It’s pool closing time. You sigh just thinking about it don’t you? Winterizing your pool can be a pain in the rumpus and very expensive if done incorrectly.
If you want to save yourself the stress, the alternative is hiring a professional pool company to winterize your pool. However, the average winterizing price is north of $400.
For those who take the Ice Pool Challenge of winterizing your pool, here are some pitfalls to avoid that will prevent damage and save you money.
Stained Pool Surfaces
A clean pool is important. Dirt and leaves can make ugly stains if left in the pool all winter. When adding any granular winterizing chemicals, dissolve them in a bucket before pouring it into the pool. If precaution is not taken undissolved granules can settle on the pool floor, staining or damaging your pool. Even when adding liquid winterizing chemicals, it is best to dilute into a clean bucket of water for even distribution.
Never add water to chemicals, Always add chemicals to water, and always be sure to rinse the bucket out in the pool between chemicals.
Bad Water Chemistry
During winter It’s even more important to have balanced water chemistry in your pool to prevent corrosion or scale build up. Use a good water testing kit to ensure that your hardness, pH and alkalinity levels are balanced properly before closing your pool.
Add your winter pool chemicals after balancing the pool water chemistry. Balanced water is key to conserving your winter chemicals, and protecting your pool from stains, deposits or erosion. Calcium: 180-220; Alkalinity: 80-120; pH: 7.2-7.4
Adding Winter Chemicals
Chemicals are vital when preparing your pool for the winter months, but if not careful it can cause more damage than good. For example, don’t use chlorine tablets in a floater, which could put your pool surfaces at risk for damage.
Follow the instructions carefully when applying winter chemicals to your pool, some require the pool filter on while applying the chemicals. Stain prevention chemicals and Enzymes, for instance, should be added before you lower the pool water.
If you are anxious about determining the types of chemicals to use for your pool a great alternative is getting a winter pool kit. These kits have all the chemicals you need to protect your equipment and pool from the elements. Saves bundles over buying the items separately.
Filter Cleaning Chemicals
After the DE filter grids or Cartridge filter is removed and sprayed clean, you may want to clean the fabric more thoroughly. Avoid using an acid solution or any household cleaners. Use the correct pool filter cleaner designed for your pool filter type.
In addition, if you decide to use a pool filter cleaner during the fall, rinse extra thoroughly, and soak in a large bucket (not the pool!) afterwards to remove any remaining trace of cleanser. Then dry and store for winter, the safest place being inside the filter tank.
If possible try to avoid using antifreeze in your pool pipes,and never pour it into your pump, filter, heater or chlorinator. Instead, make sure the pipes are emptied out with a high volume air blower.
Filling the pipes with pool antifreeze is expensive, and even though it’s non-toxic, and has little effect on water chemistry, do you really want gallons of propylene glycol in your pool water?
Using a chlorine-free shock will get rid of impurities in the pool, and won’t disrupt the effectiveness from other winterizing chemicals being applied.
Chlorine pool shock can break apart polymer-based chemicals such as algaecide, knock minerals out of solution, and can etch erode plaster, fade and weaken vinyl finishes; not recommended for winterization.
When all is said and done, taking the time to close your pool properly will save a lot of hassle come opening time in the spring. Do the work now to clean the pool and store equipment safely so it can be used many years to come. Basically, the more tender loving care you put into your pool at closing time, the more it will give back – for years to come!
InTheSwim Staff Blogger