Once you see the leaves changing color and you feel the air getting colder, you know that winter is on its way. For a lot of homeowners, this means it’s time to close their swimming pool for the season. Closing your pool properly is essential to keeping it in good condition until you can reopen it next spring. No matter your location or the type of pool you have, these simple tips can help you conduct a seamless pool closure:
Step 1: Ensure Everything Is in Good Condition
Before you do anything, it’s important to give your entire pool a thorough inspection. The first thing you should check is the winter cover to make sure it’s in good shape and will properly protect your pool throughout the season. You should also check the condition of your pool’s pump, filter, and other mechanical components. Any cracks or holes can cause problems that are harder to fix once you reopen, so be sure to patch any up before you close the pool.
Step 2: Make Sure the Water Levels Are Balanced
An important step in closing your pool is making sure the water levels are balanced. This includes ensuring the pH levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness are all within the ideal range and the chlorine level is higher than 3ppm. If they’re not, it could lead to problems such as staining or corrosion. A professional water analysis or test strips can help you check the levels and make any necessary adjustments. Chemicals will need to run for 24-48hrs prior to shutting the system down.
Step 3: Get the Pool Ready for Closing
Once you’ve inspected everything and made any necessary repairs, it’s time to start preparing the pool. Begin by removing all ladders, diving boards, slides, and other accessories from the pool. Next, you’ll need to drain the water level just below the return line or add in winter skimmer plugs. To do this, you can use a submersible pump or simply open the drain valve and let gravity do its job. You should also consider the temperature outside when draining the water. If it’s too warm, it can lead to algae growth. If it’s too cold, the pipes could freeze. The sweet spot is a little below 15 degrees.
Step 4: Prepare the Filter, Heater, and Pumps
Now it’s time to winterize the filter, heater, and pumps. For the filter, you’ll need to backwash it. Once that’s done, you can disconnect the hoses and store them away for the winter. Next, clean and drain the filters while keeping the backwash valve open. The process might vary depending on the type of filters you have, so it’s best to check with your local pool dealer for expert advice on the specific model you own.
After that, you will need to take out the jet fittings and turn the pump on for a while. This will help you make sure that there’s no water left. You can then store both the pump and filter in a dry place. As for the heater, you’ll need to check the process for winterizing the specific type you have, since each heater’s instruction will be different. If you find this overwhelming, you can always ask a professional for support.
Step 5: Drain the Pool Lines
The next step is to drain the pool lines. To do this, you’ll need to locate the main drain and any other drains in the pool. Once you’ve found them, you can use a garden hose to flush out all the water. Start by attaching the hose to the lowest drain and then open it up. The water will start to flow out, taking any debris with it. Once the water has stopped flowing, you can close the drain and move on to the next one. Repeat this process until all the drains have been cleared. When you see air bubbles coming from the return jet in the pool, it means the process is complete. You can then proceed with tightly plugging the lines.
Step 6: Plug the Skimmer
The next step is to plug the skimmer. This will help prevent any water from seeping in and causing damage over the winter. To do this, you’ll need to pop in the appropriate size skimmer plug for your pool.
Step 7: Cover the Pool
The final step is to cover the pool. This will help protect it from any debris or animals that could cause damage. It’s important to choose a cover that’s the right size and made from durable material. You should also make sure it’s secured tightly.
When you follow the steps above, you can sit back and relax knowing your pool is ready for winter. Just be sure to check on it every now and then to make sure the cover is still in place and there’s no water or debris inside. Other than that, you can look forward to a hassle-free reopening come springtime.
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