As the seasons transition from summer to fall, many of us look forward to a handful of exclusively autumn events like college football, Thanksgiving, and pumpkin spice lattes. We can even allow ourselves to start getting excited about the special aspects of the coldest months like Christmas, ice skating, and hot chocolate. Sadly though, the welcoming of fall inevitably means farewell to summer and all of its seasonal splendor: sunshine, beaches, sandals, snow cones, and of course, the pool.
Closing your pool for the colder seasons can seem as simple as throwing a cover on it and calling it a day. However, there are many common mistakes made by pool owners every year when it comes to winterizing a pool. The following guidelines for closing a pool will ensure that your pool is swimmer-friendly and ready for use by the first day of summer:
Take Your Time The most common mistake made by pool owners who are closing up for winter is speeding through the job. This practice is based on the common misconception that pools will unavoidably collect dirt and debris over the course of winter and need a full, deep cleaning come summer anyway. Lucky for you, this is wrong. If you take the time to thoroughly clean and close your pool properly for winter, you can expect swimmable water on opening day.
Clean Pools Are Happy Pools Even though cleaning the pool before closing seems like an obvious necessity, many pool owners still make the mistake of leaving debris in the water after it’s covered. While a small leaf floating on the surface may seem trivial, any amount of debris left in the water at closing will disturb the chemicals and leave you with an avoidable chore when opening your pool for the season. You’ll feel a huge sense of relief next spring when you realize another deep cleaning isn’t needed as long as you put in the work during winter.
Chemical Dump To ensure that you’ll maintain a healthy pool environment by the time spring rolls around, winterizing chemicals should be added to the pool water before a cover is attached. The biggest mistake made regarding these chemicals is overuse. In the case of winterizing chemicals, more is not better. Shoot for the following levels when closing your pool:
- pH: 7.2 to 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium hardness: 180 to 220 ppm
Unwanted Drainage Probably the most expensive mistake you could make when closing a pool is not properly draining your pumps and filtration systems. Removing “most” of the water will not suffice. In order to avoid bursting pipes or busted heaters, every drop of water should be drained. You can get rid of lingering moisture from your pool plumbing system with any kind of blow tool such as a leaf blower or a shop vacuum, which can remove exterior liquid as well as blow air from the skimmer through the equipment and back to the pool.
The best mentality to employ in regards to closing your pool is: more work now, no work later. The more care and effort you put into preparing a pool for the cold seasons, the less work you’ll need to do to ready it for spring and summer. The last thing you’ll want to do come springtime is worry about cleaning out gunk and green water that accumulated during the off-season. So be sure to avoid the most common mistakes when closing your pool this winter, and when the warm weather arrives next year, you’ll be ready to dive right in!
If you have any questions about the proper steps you need to take to winterize your pool, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help! Be sure to visit us at www.thepoolguystore.com for all your pool supply needs at discount prices.