Unfortunately, swimming in your outdoor pool all year round isn’t a possibility. Before you put away your bathing suits and call it day, you’ll need to prepare your pool for the winter. Here are steps to winterize your pool so that it doesn’t incur any damage when it’s cold outside.
Step 1: Clean so it sparkles
With your net, remove any leaves, insects, debris and dirt that has made a home in the water. Clean the tile line with household tile cleaner to remove any scum. You will have to re-clean the tile in the summer but better to do it now too before any new scum has time to set. Also, you will need to clean the skimmer, filter and the pump basket but you can do that after you remove them (Step 4).
Step 2: Balance the water
Chemistry is important for your pool’s water. Adjust the pH, chlorine, calcium and total alkalinity levels. You can also add a winterization chemical kit that puts high levels of algaecide and chlorine into the water. This will help the water combat algae growth in the colder months. When you add any chemicals into the pool, put them in a bucket first and then gradually pour them into the water. Read instructions carefully because some chemicals require the filter to be running while they’re added.
Step 3: Do not empty the pool
When water freezes it expands. If you do not leave water in your pool during the winter, the base of your pool will crack under the pressure of the soil’s expansion. There’s enough water in the soil beneath your pool that when the temperature dips, it will freeze and expand. Leave enough water in the pool, usually just below the skimmer mouth and you won’t have to deal with cracks.
Step 4: Disconnect everything
Disconnect your pool’s pump, heater (if you have one), drain plugs and filter. Make sure all water has been drained from the pump and heater. You should all remove the return jet fittings and skimmer baskets.
Step 5: Float, cover and store
A flotation device should be installed in the center of the pool. You can purchase a flotation device at any pool retailer. It usually looks like a pillow or inner-tube. The floatation device is able to balance the rainwater and ice that will form on the pool’s cover and eases the pressure on the pool’s walls by letting the ice push inwards towards it and not in the direction of the walls. Finally, cover your pool, secure the cover in place and store all supplies in a safe area where they won’t get damaged.
Now that you’ve prepared your pool for the winter, you can start counting down the days until summer hits and you can use it again.