There are many things going on this time of year.  We have the holidays, freezing temps and a lot of hustle and bustle.  We need to also think about our swimming pools.  Hopefully, if you live in a State where you get sub zero temperatures, you have Winterized your swimming pool.  Not doing so can result in damage to plumbing and equipment.  But what about the vessel itself?  Frozen water expands which can cause tiles to crack and even pipes to burst!

A Little Ice

A lot of swimming pool owners will experience at least some degree of their pool water freezing.  Your swimming pool water could develop a slim layer of ice running along the surface.  This is little cause for worry.  You can easily break up the ice if needed.

A Lot of Ice

If your swimming pool water freezes from wall to wall and you see the ice expanding, or thickening, this could lead to a more serious problem.  If prolonged, this is where you may see some tiles cracking.  The rule of thumb is once the ice freezes to ½ inch in thickness, we want to take the necessary steps to break the ice before damage can occur.  If you did not Winterize your swimming pool, you will need to leave your pump running 24/7 to prevent the pipes from bursting.

It is Best to Winterize

You can hire a professional company to help you with this, or you can tackle it yourself if you are a DIY kinda chap.  Here are some steps to help get you started.

First, remove any accessories that would prevent you from being able to cover your swimming pool.  Things like chorine floaters, rafts, skimmer baskets, steps, ladders and your solar cover.

Next, deep clean your swimming pool.  This includes cleaning the filter.  Remove any leaves, silt and various debris kicking around in your pool.  I suggest a leaf rake for the bottom junk and a skimmer for the top of the water.  You’ll want to vacuum and brush the pool thoroughly as well.  Been searching for the perfect pool brush?  Check out the 360 degree technology of these brushes

The pool water also needs to be dealt with.  This includes testing the swimming pool water and adding the necessary chemicals to balance it.  We want every filed in range.  pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness etc. are just some fields.  

Pro Tip:  Take your swimming pool water to a local pool supply store that does free water testing because they tend to test for more fields than a home test kit can do.

You will want to lower your water level.  Just below the skimmer for mesh cover users and about a foot below the skimmer if using a solid cover. Next, drain all of your equipment using their individual drain plugs.  Clean your lines with a blower and add your expansion plugs.  

Pro Tip:  Store your swimming pool equipment inside if possible

Now it is time to add an algaecide and shock your swimming pool.  Shocking means adding high levels of chlorine to oxidize and leave a chlorine reserve.  A maintenance dose will not work.  Our goal is to break down all of the contaminants and organic load.

It is now time to cover our swimming pools.  Some peeps have a tension help safety cover.  This is the best protection against debris and accidental drowning.  Other people utilize either a mesh or solid cover.  If using a solid cover, whether safety or not, it is super important to use a cover pump to pump off the standing water.  Stagnant water is a breeding ground for insects, heavy on your cover and can pose a drowning risk for animals and small children.  Not to mention the extra work you’ll have to deal with come Spring.

Looking for a high quality cover pump?  I suggest going with the American made, name brand of Black and Decker.  They make both a manual an automatic cover pump.  Check them out here See you poolside come Spring!