It’s getting that time of year again, where the pool fun must be wrapped up until spring arrives again. Don’t worry though; you will have all of those memories from this summer’s fun in the pool to remember all winter long until you can create new memories next year! Here are some helpful tips on how to properly close down your inground pool!
Add chemicals to prevent algae
It’s very important to properly dose your pool for the correct gallons that it contains, to keep the water clean & clear all winter long. Winter kits are available (multiple kits might be required depending on your specific gals of your pool) and include all of the ingredients that are needed to wrap up your pool water for the year. The items that will need to be added are:
*Metal Control – protects against calcium, iron, and rust build up that can cause damage to your pool surface and leave stains.
*Winter Algaecide – protects the water against any harmful bacteria’s that may try to form.
*Non-chlorine Shock – protects longer than traditional chlorine shock, which can also be harmful to your winter pool cover.
It’s also very important to make sure that all your other levels such as your pH and chlorine are in the correct ranges as well before adding the winter closing chemicals. If your pH and or chlorine is out of wack, it will affect the rest of the chemicals that we are adding, which could cause a disaster come spring. pH is important to maintain because it can have damaging effects on your pool surface, plumbing and equipment area. If your pH or chlorine levels need to be adjusted, make sure you do that prior to adding your winter chemicals. It is recommended to let the winter chemicals circulate for at least 12 hrs prior to shutting down the pool, but they are safe to add once the filter system has been turned off if needed.
Prep the pipes
Once all of your chemicals have been added and your levels are right where they should be, you will then need to drain some of the water out of the pool, apprx 6-8 inches below the skimmers. Once that has been done, you will need to vacuum out the lines (the plumbing that is underground) to prevent freezing. It is recommended to have a professional come out and perform this service on your pool. You can be looking at costly repairs that will be in the thousands if all of the water is not properly winterized in the plumbing. There is a special type of vacuum system that is used by professionals that perform winterizations on inground pools. Aqua Palace can assist you with closing your pool and getting it ready for the harsh Nebraska winters that we see in the Omaha metro area.
Winterize the filter system
After the plumbing has been blown out and is properly winterized with antifreeze, you will then need to winterize the filter system and equipment. A professional pool company would also winterize the filter equipment area for you as well. This will insure that all of the water is out of the plumbing, filter system itself, pump & motor, auto chlorinators, salt systems, and heaters. Water will freeze in any of those areas and can cause major issues and un-needed expenses come spring!
Re-attach your winter cover
The last step you will need to do is to properly install your winter safety cover. If you are in need of a new safety cover, Aqua Palace carries several different types and we can find the perfect one for your pool. Safety covers give you the ability to walk out across them without any fear of falling in. That way, if your children or pets happen to run out across it, they will be secure. There are 3 different types of safety covers:
*Mesh Safety Covers allow any rain and snow to go directly into the pool water as well as some debris. Using this type of cover will more than likely cause a green swamp for you to clean up in the spring time, although there is no water on top of the cover, which makes it easier and faster to take the cover off.
*Solid Safety Covers are made of a reinforced material with either an automatic cover pump or mesh drain panels, to eliminate the weight of the water and snow over the winter. This cover protects your pool from large debris entering. You are most likely to open to a crystal clear pool with this type of cover, especially if you use the automatic cover pump, which will pump the water off into your yard and not into the pool.
*Defender Mesh Safety Covers are still a mesh cover, but are stranded much tighter to still allow the water to drain thru but not any of the debris or sunshine. The darker color of the materials used on this cover eliminates sunlight from penetrating underneath the cover, which causes algae to form.
Once your cover has been properly secured with the springs and anchors all the way around the pool, you are ready to start the count down until next spring!