Maine: Closing your pool for the Winter Season
Winter is approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about winterizing the pool. The key purpose of winterizing your pool is to protect it from damage due to the possibilities of your swimming pool water freezing over and pipes freezing and potentially cracking. If you close your swimming pool properly it ensures that it will stay clean for the next season.
Below are a few tips on closing your pool:
1. Balance the chemistry of water
A few weeks before closing, shock the swimming pool using a non-chlorine shock or chlorine shock. Let the level of chlorine return to 1.0 to 3.0 ppm before you add any winter algaecide and your pool cover. Extremely high chlorine often breaks down both pool covers and algaecides. You should not add algaecide and chlorine or shock chlorine all at once and not just before covering it. Above all else, you should shock the night before you intend to close the swimming pool and let the filter run all throughout the night.
2. Remove ladders, cleaners, skimmer baskets, solar blankets, wall fittings from the swimming pool
Store these in a secure place during the winter. You should not coil pool cleaners hoses tight, and ensure that the hose and cleaner are totally drained.
3. Clean and backwash the filter
You will have to do one last brush and vacuum to winterize your pool. As soon as you are done, you should backwash your filter.
4. Lower the level of water
You may either use a submersible pump or your filter pump to lower the level of your swimming pool water. You will have to lower the level roughly 4 to 6-inches below the lowest plumbing line, usually the water return line. Ensure that the level of water is at least below the skimmer. You can take out the above ground swimming pool skimmer.
5. Drain all chlorinating, filtering, pumping and heating equipment
Many heaters, chlorinators, filters and pumps, have drain caps or plugs to permit water to drain out. All water should be blown out or drained, or it will freeze and crack. After draining Cartridge filters, Diatomaceous Earth or filter grids, they should be taken out and thoroughly cleaned. If the pump and filter is small enough to take it out and keep it indoors, this is recommended. If not, with the help of a little bit of air from a shop compressor or vacuum is used to blow out any water which might still be in the equipment. Make sure you always keep the drain plugs removed during the winter season and store them safely, in the event any pipes get un-winterized.
6. Empty your chemical feeder
For those who have a chemical feeder, now can be the best time to have it drained and emptied. When you leave chemicals in your chemical feeder during pool winterization, you may wreck your equipment. Make sure you put the top back on the chemical feeder and remember to put on safety gloves and goggles.
7. Winter pool covers
You need to break out your inground pool winter cover or above ground pool winter cover to keep the debris out of the swimming pool. You can use a solid cover that keeps out the sun and all debris. These solid covers need to prevent algae growth and keep the swimming pool clean. You also need to use an air pillow. These types of air pillows hold the swimming pool cover up like a tent. As a result debris and water fall off rather than accumulating on the top. They also aid to absorb any water expansion that may take place from freezing and probably lead to the wall of your above ground pool to split.
Do you want to save money and time after the winter? Closing your pool properly will ensure you get prepared for the coming season.