place a winter safety cover over the pool and adjust the attached cover straps to ensure that there are no spaces between the pool deck area and the cover. For winter pool covers anchored by water tubes, place the cover over the pool, fill the tubes with water, and place them around the edge of the cover, end to end.
Step 9: The final step is to ensure that all swimming pool chemical containers are shut tight and stored for the winter in a place that is dark, cool and dry and far away from other stored cleaning products.
If you are unfamiliar with the swimming pool winterizing process, it’s best to leave it for us to do. Our experienced service technicians will drain and winterize the plumbing lines and plumbing equipment, lower the pool’s water level, shock (superchlorinate) and balance pool water, brush away dirt from the pool floor, walls and waterline, remove debris with a pool vacuum, remove and store the deck furniture, solar cover & reel, and install the safety cover. In one afternoon, your pool will be ready for the winter and a trouble-free start-up in the spring.
This is also a good time to plan ahead for next season’s pool opening by booking an appointment with us. This way – you will be first in line during the big spring rush when everyone else in town is trying to get their pool opened at the same time.