How to Prep Your Pool for the Winter
The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, leaves are falling, and the kids are back in school: all signs it isn’t summer anymore. While Labor Day might be the unofficial last day of pool season, we know there are a few holdouts who keep their pools open just a little bit longer.
Though it’s a tough decision to make, you have to close your pool for winter sometime, but are you following the right protocols to ensure it’ll be ready for spring next year?
Outdoor Innovations has some tips and procedures to properly prep your swimming pool for winter so it will last the cold temperatures and snow and be easier for you to get ready when the weather warms up again.
Do You Need to Prep Your Pool for Winter?
Yes. Yes, you do. Covering your pool with a tarp and calling it good is a recipe for an expensive disaster. From algae growth to frozen and bursting plumbing lines, your pool can develop some costly problems if not winterized, not to mention a headache to clean, repair, and open up in the spring.
Pools need special prep for winter because they are not necessarily made for freezing temperatures and snow. Proper winterization ensures your pool is in the best condition possible for reopening when the weather heats up, and you can enjoy the water again.
Here are the vital steps you need to take to ensure your pool can withstand the Minnesota cold and be safely and quickly reopened.
1. Balance Your Water’s Chemistry
In order to survive the cold weather, your water’s chemistry needs to be at certain levels:
pH: 7.2 to 7.8
Total Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
Calcium Hardness: 150 to 250 ppm
Chlorine: 1 to 3 ppm
Algaecide: An appropriate amount to prevent algae growth
2. Clean & Vacuum Your Pool
The next step includes cleaning and vacuuming your pool. You should remove all debris, or as much as you possibly can, including twigs, sticks, leaves, and other matter. Then, vacuum the pool to make it as clean as you can.
3. Lower Your Water Level
For this step, you may need to rent a pump. You want to make sure you lower your pool’s water level to below the skimmer and return jets. This prevents freezing and breaks during the cold months. Make sure you follow your local regulations for disposing of pool water.
4. Winterize Plumbing & Equipment
Now, it’s time to winterize the pool’s plumbing and equipment. Turn off the pool’s pump and filter system so you can remove and clean the pump, filter, and skimmer baskets.
If necessary, backwash or clean the filter. Disconnect and drain all hoses and pipes from the pool equipment, then use a shop vac or air compressor to blow the water from the pipes and plumbing lines.
This will prevent freezing and cracking. Remove all of your pool’s accessories, like ladders, rails, and diving boards.
5. Add Winter Chemicals
Purchase a winterization kit and add the chemicals to your pool’s remaining water. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to apply the chemicals properly. Add a pool winterization floater or dispenser with winterizing tablets to help maintain water quality.
6. Attach & Secure Pool Cover
When covering your pool for winter, make sure you use a well-fitting cover that can withstand winter weather. You can choose from solid or mesh covers, which have advantages. Mesh keeps water from standing on the pool cover, while solid covers keep sunlight and debris from entering the pool.
Make sure your chosen pool cover is attached firmly to prevent it from blowing off during winter.
7. Monitor Throughout the Winter
During the winter months, periodically check your pool cover to make sure it's firmly attached and secure. Remove any standing water to prevent damage.
There you have it! It can feel like a long process but think of the money you’ll save by properly closing your pool and not having to repair anything come summer. You’ll thank us later!
Turn Your Backyard into a Luxury Living Space with Outdoor Innovations
If you already have a swimming pool and want to make your backyard a luxury living space, contact Outdoor Innovations. We can design and build anything from:
With Outdoor Innovations at your side, your backyard can become one of the premier hangout spots during the prime weather months in Minnesota or may even extend your outdoor season even longer!
Contact us today for a quote, or call us at 651-983-1976. We can’t wait to work with you and bring your backyard dreams to reality!