Here on the East Coast we’ve been treated to some unseasonably warm temperatures this fall, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect important household maintenance items before the chill of winter sets in. If you have an inground pool, this is the perfect time to get it ready for winter. A swimming pool that isn’t properly fortified against the elements can suffer serious damage during the winter. Today, we’ll walk you through the process of winterizing your pool.
Clean Out Debris
First, use a net and/or pool vacuum to remove debris such as dirt and leaves from the pool, skimmer and pump strainer basket. Once it’s clean, remove the pump basket as well.
Check Your Chemistry
To prevent staining, etching and algae growth, you’ll need to make sure the chemicals in your pool are balanced. Use a testing kit to determine what you’ll need to balance your pool’s PH, alkalinity and calcium hardness. You can purchase a chemical kit designed specifically for winterizing your pool from your local supplier.
Lower the Water Level
Cycles of freezing and thawing can do serious damage to your pool and its components. To prevent this damage, the water should be drained until it’s lower than the skimmer mouths in your pool. This will keep water out of the pool’s plumbing during the winter. Once the water is lowered, use a shop vac to blow excess water out of the filter lines. After you’ve cleared the water from the lines, use plugs to seal them.
You can use a product called a Gizzmo to protect skimmers from freezing in the event that water is able to enter them. Once the water is lowered, use a cover to keep debris out of the pool during the winter. Finally, drain all the components of your pool’s filter system including the chemical feeder, cleaner pump and heater, if applicable.
Now that you’ve winterized your pool, you can rest easy knowing that it will be damage-free and ready to use again next season.