Swimming Pool News

WINTERIZING POOL TIPS

 

Cleaning the Pool

The first and most important part is clean your pool of any debris. If you have a pool vacuum use it, otherwise, just use your net. Make sure to clean out the skimmer and pump basket. Remember to clean the tiles with a tile cleaner, if you have one. Spending some time doing this now, will save you the hassle of having the dirt get stuck during winter.

BALANCE THE WATER CHEMISTRY.

This protects your pool from corrosion or massive dirt buildup. Get a simple water test kit, then, adjust the amount of chemicals in the water to the normal levels of PH, alkalinity, calcium and chlorine. You can also add a winterization chemical kit. After you put them in, though, the pool cannot be used until opening in the spring, as, they put large amounts of chlorine and algaecide into the water to prepare for the cold days ahead. Some larger pools may require other supplementary chemicals as well.

DON'T LET YOUR CHEMICALS DAMAGE YOUR POOL.

Do not add tablets or floaters that contain chlorine or bromine, as they can damage some pool equipment close to them. If you have some already, wait until the chemicals are depleted, then take them out.  Follow directions of use for every chemical, do not guess, be precise. For some chemicals you must turn on the pool filter, do so, as it may help your pool liner, protecting it from stains and un-dissolved particles or from damage to your equipment from a large amounts of chemicals.

THE #1 ENEMY: FREEZING.

During the winter, water freezes. Frozen water expands with much force; such force can destroy highways, split open trees and explode pop cans. That same force expands and destroys pool pipes, filters, liners, and the foundations of pools. No matter where you live, warm or cold, you must prepare for such temperatures. To start, drain the water below the skimmer, but do not empty the pools. The water in the soil can expand, underneath the pool, completely digging your pool out of the ground. Keeping water in can give it enough wait to keep it down.

BE GOOD TO YOUR PUMP AND HEATER.

Disconnect your pump and filter. Make sure all of the water is out of the pump. Remove the drain plugs from the pump, as they may keep water inside, which can ruin the pump. To make sure all the water is out, turn on the pump for 2 seconds to expel any water left in it. Keep the plugs in a pump basket, so they are easy to find later.

Drain the heater, if you have one. Make sure no water is left in it, use a shop vac if you must. Remove any drain plugs and put those away also, for the Spring.

Remove all of the return jet fittings. Remove all of them, and don’t be alarmed if a fitting cracks, you can get a replacement easily. Remove the skimmer baskets. Put the fittings and other things into a basket to avoid their loss.

NO WATER IN THE PIPES = NO FREEZE DAMAGE.

Loosen any easy –disconnect fittings for your pumps and filter systems. Use an air compressor or shop-vac to blow out any water left inside of the pumps. Push air from the pump into the skimmer and the skimmer pipes.

Blow the water out of the return plumbing by connecting the compressor the filter system, or connecting it with the pump’s drain plug. When you see bubbles, from the jets, plug the fitting below the waterline. Plug up any other holes in the pipes with plugs.

If you can, blow out the main drain. When you see bubbles come out of the drain plug the pipe on your end or close the gate valve. This keeps all of the water out, keeping your main drain line safe.

CLEAN THE FILTER.

Take out the filter hoses, then, spray the cartridge filter elements and D.E. grids with a Filter Cleaner. Rinse after. For the D.E. filters, drain the tanks and open the backwash valve. Backwash the sand filter, if you have one.

DO NOT ACID WASH A D.E. FILTER, at closing time! Wait until after winter, when you can finally get water to go through the system in order to rinse it out. Rinsing before and later putting away the filter, allows the acid to attack the filter components all winter long.

At the bottom of the drain of the filter, open it, to let out water in the filter outlet. Remember to open the air relief valve, if you have one.  Put the multiport valve in the closed position, take out the water, and remove the pressure gauge. Put the drain plug with other items you might have out away until spring.

YOUR FINAL FREEZE INSURANCE: THE FLOTATION DEVICE.

Before the cover goes onto your pool, you must create a simple floatation device in the middle of your pool. This float should balance the water and ice that will appear on your pool. It also helps ease the pressure off of the walls of the pool by allowing the excess water buildup to push on the flotation device, not the on the walls.

LAST STEP: THE WINTER COVER.

The winter cover itself is the most important part of keeping your pool safe. It’s main job is to be able to withstand the large amounts of water and ice buildup on top, along with being able to protect anyone from falling through the pool into the water.

Make sure to check the cover for any rips or tears. Fix them, if you can, but if not, replace the cover immediately, you won’t regret it. The black side goes down, when stretching the cover over the pools. Make sure to remove any sharp objects or cover them up, so the cover does not get damaged during the winter. Anything soft can do. After this, stretch the cover over the entire pool. This may take a few extra hands. Run a wire through the holes in the perimeter of the cover, and tighten it to make sure it is able to withstand winds and rains.

TIME FOR STORAGE.

Take out any ropes and floats from the pool and put them away with the rest of the equipment. Remove the dive board, ladders and anything else and put them away with your other items. Store the dive bolts and ladder bumpers with the pump basket. Put away your sand filter in a safe spot.

YOU'RE DONE.

This will help your pool withstand the worst that winter has got. Your Spring pool opening should be an easy opening, only to enjoy your pool for another summer!

 

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