Weekly pool upkeep is crucial, but annual winterization can also be crucial in preserving the value of your pool’s investment. Part 1 in our series covered the preliminary measures to ensure your pool is clean and the ideal time to begin the winterization process in order to prevent algae growth during the off-season. In this post we’ll address a couple final recommendations to follow as part of the pool winterization process.
Water Care Procedures
Lower the water level to between 4 and 6 inches below the skimmer or the tile line if you live somewhere where the temperature drops below freezing (depending on whether your pool has a vinyl liner or is made of plaster). If you don’t live somewhere where the temperature gets that low, you should fill your pool to the point where the water level is even with the top and almost overflows the walls.
The pH level, which measures how acidic the water is, is the next factor to take into account. The ideal pH range for the pool water is between 7.4 and 7.6, and the lower the pH, the more acidic the water is. To ensure that the pH of your pool water is ideal, add a pH increaser if it is too basic, and a base if it is too acidic.
It will be time to shock your pool water once the pH is corrected and the water level is at the proper level. If you’ve been taking good care of your pool all season, the shocking procedure won’t be unfamiliar to you. Although it could be done the night before closing day, this step should ideally be completed two to three days before you close your pool. Make sure not to shock the water too much, because that would make it cloudy.
One more water maintenance step to follow is to let your pool’s pump run through a complete cycle before backwashing in order to clean the filter.
Final Steps Before Closing Your Pool
You should drain your pool lines and apply antifreeze to them if temperatures are predicted to fall below the freezing point of water. The pump, filter, heater, and any other equipment in your pool should all be drained using the drain plug. In addition to emptying them of water, you should take out the DE grids and filter cartridges and thoroughly clean them with a hand-held vacuum. The drain plugs should then be stored in the pump basket during the off-season so you can easily locate them in the spring. (You may find out the suggested amount of anti-freeze for your specific climate from your neighborhood pool provider.)
Finally, it will be time to close your pool with a secure pool cover that seals tightly. The kind of cover you select will partly depend on the surroundings of your yard and partially on the temperature where you live. (Again, an excellent place to inquire is at your neighborhood pool supply store to see what type of pool cover they recommend for the winter months.)
After your pool is shut down for the winter, you should continue to keep an eye on it by utilizing a test kit to examine the water’s chemistry on a regular basis. Soon it will be time to welcome Spring and make preparations for reopening your pool.
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