How to winterize your swimming pool
Project winterize: tips to properly close your swimming poolAfter a summer of morning swims and afternoons floating in the pool with a fresh glass of iced tea, shorter days and cooler nights means it’s almost that time. You may not look forward to pulling the cover over summer fun, but it is crucial to know how to winterize your swimming pool if you want to continue to enjoy your pool for years to come.
The process of winterizing your pool is not complicated. With a little time and care, you’ll protect your pool from freezing damage and keep it clean for the next pool season. For motivation: Imagine how glad you’ll feel when you open your pool to crystal clear water and undamaged pipes and filter.
Swimming pool cleaning supplies
Plugs for jets
Seal for the skimmer
Prepare your filter and pipes
If you have a D.E. or sand filter, you’ll need to backwash it to clean it out as the part of winterizing your pool. Wait to ‘acid wash’ your filter until the spring when pool water will run the acid through and prevent acid from corroding parts. Once cleaned, unplug and drain your filter. Use a compressor or shop vac to make sure the valve has no water it. Disconnect pump and filter once they are completely drained.
Drain water from pipes to prevent freezing. Blow out all pipes and use a standard rubber plug or gizmo plug to seal all exposed pipes and your skimmer. A gizmo seal is a hollow tube that collapses in the skimmer if water gets in and freezes.
Remove hardware from pool and store
When winterizing your pool, remove your skimmer basket, ropes and floats.
Remove diving board, ladders, handrails and slides. Store bolts and items in a safe dry place where pieces won’t get lost.
Winterizing pool water
Follow the instructions that come with your pool chemicals. Avoid leaving undissolved granules that can bleach your liner by mixing chemicals in a bucket first to evenly distribute dissolved granules in the pool.
Test the PH levels and alkalinity. Adjust water to proper levels: 7.2 - 7.6 PH and alkalinity of 100 – 150 p.p.m. According to Swimming Pool magazine, chlorine level should be 3.0 p.p.m. for winter.
The type of pool you have will determine how much water you need to drain from your pool when winterizing your pool. In ground pools with a tile line should be drained to prevent frozen surface water from cracking the tiles. If you have a vinyl pool liner, drain the water just below the skimmer.
Covering your swimming pool
Make sure your pool cover and water tubes are clean and free of cracks and holes. Pull the cover over the pool – this is best done with two people while another person secures the cover with weights or water tubes.
Lay the water tubes on the cover and fill with water until 85% full, the slack is for water expansion. Seal the tubes and lay them end to end around the cover.
Periodically, check to make sure your pool cover is secure. If you have heavy rains or snow storms, it's helpful to drain excess water from the top of the pool cover to reduce the chances of the cover tearing. And if you need extra weight to secure the pool cover, fill gallon water jugs 3/4 full and laying a few bricks around the outer edges of the pool cover.
Swimming Pool Magazine
Monkey See: Covering a Pool