The end of summer… Not too shabby as we are only just noticing the real change in the weather now at the end of September—beginning of October vs. the beginning September. Call it being spoiled (on the heels of short summers past), a gift from Mother Nature, a blessing if you will or just a plain old Indian Summer.
For many people, this means simply dressing warmer, turning off the air conditioner and getting ready to embrace Old Man Winter. For you though (the swimming pool owner), that isn’t the whole story, is it? Of course not, for you have that rejuvenating body of water to tend to. It has shown you love over the last few months, so the least you can do is close it and winterize it properly. After all, you wouldn’t want to face any of the issues that may arise from an improperly closed pool in the Spring. So exactly how do you go about closing and winterizing a pool? No need to worry, because Discounter’s Pool & Spa Warehouse has you covered!
So why exactly should you winterize your pool? To put it simply, it will help protect your equipment, keep your water clean and most importantly save you money next year. Everyone likes saving money, don’t they? Protect your investment and do it right!
So, let’s go over how exactly we go about this process.
One week prior to closing your pool, add 14 fluid ounces of Pool Magic + PHOSfree for every 10,000 gallons of water directly into the skimmer. This will reduce phosphates and non-living organic waste in your pool water. Come closing time, thoroughly brush and vacuum the pool to remove all dirt, leaves and debris.
Next, for every 20,000 gallons of water, add 1 liter of a metal deactivation agent and 1 quart (32 ounces) of a stain and scale remover by pouring around the perimeter of the pool. Follow this by adjusting the total alkalinity to the proper level. Total alkalinity should be in the 80-120 ppm range for plaster or concrete pools, and in the 125-150 range for vinyl-lined pools. Now, adjust the pH to the proper level. For all pools, pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6. Seeing as you’ve been taking great care of your pool all summer, you should already be very familiar with this process. This should be followed by adjusting the calcium hardness to 200-400 ppm. This again is something you should be familiar with. If not, don’t hesitate to ask us how it’s done. We’d be more than happy to help you!
Following along so far? Good, let’s continue. You should now add 1 quart (32 ounces) of an algae control agent per 25,000 gallons by mixing with water in a large bucket and pouring around the perimeter of the pool. Wait one hour and then shock the pool by spreading the product around the perimeter of the pool. Now bring the chlorine to an appropriate level, which is between 1.5-3.0 ppm. You should let the pump run for at least one complete cycle after adding chemicals. This is usually 4-8 hours. Backwash or manually clean the filter afterwards.
It is now time to lower the water level to between 4″ to 6″ below the lowest return jet or suction inlet fitting. Once that’s done, remove the drain plugs from the pump strainer basket housing, the filter tank, and the heater. Keep the drain plugs handy, as you will need them again in the spring when it’s time to open your pool. For above-ground pools disconnect the filter hoses from the skimmer and pool return fittings. You should then drain the automatic chlorinator, if you use one. Move all the equipment you removed to a safe and temperature controlled location, such as your basement, an insulated shed, or another suitable place. Place all the drain plugs in the strainer basket of the pump and replace the strainer cover. Remove all non-permanent articles such as ladders, hoses, over-the-top skimmers, etc. Those who use an automatic pool cleaner should remove it and drain it completely. Lay the hoses out straight in a non-freezing location.
Now cover the pool using a safety or winter cover, and a leaf net cover if you have a lot of trees.
A lot of information, we know, but by following these instructions, you will help ensure your pool stays safe and clean during the winter months as well as minimizing a whole lot of stress from your lives come opening season. And remember, for all your pool and spa needs, contact us as Discounter’s Pool and Spa Warehouse!
Discounter’s Pool & Spa Warehouse offers monthly expert advice on enjoying and maintaining your indoor and outdoor pool or spa. Visit their online store for a full range of pool products and spa accessories, including all chemicals featured in this post, and check out their profile on FS Local.