The No-Fail Process to Winterize Your Pool
September 12, 2020
As fall kicks into high gear, time spent in your swimming pool decreases drastically. Before temperatures drop too low, you’ll want to winterize your pool. A proper winterization process means your pool and your equipment will be protected from ice damage, which can wreak havoc on the inner workings of your pool. Properly closing your pool every year will help you save time and money.
Clean & Balance Your Pool Water
Remove debris from the pool, clean out the skimmer and the pump basket, and clean the tile with tile cleaner. It’s easier to open your pool next year if you take the time to thoroughly clean it this year. Use a water test kit to make sure your pool water is balanced, too. Make sure you have the appropriate levels of calcium, chlorination, alkalinity and pH. If you want to use a winterization chemical kit, now is the time to do that. Follow the directions for the kit and be sure there aren’t granules still in the water when you shut the pool down for the season.
It’s vitally important to drain the water in your pool so it’s below the mouth of the skimmer. Don’t empty all of the water from the pool; you need some in there to keep it weighted down throughout the winter. Draining the water so it’s below the skimmer mouth means you won’t have water in your pipes when the weather turns colder. When water freezes, it expands and breaks up pool pipes, pumps, filters and skimmer baskets.
Protect Your Pump
Disconnect your swimming pool pump and filter and drain all of the remaining water out of the pump.Turn the pump on for a second or two to expel the last bit of water from the pump, then store all of the small parts in your pump basket so you can easily find them next year.
Winterize Your Pool Heater
Drain your pool heater (if you have one) to make sure there’s no standing water inside. Use an air compressor to blow it out. You can store small heater parts in your pump basket, too, so you can find them next year.
Don’t Forget the Jet Fittings
Remove all of your jet fittings when you winterize your pool. It’s okay if you crack one while removing it; you can replace it in the spring. Take all of the skimmer baskets out of the pool, storing fittings and other loose items in same pump basket.
Remove Remaining Water From the Pipes
Unscrew the quick-disconnect unions or fittings that are on your pump and filter system. Blow out the pipes with an air compressor. Blow out the return plumbing by hooking up your compressor to the return lines at the filter system, or by screwing it into the pump’s drain plug. Keep air running through the pipes until you see air bubbles emerge from the return jets, then tightly plug the fitting below the water line. Close up all exposed pipes with plugs.
Clean the Filter
Remove your pool’s filter hoses, then spray the filter elements with a filter cleaner. Rinse them with a garden hose.
Install a Flotation Device
A flotation device in the center of your pool acts as a final level of freeze insurance. You can use a pool pillow or even a truck inner tube… whatever works best for you. The floatation device helps balance the rainwater and ice that can form on your swimming pool cover throughout 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.
Cover Your Pool
Use a winter pool cover – which is stronger than a summer cover – to protect your pool throughout the colder months of the year. Winter covers can hold the weight of ice and snow, and they help protect people or pets from accidentally falling through into the water. Repair or replace your winter cover if it has any rips or tears in it. Cover your pool very tightly, which can take up to three people to do properly.
Store Your Supplies
Store pool supplies and accessories since you won’t be using them while the pool is closed. Diving boards, ladders, your pump and filter, and rope and floats should all be stored outside of the pool during winter.