It’s the fall, and getting a little cool, so the kids aren’t using the family pool any more. It’s time to winterize – to prepare your pool for the cold months, until it’s time to start using the pool again in spring. There are a number of steps you can take to get your pool ready for winter. Here are 4 essential steps:
1) Check the chemicals. Make sure the pH in the pool is between 7.4 and 7.6. A simple pool chemical test kit will help make that determination. If the water is out of balance – add the proper chemical treatment to bring the pH levels into line.
2) Clean the pool thoroughly. As suggested by Homeimprovementpages.com, now is a good time for a proper cleaning, so you’re not greeted by a dirty pool next spring. Brush the walls and floors of the pool, then vacuum the entire pool thoroughly. Clean the skimmer baskets of leaves, and clear out the debris from lint baskets. As well, clean the pool filter. Any grease or oil deposits that are left in the filter will harden over the winter, and make the filter much more difficult to clean when the weather warms up.
3) Protect the pool from grunge buildup. It is recommended that a regular shock treatment – super chlorinating the water – be performed over the winter, but start with a treatment in the fall. Run the pump and filter for several hours, to ensure the treatment is spread throughout the pool. This will help remove ineffective chlorine, kill bacteria and anything organic in the pool, and improve the effectiveness of the chlorine already in the pool. A buildup of algae can be an unpleasant surprise when coming out to the pool in the spring, so it’s a good bet to use an algaecide before shutting off the pool pump and filter. If the homeowner is winterizing an above ground pool, the process will be the same as for an in ground pool.
4) Put on a pool cover. Do you want to walk out to the pool next spring and see all the leaves from the fall rotting away in the water? Do you want a pool which has lost a lot of water to evaporation, and requires extra costs to add water back? The pool owner who decides to keep the pool pump and filter on over the winter to avoid a buildup of algae, will also be faced with additional energy costs. A pool cover can avoid all of that, and also has a safety factor – assuring that if a child were to wander into the pool area, they would not fall into the pool, with possibly disastrous results.
Getting the pool ready for winter will pay off in the spring – effective steps taken in the fall will mean less work for the pool owner next spring. When the kids are impatient and ready to plunge in, it will bring a big smile to the pool owner to know he can quickly give the kids a thumbs up to go swimming.
Robin Sousa is a freelance writer for poolproducts.com. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking and enjoy nature, and she is now taking oil painting classes to capture the images she has seen on her hikes.