As summer fades into fall, it’s time to get ready to winterize your inground pool. Doing so will completely prepare you and your pool for the coming cold winter months.
If the weather forecast promises a few more warm weekends that welcome fun in the sun, Fall Pool Care 101 has some great advice about what to do in the meantime!
What do we mean by winterizing, anyway?
Generally speaking, winterizing your swimming pool involves shutting off and/or storing all pool equipment, including pulling the drain plugs, and lowering the water to the bottom of the tile around the edges.
Does this seem like a complex and lengthy process? It can be, particularly for newbies, but we’re ready to walk you through it. As long as you fully understand the entire process and have the right equipment at hand, everything will work out just right and leave you with a sense of accomplishment.
Here’s how to get started:
Clean the Surface of Your Pool
Remove any debris floating around on the surface of the water. Scrub the tiles with a pool brush, paying specific attention to the areas where dirt and algae usually form. Afterwards, run the pool vacuum to clear out all the buildup you’ve scrubbed off the sides.
Test and Balance the Water
It is important to ensure the chemicals are accurately balanced. Pool chemistry test kits are affordable and easy to find at your local pool shop or home repair store. Here are the main levels you want to aim for:
pH: 7.4 to 7.6
Total Alkalinity: 80 to 140 ppm
Chlorine: 2 to 3 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 200 to 400 ppm
Pour in the Winterizing Chemicals
The chemicals you’ll need include an algaecide, pool shock treatment, sodium bicarbonate, and chlorine. These are all things that most pool owners already have on hand.
Minimize the Water Level
If you’re using a mesh cover, drop the level of water halfway below the skimmer. For solid covers, decreasing the water level by only a few inches will do. Never lower the water excessively when using a solid cover because it may cause damage by overdrying the cover itself.
Remove Deck Equipment
Skimmer baskets, diving boards, ladders, eyeball fittings, rails, ropes, and any other equipment attached to your swimming pool should all be removed. Store them in a safe place, away from the elements.
Blow Out the Water Lines
You can use an air compressor, blower, or a shop vac for this task. First, you need to open the valves and the drain plug. Then you’ll connect the blower to the pump. You’ll eventually see air bubbles emerging from the skimmers and return lines. Once the bubbles case, remove the blower and plug all of the skimmers using winter plugs. All the return lines should be plugged before switching off the blower.
Clean the Pump and Filter and Then Disconnect
Backwash and rinse out the filter and pump. Switch off the power and set it to winterize. Then, make sure to disconnect and drain out the water pump, as well as those hoses you’re not using.
Install the Pool Cover
Finally, cover your swimming pool with a winter or safety cover to protect it from precipitation, sunlight, and debris. You can also use a safety cover for extra security with children and pets.
Keep in mind that these steps give a general overview of what is covered in closing an inground pool. There could be variations in the sequence, steps, and process depending on the features, equipment systems, and form of your swimming pool.