It is that time of year once again where it is time to Winterize, or close, our swimming pools.  There are certain steps we need to take to not only survive the Winter, but make opening the swimming pool again in Spring a breeze.  We are going to go over all of the steps, including the top 3 most important parts.  These are listed in order of how you would do them.  I will put an asterisk by the 3 most important.

  1. Remove any accessories.  This includes your chlorine floater and any toys or rafts.  It also includes removing ladders, skimmer baskets, steps and solar blankets.  Basically anything that would prevent us from covering the pool.
  2. Deep clean your swimming pool, including cleaning the filter.  Get out all the silt, leaves and debris that is hanging out in your pool.  I find it easiest to use a leaf rake for the junk on the bottom and a skimmer for the junk on the top.  Vacuum and brush thoroughly too.  Need a good universal brush?  Check these out.
  3. ****We also need to “clean the water.  This means testing the swimming pool water and adding any required chemicals to balance it. Every range should fall into the desired range.  This includes your pH, sanitizer, alkalinity etc.  You may want to bring your water to a local swimming pool supply store for testing as they typically test for more fields than home test kits offer.
  4. Lower the water level just below the skimmer if using a mesh cover and half a foot below if using a solid pool cover.  
  5. Drain all of your equipment to prevent any potential damage from sub zero temps.  Use winterizing plugs after clearing the lines with a blower.  Adding swimming pool antifreeze if you want extra protection.  Drain the equipment and store indoors if this is feasible. 
  6. ****Add an algaecide and shock your swimming pool.  Shocking just means adding high levels of chlorine.  A maintenance dose will not suffice.  We are attempting to break down all contaminants and bacteria while leaving a sufficient chlorine bank.  If the chlorine level is a-okay, feel free to use a non-chlorine shock to get rid of those contaminants.
  7. Cover the swimming pool.  Some folks have a tension held safety cover.  This is the best at keeping out debris.  They are also the best at keeping animals and children from accidental drowning. Some of us just have a mesh or solid winterizing cover.  Whatever the cover, make sure you check it for rips or tears from last season.
  8. ****Put your cover pump on!  The stagnant water that could accumulate on your cover without one is a breeding ground for insects, a drowning risk, very heavy on the cover and extra work to remove once Spring hits.  You can get a quality cover pump for less than you may think.  They come in manual and automatic. Check them out here.  

As you can see, all of the steps are important and play a role in closing your swimming pool for the season.  Make sure to give extra attention to the top 3!  See you poolside come Spring!