Winter is very nearly here, and it’s time to make sure your pool is ready for the upcoming cold winter weather. Properly winterizing your pool water and equipment will protect your pool from ice damage, keep your water clean and will save time and money when you re-open your pool next spring, so you can start enjoying it again as soon as the weather warms up. Winterizing your pool may seem troublesome, but with a little preparation, it can be a very simple and pain-free process.
Winter is not usually the time of year that people like to think about them, but this is a very important time to pay attention to the swimming pool to avoid unnecessary problems and costly repairs in spring. Here are a few tips to ensure that it’s properly winterized so you can rest easy knowing your equipment is safe and sound.
The first task is the easiest one but a very important one: clean out the pool. Clean out any dead leaves, insects, debris, toys, dirt and algae. They will use up your winterizing pool chemicals or clog the filter, so be sure to clean the pool thoroughly. Use your pool vacuum or a net. Don’t forget to clean out the skimmer and the pump basket, too. Tile lines can be cleaned with a tile cleaner. It’s easier to clean them now than in the spring, when all the dirt has had all winter to set.
Balance the water chemistry. This protects the pool from corrosion or scale buildup. Using a water test kit, adjust the water to the recommended levels of pH, total alkalinity, calcium (hardness) and chlorination. If you want to add a winterization chemical kit, do it now. These kits put high levels of chlorine and algaecide in the water to prepare it for the winter months ahead. This will insure that your pool stays clean over the winter and is ready for use when the warmer weather arrives.
Ice is your pool’s enemy. When water freezes, it expands with enormous force. It’s the force that breaks up highways, explodes beverage cans in your freezer, splits garden hoses and it’s the force that expands and cracks pool pipes, filters, pumps and skimmer baskets. You can prevent this damage by adjusting water levels. To start, drain the water down below the skimmer mouth. Do not empty the pool! The expansion of the soil under the pool as the water in the soil freezes can jack the pool right out of the ground; it needs the weight of some water to keep it firmly in place.
Next, disconnect your filter, hoses, jets, pump, heater, skimmer baskets and even ladders to prevent rust and freezing. Also unscrew and loosen any quick-disconnect fittings at your pump and filter system. Make sure all water is completely drained from the pump and the heater. You can put an anti-freeze to the pool’s piping. Store and organize everything so you can easily find them to put them back later in spring.
The last step is to cover the pool. Before you put on the cover, you’ll want to slide in a flotation device or an air pillow in the center of the pool. The air pillow balances the rainwater and ice that may form on your pool’s cover over the winter. Even more important, it eases pressure on the pool walls by allowing winter’s ice to push in on the flotation device, not outward on the walls which may cause the pool to crack. Make sure that the air pillow stays in the middle with some ropes to hold it in place.
Covering the pool is important for both the pool itself and the safety of the people around it. The winter cover should be able to withstand the weight of snow and ice that might occur. A tight fitting pool cover ensures that debris and leaves cannot get into your pool and that pets won’t be able to fall in. Once the pool cover is in place, you’re done! Your pool is ready for winter’s worst. Your investment is protected. And your spring pool opening should be an easy step to another season of swimming enjoyment!
About KS GreenDay
KS Greenday, Inc. specializes in Creative Outdoor Living in the Philadelphia area. Services include custom pools and spas, cabanas, pool houses, patios, pool decks, walls, outdoor fireplaces, landscaping and more. Visit http://www.ksgreenday.com