Thanks to your backyard pool, your family had a fantastic summer. Now that the air is cooler and the fall colours are setting in, it’s time to winterize the pool so that it’s in prime condition to do its job next year. For homeowners who plan to carry out this task themselves, Green Collar Landscaping has put together this short guide on how to close your inground pool for winter.
Why Is It Important to Winterize Your Swimming Pool?
During the winter, freezing temperatures make it impossible to carry out regular pool maintenance. When your filter can’t run, bacteria and chemicals can build up and cause issues with the pool and its equipment. In addition, the cold can also damage the water lines and plumbing if they aren’t attended to properly. By closing your inground pool for the winter, you avoid these problems and can look forward to an easier reopening when summer returns.
When Should You Close Your Pool?
If you want to minimize algae growth, wait until the water temperature is consistently below 15°C before closing the pool. At that point, you can take steps to remove excess water from the plumbing system and install a winter cover.
Below is a general overview of the steps you should take to get your pool ready for winter.
Step One: Collect All the Equipment You’ll Need
You’ll need specific equipment for the pool closing process, including:
- A winter pool cover (If you don’t have one, you can purchase a cover from Green Collar Landscaping’s pool division and we will install it for you.)
- Winter chemicals (includes algaecide, shock, and stain and scale remover)
- Skimmer plugs
- Return jet plugs
- Water bags
- Shop vac or air compressor
Step Two: Get the Pool Ready
Start by removing all accessories, such as diving boards, floatation devices, and ropes. Once all equipment has been removed, do the following:
- Use a hand vacuum or automatic system to clean the pool of dirt, leaves, and debris.
- Turn off, drain, and blow out any water features like slides or waterfalls.
- Drain the water level so that it falls just below the pool’s return line.
Step Three: Drain and Clean Pump and Filter
Disconnect the pump and filter and drain them completely. For the pump, you’ll pull out the drain plug, empty all water, and run it again once to remove any excess. For the filter, you’ll need to clean it and drain the tank according to manufacturer instructions. Leave the backwash valve open and use a compressor or shop vac to blow out the multiport valve. After removing the jet fittings, store the pump, filter, and any associated parts in a dry place.
Step Four: Drain and Clean the Heater
If your pool has a heater, turn it off. Once it has been completely drained, use a compressor or shop vac to clear the lines of any residual water.
Step Four: Drain and Clear the Water Lines and Plug the Skimmer Hole
Use a compressor or shop vac to blow out the pool’s water lines. After clearing each one, plug it tightly to prevent water from getting back in. You will also need to plug the skimmer hole to keep it protected throughout the winter.
Step Five: Balance Chemicals
Balancing the total pH in the water protects your pool liner and prevents algae and other microorganisms from growing. You can achieve this step by using chemicals specially formulated and packaged for the purpose.
Step Six: Install the Pool Cover
By covering your pool, you can keep leaves, sticks, and mud out as well as better protect the pool itself from temperature extremes.
Do You Have Questions About Closing Your Pool for the Winter?
Closing your pool can be challenging if you’ve never done it before, but following manufacturer directions for all products used can encourage a successful result. If you require a pool cover to finish the preparations, Green Collar would be happy to assist, so please contact us today!