What is the Best Way to Close a Swimming Pool?

It is getting closer, believe it or not, to the time we need to think about the end of Summer.  The end of Summer usually means thinking about closing, or winterizing, our swimming pools.  Usually this means when the weather is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.  There are certain things you need to do to accomplish this. Let’s talk about them.

First and foremost you’ll want to remove any accessories.  This includes floaters, toys, rafts , ladders, skimmer baskets, steps and a solar blanket if you have these.  We do not want anything left in the water or that would prevent us from being able to cover it.  Clean these items with the hose to remove chemicals, dirt and debris and any algae spores. 

You’ll want to give the pool a good deep cleaning.  This includes cleaning the filter.  Get out all of the leaves, dirt, silt or other debris that is in the water.  Use your leaf rake to get the stuff on the bottom and your skimmer to get the junk off of the top.  You’ll want to vacuum and brush the pool thoroughly as well.  Now is a good time to throw on a cover so nature doesn’t undo all of your hard work.

On top of cleaning the obvious dirt, we need to “clean” the water.  This is done by testing the swimming pool water and adding any necessary chemicals to balance it. You’ll want everything to be in the desired ranges.  This includes sanitizer, pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness etc.  If your test kit does not test for all of these you may want to bring in a sample to your local pool store because they tend to test for everything.

If you live in an area where it gets to be freezing in the Winter, you’ll want to lower the water level.  You’ll want to lower it just enough so that it is below your skimmer if using a mesh pool cover.  If you are using a solid swimming pool cover,  a half a foot below the skimmer should do the trick.

Draining all of the equipment would be the next step.  This is to prevent any damage that may occur during those icy temps.  Expansion plugs AKA winterizing plugs, are to be used after you clear the swimming pool lines with a blower.  You can always add a swimming pool antifreeze for that extra protection.  All of your equipment contains drain plugs so utilize these to remove the water.  If possible, store the equipment indoors.

Now it’s time for more preventative maintenance. Add an algaecide and shock the pool.  Shocking the swimming pool means adding extra chlorine. A maintenance dose will not accomplish this.  We are trying to not only break down any contaminants and bacteria in the water, but leave a sufficient chlorine reserve as well.  If your chlorine is already fine, you are welcome to use a non-chlorine shock.  

Finally it is time to cover the swimming pool.  You may have a safety cover or a winterizing cover.  Safety covers, because they are tension held, will be the best barrier against debris.  They are also safer to keep people and animals from falling into the pool.  If you are using a winterizing cover you do not need to secure it with the tension fittings. Check your cover for any rips or tears as we want it in good condition.

Don’t forget to put your cover pump on!  Water build up can be heavy on a cover and may rip or tear it.  Stagnant water is also a breeding ground for insects. It will be less maintenance when you go to open your pool.  You can get a name brand, high quality Black & Decker cover pump here

You have now successfully winterized your swimming pool!  See you poolside come Summer!