Tips for Closing and Winterizing a Swimming Pool

by Pool Builders on 05-30-2014 in Articles

Many people who own swimming pools live in climates that are not conducive to year-round swimming, so at some point during the fall you have to close your pool. Anyone who owns a swimming pool knows that it's a hassle, and quite often they decide to pay a professional to do it for them or they simply delay the inevitable and keep putting the task of closing and covering the pool off until the leaves are off the trees and the snow is about to fly! Some of the things you have to do include adding chemicals to prepare the water for the winter, preparing the filter and hoses among many other things. This article will give you tips on a specific peculiarity of closing an above ground pool, which is putting in the silly air pillow!

An air pillow is usually about 4 feet by 5 feet wide and a couple feet thick, which is inflated and secured in the center of the pool underneath a winter cover. The reason we have to cover the swimming pool in the first place is to keep debris out of the pool throughout the year while it's not in use, and to keep the chemicals working and not getting diluted by rain and snow throughout the winter, or else you will end up with swamp water in your pool the following spring. The reason we have to use an air pillow under the cover is to protect it from accumulating ice and snow that will fall on the cover during the winter. This creates a void under the cover, so when the snow and ice fall and accumulate, the weight of that snow and ice will not press outward like a glacier towards the side of your pool walls and cover causing damage, but it will push inward, compressing the pillow. Other benefits are that it will shed water off to the side of the pool allowing for easy debris removal and draining of water, along with keeping the ice chunks smaller with the spring melt, minimizing possible damage.

Putting in the air pillow is probably the most frustrating part of closing the pool. People generally tie strings to two corners and float it into the center of the pool, then tie the strings to the sides of the pool. Then they have at least a couple people, one on each side of the pool, and lift the winter cover over the pool and over the pillow. Quite often you need a long pole to help lift the cover up and over the air pillow, or brave the cold water and get in, which is not ideal because of the heavy chemical use to close the pool. Inevitably, the pillow becomes dislodged, the ropes break, the gromets tear, and it's off to the side not doing its job.

To make the job of using an air pillow easier, use The Pool Pillow Pal, which is a device that centers and connects an air pillow to the winter cover without ropes or ties. Simply peel-and-stick the black connecting device to the center of the air pillow, and peel-and-stick the white connecting device to the center of the winter cover. Inflate the pillow to about 60% of its capacity to allow for compression without popping during the winter, then connect the two together! Now you can put the cover and pillow on the pool as one unit and float it into place. It will be perfectly centered without the hassle of tying it in. Cover manufacturers recommend that you put a little water on top of the winter cover to keep it from blowing around too much as well.

In the spring, clean off any debris and pump off any water, then pull the cover and pillow off the pool. If not damaged, you can disconnect the pillow from the cover, dry the pillow and cover and secure them for next closing. The Pool Pillow Pal makes closing you pool so easy!

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