Here in Winnipeg, the cool air is back, the leaves are falling, and you’ve probably started thinking about the best way to care for your pool during the cold season. Fall pool maintenance is important and prevents damage and repairs next year, plus it helps to keep your water clean and makes setting up your pool next summer much easier!
Take a few moments to look through these tips on closing a pool for the winter. We’ve included a fall pool closing checklist to make sure that you don’t miss a step. If you ever need more information on pool winterizing, be sure to contact the experts at UV Pool!
When Should You Winterize Your Pool?
It’s best to winterize your inground pool before it begins to freeze. Once water freezes, it expands, and that could mean damage to your pool equipment, pool pumps, and your pool liner.
Leaves are falling now, and those leaves can wreak havoc on your pool filters and also promote mold and algae. Leaves that fall to the bottom of your pool are likely to leave stains if they are allowed to stay there. If you don’t anticipate any more swimming, go ahead and start closing down your pool for the year, and this will quickly solve the leaf problem.
Pool Closing Checklist
1. Balance your pool water to the following levels:
- pH between 7.2 and 7.6
- Alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm
- Calcium hardness between 180 and 220 ppm
- After adding your pool chemicals, circulate your pool for at least four hours.
2. Don’t douse your pool with chlorine. Use algaecide instead.
3. Remove Your Pool Lights
Sometimes we get calls in spring time from customers asking why their pool light broke over winter. The answer is almost always “because it was not properly winterized.” If your pool light is left in your pool for the winter the frozen pool water will expand and break the glass lens. When your pool gets winterized you should remove the single screw that holds your pool light in place and pull it up onto your pool deck. We recommend wrapping it in a garbage bag to keep the elements off.
If you do not remove your pool light and the glass break, you will need to clean up the broken glass fragments by sweeping the broken glass pieces to your main drain or vacuuming them up carefully. This is not an easy task given that the clear glass is almost impossible to see under the water.
4. Remove Pool Equipment
- Pool ladders
- Solar blankets
- Jet eyelet balls
- Skimmer basket.
5. Vacuum your pool clean.
6. Use your pool pump, vacuum, or submersible pool pump to lower the water level in your pool to just below your pool jets (but only if your jets are at least two-thirds of the way up your pool walls!). This will prevent damage caused by expansion when the water freezes.
7. Drain all of your pool equipment.
8. Pull the winterizing pumps out of your:
9. If you have a gas heater with a pressure switch, be sure to disconnect this as well so that it does not suffer frost damage.
10. Using a shop vac at each end, blow out your pool lines. This works best if one vac is set to suck and the other set to blow. Once these lines are clear, fill them with anti-freezer and then insert foam rope from the skimmer and jet ends. Plug the jets and skimmer port holes with a threaded or rubber expanding plug. Hand tighten these only so that they are not overly tightened. Check out the video below for a closer look at this process!
11. Cover your pool with an appropriate winter blanket or safety cover. Need a pool cover or winter blanket? Come talk to us!
Need More Help?
If you don’t feel confident or you don’t have the time to winterize your pool yourself, please contact us! Don’t wait too long, though. Pool closing season is a busy time of year, and pool winterization spots are filling up fast.