During the fall, at some point it will be time to close down the pool for winter. There’s a process involved, and for a small pool – the amount of chemicals to add will be the biggest difference. So what are the steps involved, and how best to go about the shut down?
Take care of the water. As suggested by Redbeacon.com, if the water is properly balanced chemically, there’s no need to drain the pool at the end of the year. In fact, it’s suggested that it’s better to leave most of the water in the pool over the cold months. The catch is, the water must be set up properly – the right chemicals added – so that it stays clean. The pH should be adjusted so that it is between 7.2 and 7.6. The alkalinity of the water should be 80 to 120 ppm (parts per million). The calcium needs to be at a hardness of 180 to 220 ppm. If necessary, it will be good to shock the pool – using either a chlorine or non-chlorine oxidizer to break down the dirt and contaminants that have built up in the pool water. A swimming supply store expert can suggest the proper oxidizer that will be best for a small pool.
Partially drain the pool.This really just means lowering the water level a little. The experts suggest that the water level be below the skimmer. In addition, it’s a great idea at this point to also drain and remove the pool pump, and the associated hoses and vacuum equipment. They don’t need to stay out in the weather over the cold months – parts could freeze and crack. Take them inside somewhere and store them in a designated place (so you can find them next spring). It’s also suggested to thoroughly dry all the equipment thoroughly before storage.
Deploy the pool cover. The pool cover serves several functions. First, it doesn’t allow water to evaporate. The cover doesn’t allow leaves, rainwater and other potential contaminants to enter the pool. A pool cover also has a safety component – it protects against pets or small children who might venture near, so that they don’t fall in. A swimming pool supply store expert can help pick the right cover for the small pool. Make sure the cover fits tightly and locks down solidly to provide the desired protection.
Clean and Maintain. In addition to the winterizing pool chemicals, this is the time to make sure the pool and adjoining area a good cleaning. Make sure that there is no debris around the area, and make sure all the pool equipment, parts and accessories – like pool ladders – are stored properly. Check the pump, filter, heater, to make sure all are working properly. If something needs a repair or some maintenance, if necessary bring in a pool professional for the fix. The pool will be mostly unwatched over the winter, so make sure it starts that cold season in proper working order.
Once the pool is properly winterized, it’s much easier to relax while watching all of those great football games, knowing the pool is in great shape when it’s time to get back to it in the spring.
Carolee Miller writes freelance for PoolProducts.com. She grew up in the South, and enjoys visiting colder climates – for a short time. She makes an annual snow skiing trip, but is always more comfortable when she gets back home to her twin tuxedo cats, and warmer weather.