If you’re like most of us, fall is a time when you have to close your pool. Yes, there are those who are lucky enough to be able to use their pool year round but for the rest of us we have to take a deep breath and close the pool for another year. Sigh. But don’t worry, because taking the steps to properly get that pool ready for winter will mean it’s in tip top shape come next summer when the time is right to open it again.
Winter means cold temperatures and cold temperatures mean freezing water. If you have standing water in pipes or fixtures of a pool and it freezes it could damage the fixtures so it’s important that all pipes leading in and out of the pool are empty for winter. Even those pipes that are underground can freeze so you want to use a high powered air compressor or shop vac to chase that water away.
If your pool has tiles you need to make sure that the water level of the pool through the winter is lower than the tiles. Tiles can crack and break once water freezes and expands onto them and this means a big mess come summer. Lower the water in the pool to below the tile line. If you have a liner, you won’t need to lower the water too much as the more water left inside means the better the cover will protect the pool all winter. Too much dip in the cover means that water can collect and freeze on top of it and it may cause damage over time.
Of course, you can’t close a pool without using some mix of winterizing chemicals. Most experts say that a concentrated shock treatment with winter algaecide and stain treatment product will get the job done. You should also adjust the pH and the alkalinity in the remaining water. If you are using granular chemicals mix them up in a bucket before putting them in the pool so you don’t have issues with them staining the bottom of the pool.
It’s also a good idea to fully label totes or boxes where you will store skimmers and pipes for the pool through the winter, and to keep all little clips, stoppers and clamps together so you don’t go looking everywhere for them come summer. Keeping the pool things warm and dry through the winter will give them longer life and keep your pool running well.