Why is winterizing your pool so vitally important? Because you want to protect it from damage that can be caused by freezing water! Plus, you’ll want it to be as clean as possible for the next season, and the only way to do that is to winterize (and close) the pool properly. If you’re planning on winterizing your pool yourself, here’s a few tips to get you on the right path:
The first step in the winterization procedure is to make sure your water chemistry is balanced. You should make sure that your pH, Total Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness areall balanced. By balancing your water chemistry you are protecting the surface of the pool from staining and etching.
Adding a winterizing chemical kit to your water will help keep it blue and clear for the next season. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the kit.
Do not use a floater that contains a strong oxidizer (chlorine or bromine) as the floater will stick against the wall and stain and/or bleach your wall, especially a vinyl liner. For the same reasons DO NOT throw chlorine or bromine tablets into the pool. They will sink to the bottom and damage your pool’s surface.
When water freezes, it expands. This can cause great damage to your pool, pool plumbing, and its filter system. If you are closing up your pool for the winter, you should always take precautions to protect from freeze damage no matter where you live. You can never be sure that it will not drop below freezing, even in the Sun Belt.
The next step is to lower the water below the mouth of your skimmer(s). This will get the water out of the throat of the skimmer which can be easily damaged if water were to freeze there.
Another option for vinyl liner pools is to install a plastic dam over the mouth of the skimmer – this will hold out the water from the skimmer, allowing you to leave the water level up for the winter.
Blow out the water from your plumbing lines. You can do this using a shop vac. Use the discharge of the shop vac to blow water out of each line from the filter system. As the water is purged from each line, you will need to put a plug in the lines at the pool end. Some fittings will allow for a threaded plug, which is best. Be sure to use a plug with a rubber gasket or “O” ring to make a seal, or the water may fill the line back up. If your fittings are not threaded, then use a rubber freeze plug.
In the skimmer(s) you should use a Gizzmo to seal the line. This device is a hollow tube which will collapse if water should get into the skimmer and freeze. Be sure to put Teflon tape on the threads of the Gizzmo to make a seal and to ease removal in the spring. It is usually impractical to put a plug in the main drain if you have one, but its extreme depth will normally protect it from freezing.
You should cover your pool to keep out the debris. The type of cover you use will depend upon several factors.
The final step? You must drain all the water from your filter equipment.
Whew! It’s a LOT to take in, isn’t it?!? Seriously, who knew winterizing a pool could be so much work! Fortunately, your pool experts here at Bonsall Pool and Spa are here to help…give us a call to schedule your pool closing today!