The summer has come to an end and it's time to close the pool. Here are the steps you will need to take in order to ensure your pool equipment is properly winterized.During the winter your pool is subject to more stress than in the summer, and any breakage that is caused by incorrect winterization will not be covered by a warranty.
Before closing down your pool for the winter you must make a complete inspection of the pool.
- Check all the connections to make sure everything is tight and in good condition
- Check to see that the liner is snugly held in place over the wall
- Check for any indication of rust or deterioration in any part
- Test your water chemistry several days prior to the day you plan on closing your pool. You will want to make sure your chemicals are adjusted to acceptable levels.
- Vacuum & brush the pool. The water level will have to be lowered and vacuuming is a great way to knock out 2 birds with one stone.
- In addition to adjusting your ph, alkalinity, & chlorine levels, you will want to add a bottle of preventative algaecide & shock the pool. The amount of shock will vary depending on the gallons of your pool. During the winter the pool requires the use of an equalizer to allow for the expansion and contraction that occurs when ice is formed and to hold the cover-up. This can be a product manufactured for this express purpose and is available at your swimming pool dealer. Also, the use of a winterizing agent will simplify the startup of your pool next season.
- Lower the level of water to about one foot below the skimmer intake and return holes. Throughout the winter you must continually check this level, as it must not reach the skimmer holes at any time during the winter.
- Remove all drain plugs from the pump, filter, chlorinator, & anything else that holds water, and drain any water from hoses or piping.
- Plug the return lines and skimmers with the appropriate plugs/winter plate.
- Cover the pool & secure it with winch cables under the top ledge.
- Have a cover pump handy to pump water off of the cover as it gathers over the winter months.
After your pool has been winterized and all steps carefully followed, the following checks and procedures must be strictly followed during fall, winter, and spring seasons.
Your pool warranty will be invalid if the pool has been improperly winterized and the following procedures not strictly adhered to. Pools that have been incorrectly winterized have been known to collapse under the tremendous pressures exerted by ice and snow.
- Maintain a strict inspection of the inner skimmer housing to see that water is not leaking at the gasket. If the skimmer was not removed, water should not be allowed to collect in the skimmer housing as the water will freeze and crack the housing and cause possible damage to the wall.
- Should ice, or anything else, cut your pool liner allowing the pool to empty, be sure to release the cover thereby removing the weight from the top of your pool. Failing to do so can cause your pool to collapse.
- During the winter, the liner may pull out of it’s coping. Due to freezing and thawing of the ground, the ground sometimes sinks and the liner with the weight of ice or water will sink also, thus pulling the liner out of it’s coping.
- Be sure to pull off all excess snow and ice from the winter cover.
A pool that is left up during the freezing temperatures must not be allowed to leak. It is not uncommon for a leak to develop during rigorous summer usage and go undetected. Persistent wet areas around the pool should be inspected.
PRO TIP: To determine if your pool is leaking, mark the liner at the water level and closely observe the water level in the pool for a period of 10 - 12 days after the pool is closed for the season. Any rain during this period may compensate for any undetected water leakage. Therefore, the observation period must be extended to find any leaks.
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