Winterize and close your pool so that it’s clean and ready to use next spring! By properly closing your pool, you’ll preserve the quality of your equipment and save yourself a lot of time and money come spring. So, shed one final tear for summer’s departure and follow these steps to close your pool.
Balance your pH, alkalinity, chlorine and calcium. It’s best to start this process about a week before you actually close your pool. Use a water test kit (there are a number of options available, but it’s often easiest to use a pH/alkalinity combination) to make sure the pH is 7.2-7.6, alkalinity is 80-120 ppm, calcium hardness is 175-250 ppm and chlorine is 1-3 ppm. It’s important to keep the water within these ranges to avoid corrosion and scaling during the winter. If your water is outside of these ranges, use this final week to adjust them one last time.
Clean your pool. You can repeat the same method you used during the summer, but it doesn’t hurt to be extra-thorough this time! The important thing is to clean the sides and bottom of your pool, generally with a brush and vacuum.
Add algaecide and/or winterizing chemicals. To prevent the growth of algae and bacteria during the winter, many pools require a special chemical mixture to be added before the pool is closed. Consult your owner’s manual or pool manufacturer to determine exactly what treatment your pool requires.
Store pool ladders, diving board(s) and other accessories. If possible, these items should be stored in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing your diving board in an upright position, which could bend it over time.
Lower your water level. While you will generally never drain your pool completely, it is important to lower your water level so that it falls below your returns and skimmers. Be sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions when completing this process. Note: Depending on the type of cover you have, the exact level you should lower the water to will vary. Check the instructions on the pool cover to find the correct level. Tip: This is also a great time to clean the tile line of your pool with a tile cleaner, before any buildup has a chance to harden during the winter.
Clean your filter and skimmer baskets. You can do this the same way you’ve been doing it during the summer. Always follow the instructions in your owner’s manual when you’re cleaning your pool filter, since different filters have different requirements. For example, sand filters need to be backwashed in a specific way.
Blow out and plug your pipes, drains, skimmers and filter. This is important to avoid cracks in your plumbing and equipment during the winter. This step will vary greatly depending on the type of pool you own, so check your owner’s manual for specific instructions. In some cases, you will need to completely remove and store equipment like your filter.
Place your winter cover over the pool. Make sure that you have purchased a cover that is appropriate for your pool-type (above and below ground pools have different requirements). Generally, the black side of the cover should be facing down, but check the instructions to be sure.
Wait for summer. It seems far away now, but you’ll be back in that swimsuit in no time!