Proper closing of a swimming pool at the end of the season needs the high attention of the pool owner. Any carelessness leads to big problems. Small contaminations grow into bigger ones and raise many other dirt accumulations. If you remove the pool cover and a smell of filth strikes with your nose, you will never want to have a dive in it and immediately manage a brief cleaning. To avoid unwanted situations, learn to close a swimming pool for winter before the season approaches.
The most appropriate time for closing the pool:
The appropriate time for closing a pool is of high concern. Closing a pool too early is not a way to take care of a pool. You can ask an expert for an opinion. If you close the swimming pool early when the weather is still warm, the chemicals you will put in water will lose their effectiveness too soon and there will be filth grown up in your pool.
The working rule for winterizing a pool is late closing and early opening. Close your swimming pool when the temperature is going strictly below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a good level to prevent fast algae growth, which comes first in swimming pool problems.
How to winterize?
You need to prepare yourself for this task a day or two before. Manage some free time as it is not a one or two-hour task. Also, you need to know about all necessary equipment and chemicals to be used in winterizing activities.
Step1: (manage the equipment)
You need to arrange the following equipment:
- Pool brush
- Telescoping pole
- Algae brush
- Vacuum cleaner
- Pool test kit
Winterizing a pool starts with cleaning. First, scrub thoroughly all the sides, the walls, and the floor. If you feel a change of color in the water, use an algae brush to remove the stains of algae. After that, vacuum the pool to ensure that all dirt and filth are out.
Step 3: (Test the water)
Test the pool water to know the alkalinity, pH level, chlorine level, and the presence of calcium and other minerals. Use a reliable test kit and you should know the standard quantity of chemicals.
A “balanced” pool has the right pH, Total Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness levels. pH: 7.2-7.8, Total Alkalinity: 80-120 ppm, Calcium Hardness: 180-220 ppm. Chlorine level remains in the 1-3 ppm range. Balance the chemicals to protect your water from being corrosive.
Step 4: (Add the necessary winter chemicals)
Winterizing is all a chemicals game. You need additional chemicals to protect your water during the harsh winter. The first thing that comes to mind as the biggest and fastest enemy is the algae. Never miss adding an algaecide in the swimming pool when closing it for winter. Add one dose or two, whatever is suitable to reduce the possible chances of fast algae growth. A winter pill is good for sanitizing your pool water and protects it during winter.
Sometimes, the pool water contains traces of metal, which damages the structure of the pool and stays there in form of rust. Don’t forget to prepare the pool to overcome this problem. You need to add some chemicals which are specially used to prevent metal staining. Many metal sequestering agents are available that don’t allow the metals and minerals of water to stain your pool. This treatment is best for pools running on well water.
To make the pool defense the strongest against intruders, you can use enzymes. Enzymes do a great job to overcome algae, spores, and all types of pollutants, acids, and all intruders that succeed to dive into the pool during winter. Enzymes can fight for long during winter. Enzyme treatment saves you from frequent inspection of the pool in a hectic routine.
Step 5: (shock treatment)
Before closing a pool, a winterizing pool shock is an effective technique of protection. Shock chemicals can be differently effective on different pool types. Nonchlorine shock is appropriate for vinyl and pools. It targets the debris without affecting the vinyl layer. For other pools, you can use a chlorine shock or non-chlorine shock as per choice. Apply the shock treatment some days before covering it; otherwise, it can harm the cover.
Step 6: (lower the water level)
If you live in a cold area, where water can freeze during winter, lower the water level before closing your pool. If the water level remains the same, it will increase in volume on freezing and will “overflow” during winter. If you live in a warmer area and there is no probability of freezing, then avoid this step.
Step 7: (clean the filter)
All debris gathers in the filter so it will need a thorough cleaning. Closing of a filter for winter means cleaning, disconnecting from power, and un-installing. If you only unplug it, the contaminations will last for the whole winter. Methods for closing different types of filters like D.E filter, cartridge filter, and sand filter are different, but it is an essential part of winterizing.
You can consult a pool professional if you need help to blow out the lines. It is a tricky step in the whole process because lines can burst when the temperature falls if there is a bit of error. An air blower is the best option to drain the air through the pipes.
Step 8: (Remove the accessories)
Take out the ladders, toys, swim tubes, and rails from the pool. There is a possibility of damage during winter if the salt content is high in water.
Step 9: (Cover the pool)
This is the final step you take to protect your pool during winter. When all the cleaning is perfectly done then take help from your friend and cover your pool carefully. Save it from getting wet by the pool water.
Types of swimming pool covers:
There are different types of swimming pool covers available in the market. They provide different levels of protection for the swimming pool during winter. When you search the market for pool covers, target the “winter pool covers” as they are a special category that serves well in winter. They are made up of a mesh-type material that does not allow debris to enter the pool. However, rainwater and can pass through it. This will disturb the chemical distribution of the pool, which is a big disadvantage.
There is another type, i.e solid pool cover. They prevent dirt from entering the pool. They are expensive than mesh-type covers and have usability less than them. Mesh-type covers last for about 15 years while solid covers last for about 7 to 11 years. You will need to remove the dirt from the cover as it will gather there during the off-season.
Also read about: The secret of how to prepare the swimming pool for summer