Now that blistering 95 degree days are over for another year (in most parts of the country – in California we’re still going strong), it’s time to start thinking about closing your pool for the winter. If you’re a pool owner, you know that winterizing your pool usually is going to mean a bit of work on your part. Now whether or not you’re a rookie dealing with a pool or you’re a seasoned pro, here is a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to making this end-of-summer chore just a little bit easier:
Do: Begin Early
While 90% of the pool closing process can be done in a single day, you’ll actually need to begin it about a week in advance before you want to shut down your pool. At that time, it’s advisable to add a phosphate remover to ensure that algae will not grown in your pool while it’s shut down. Remember to get your pool cover out of storage because it’s almost time to use it.
Don’t: Emptying it For The Winter
Completely draining your pool is a rookie move, and if you live in area of the country where there is snow, you’re bound to get pretty severe winters. You may have heard it’s advisable to completely drain your pool for the winter. Don’t listen to these people – it’s bad advice to leave your pool drained for more than a few days at most, as it can do incredible damage.
Do: Drain Your Filters
Inground pool filters need to be drained each autumn. You can disconnect the line that runs from the filter to the pool. If there are any plugs on the filter itself, make sure to open those as well.
Don’t: Use Too Much Bromine or Chlorine
Avoid using strong floater or tablet form chemicals in your swimming pool over the winter. Floaters will tend to drift toward the walls of your pool, where they are bound to stick and can stain or even bleach the sides. Tablets usually will sink to the bottom of the pool and can do serious damage to the floors surface.
Do: Know Your Water Levels
Depending on what kind of winters you get in your area of the country, you may need to drain or overfill your pool. If you expect temperatures to dip below freezing this winter, drop the water level about 6 inches or just past the jets. Those of you who should see a more mild winter should actually fill the pool more – almost to the point that it is overflowing.
Don’t: Leave the Pool Unprotected
It’s essential to have a pool cover in order to protect your swimming pool, family members and pets alike. While some pools are simple tarps that are generally fine for usage as a pool cover, anyone who falls near the pool could wind up in the water. Consider investing in a mesh cover or hard cover to offer extra protection and possibly even lower your homeowners insurance.