Your pool may be a source of recreation and relaxation during the summer months, but unless you’re a polar bear, it probably doesn’t see much use after the warm months are over. In mild climates, you may have an extended swimming season thanks to moderate winters and early springs, but even in the Southeast there are a few months every year in which freezing temperatures are the norm rather than the exception. Because of this, part of your swimming pool maintenance regimen should include winterization of your pool. While you can certainly hire a swimming pool maintenance service in Johns Creek to winterize your pool fully, there are also a few tasks you can handle for yourself.
Winterizing your inground pool isn’t just about closing it for the summer and keeping it clean until the temperatures warm once again. Proper winterization can save you hundreds in chemicals and maintenance costs. It can also prevent catastrophic damage to your pool plumbing and pump, damage that could cost thousands to repair. Keep reading to learn more about the ways you need to winterize your pool.
Before you close your pool for the winter months, it’s important to make sure the proper chemicals have been added and the pool water is balanced. Be sure to check factors such as pH, calcium level, and total alkalinity before shutting down your pool and make amendments where you find issues. Water composition and alkalinity are important because such factors can cause stains and discoloration on your pool surface, especially when the pool may be out of sight for months during the winter. Some people think placing an oxidizing chlorine or bromine floater makes sense to close out the pool season, but that idea is ill-advised. It can stick to the walls when the pool isn’t being used and cause staining or bleaching. If you’re not sure how to amend your water, consult with a professional pool service for guidance.
Lower Water Levels
Some people drain their pools for the winter, but that’s not necessary and could be considered wasteful. However, if you expect hard freezes during the winter months, it’s advisable to lower the water level to the bottom of the mouth of your skimmer. That’s because freezing water expands, and if your pool is full, that expanding water could push debris into the skimmer or other places where you don’t want it. You can also further protect your pool by installing an aquador over the skimmer mouth during the winter months to keep out debris. An aquador is essentially a plastic dam that blocks the skimmer and allows you to control water levels more efficiently.
Drain Pool Plumbing
One of the most important winterization steps you can take is to totally drain all water from your pool pump and plumbing. Again, because water expands when frozen, water left in supply and drain lines can cause pipes to rupture. Water in your pump can also have the same effect, which could leave you with a hefty repair bill on your hands. Consult with your pool service or the manufacturer manual for your pump to make sure that you pull plugs and open drains in the proper sequence. That’s important, as you want to ensure that all water has been removed from the system to prevent damage. You’ll also want to remove sensitive equipment, such as your pressure gauge, to prevent it from being damaged. Store it in a warm, dry place until you reopen your pool in the spring.
Cover Your Pool
Unless you want to spend the winter manually maintaining your pool to keep out falling debris and wildlife, it’s a good idea to invest in a cover. The cover will prevent the headache of scouring the pool once the winter is over, and it will prevent the stains caused by falling debris that remains on your pool surface. You can also purchase air pillows that will keep the cover off the surface of the water and prevent debris from accumulating on it and weighing it down.