It’s getting cool outside. The kids haven’t used the pool in a couple of weeks. It’s that time of year – the summer swim season is over, and it’s time to shut down the pool. So what are the things a pool owner needs to remember? Here are some tips for closing the swimming pool:
As suggested by About.com, the main reason to winterize the inground pool – to protect from damage caused by freezing water. A second reason is to make sure the pool is clean for the next season. Time spent now will pay off in the spring.
Check the Chemistry
Make sure the water chemistry is in balance. Take a test kit and make sure the pH, alkalinity and calcium are all balanced. If the pool owner adds a winterizing chemical to the water, it will help keep the water blue and clear for the next season.
Don’t use a floater with a strong oxidizer like chlorine, because it will float up against the wall and stain the wall of the pool. Don’t just throw a chlorine tablet into the pool – it will sink to the bottom and damage the surface of the pool.
Protect Against Freezing
Freezing water which expands can cause a lot of damage to the pool plumbing. First, lower the water level in the pool below the mouth of the skimmer, to clear water from it. For a pool with a vinyl liner, a plastic dam of some kind works well to keep water from the skimmer, which keeps the water level at a constant level over the winter.
Clear Water From The Lines
Make sure and get water out of all lines which service the pool. Take a shop vac and blow water from each line, starting with the filter system. As that is done for each line, insert a plug in the line at the pool end. If possible, a threaded plug is best. Make sure the plug has a rubber gasket or “O” ring, to make a seal so water doesn’t fill the line back up. In the skimmer, use a device called a Gizzmo to seal it – a hollow tube which will collapse if water gets inside and freezes.
Cover The Pool
To prevent debris from building up over the winter – particularly the leaves from fall, a good step during the swimming pool closing is to deploy a cover.
Drain The Water From The Filter
Normally a filter system will have a plug at the bottom which can be opened to allow the filter system to drain. Open the air relief valve to let the water drain freely. Put the multiport valve in the closed or “winterize” position, remove the pressure gauge, and then drain the pump. Then turn on the pump for a brief second to clear the lines – but only for a second or two. Drain any other filter equipment that has water in it. Take the pressure gauge inside the house to protect it.
Now the pool is ready for the winter, and the happy pool owner can relax knowing that job is off the “to-do” list.
When Christy Everton was in middle school, she had already decided she wanted to be a writer. So writing articles for In The Swim allows her to fulfill a lifelong dream, and she thoroughly enjoys preparing assignments. Christy is also an avid reader, and her friends laugh when she tells them her real kick in life is watching NASCAR.