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Once we reach fall, homeowners should start prepping their pools for winter. Just like the early October snow we got last month, Minnesota weather can be unpredictable, which can create problems for pool owners. If you were rushing to cover your pool this year, then we recommend moving your timeline up next year just to be safe. Then, save these tips to make sure you do it correctly. It’s not just a matter of skimming the water and grabbing the cover—if you want to save yourself the trouble of having to treat your pool for algae or other complications in the spring, this process will help a lot.

Here’s a step by step guide to winterizing your pool:

  • Remove any toys from the pool. Make sure you also check the pump baskets on the side for any stuck items.
  • Remove ladders, railings, and diving boards and store them for the winter.
  • Clean the pool. Skim the water to remove debris and also clear out any debris stuck in the skimmer and pump basket. Vacuum and brush the pool as well so it’s as clean as possible.
  • Treat the water. If there’s algae or cloudiness in the water, fix it with the necessary chemical treatments.
  • Test the water. There are three main tests for your water: pH level, total alkalinity, and water hardness. Ideal ranges are between 7.2 to 7.6 for pH, 80 to 150 for total alkalinity (but preferably in the higher range during months of non-use), and the calcium hardness around 200 to 250. Once you know how your water tests, you can buy the necessary products to get the water ready for winter.
  • Protect the water. Add some algae control to make sure your pool will be clean once spring comes around.
  • Shock the pool. As the final water balancing task, this kills bacteria, prevents algae, and frees up chlorine.
  • Once the water is ready, it’s time to plug up the pool and start bringing the water level down. Lower the water level below the skimmer and drain water from the pump and filters. You should also blow out the water lines.
  • Then, it’s finally time to close up the pool. Give the water one last skim to make sure it’s as clean as possible, and then secure the cover for the season.

By cleaning and treating your pool in the fall, you’ll be ready to swim in no time once summer rolls around. If you’re thinking about getting a pool next year, give us a call to learn more. Outdoor Innovations serves the Twin Cities and are experts at installing in-ground pools.