Fall is here! Except in Montana, where it's already winter. : ) Everyone is throwing on their jackets and putting away their flip-flops. It's time to think about winterizing your pool and getting it ready for the cold winter months.
The first step is to balance the water chemistry of your pool. We suggest a pH of between 7.2 and 7.6, an alkalinity of between 80 and 120 ppm, and a calcium hardness of 180 to 220 ppm. You should also shock the pool with a chlorine or non-chlorine shock. You want to make sure the chlorine levels return to 1.0 to 3.0 ppm before adding any winter algaecide and putting on your winter pool cover, since the chlorine tends to break down both of these.
For the winter months, you also need to remove any skimmer baskets, cleaners, ladders and solar covers. You should store these in a safe and stable location during the winter. You should also lower the water level in the pool with a submersible pump to 12 inches to 18 inches below the skimmer for mesh covers, and 3 inches to 6 inches below the tile for solid, floating covers. You should also drain or blow out all pumping, filtering, heating, and chlorinating equipment so it doesn’t freeze and crack.
We also suggest lubricating the pump lid and push-pull valve’s o-rings. You should skim, vacuum, and brush the pool as well. The pool should be as clean and clear as possible before covering for the winter. You also need to winterize the pumping to and from the pool. For above ground pools, this means disconnecting the hoses to and from the pump and filter and plugging the wall outlets.
After you finish all of the above, you should add winterizing algaecide to the pool. You should never add algaecide and shock at the same time since the chlorine will just break down the algaecide and make it useless. Last but not least, you should cover the pool. A tight fit of the pool cover is essential to keep the pool clean and in good working condition. Mesh safety covers provide the highest protection and safety. Above ground pools use a cable device to secure the cover around the pool to prevent movement. Air pillows can also be used in above ground pools to absorb the expansion of ice inside the pool.
Don't have any of the supplies mentioned above? No worries! We have them all here at www.poolsandstuff.com. Prepping your pool for winter takes some work, but it's worth it in the end when your pool is in great shape next spring.