Winterizing Your Swimming Pool   by Medallion Pools

by Pool Builders on 11-14-2011 in Articles

This article is only a rough guide or outline for winterizing a pool in Central Virginia. Other areas with different climates will have various other requirements. You should always follow the instructions and recommendations of the manufacturers of your pool and its equipment.
1. Never allow your water to get low in the pool at any time. Having low water in your pool could easily cause your liner to float. (Note: if you have a one piece shell fiberglass pool then instead of just the liner floating it could be your entire pool and possibly any attached decking). A liner that has been floated is very obvious. The most obvious sign other than seeing the liner actually floating in the pool is once the liner goes back down; wrinkles will be left on the walls and/or bottom of your pool.
Most of the time a liner floats as a result of pumping the water off the cover during the winter and spring of the year. This happens because the water that has accumulated on the cover due to rain and snow will actually for the pool water out of the pool by the rainwater displacing it.

2. The second item you need to be concerned about during the winter is the freezing of the filter, pump, and heater. If these items are not properly drained the result will be a pump, filter, and/or heater that has split open and ruined. There are three ways that homeowners fail to properly set their filtration and heater system for the winter.
a. Fail to drain the pump, filter and heater at all.
b. Waiting until it's too late and the filter, pump and/or heater do not have time to drain. Remember it can sometimes take many weeks for the filter, pump and/or heater to drain completely.
c. Draining the system and then putting the plugs back in place and/or leaving water in the systems.
3. The third item is the freezing of your skimmer, return and plumbing. It's highly recommended that you purchase a €Winterizing Skimmer Plug€ to cover your skimmer during the winter. After you install the skimmer plug make sure to drain all the water out of your skimmer. You should also use a device called €The Gizzmo€ that will fit directly into your skimmer and help absorb any freeze. Be aware that the use of a skimmer plug does not always seal 100% so it is strongly advised you use The Gizzmo, Skimmer Plug, and anti-freeze in your skimmer.
4. The fourth item is your liner bead. This is where your liner snaps into the track around the top of the pool in the coping. Remember it is very important to keep your pool full to help keep your liner from floating. It is also important to not overfill your pool because the high water could loosen your liner which can cause it to come out of track. This would cause water to get behind your liner and could cause serious damage to your pool.
5. The fifth item is your automatic chlorinator, chlorine generator, Nature 2 Express and your heater. The automatic chlorinator will freeze and crack and or split just like your filter will. You should turn your control valve wide open and run your system for a couple of days without tablets in your chlorinator in order to help remove any left over chemical residue. During the winter leave the cap loose so that any gases can vent out in the winter.
You must completely drain your chlorine generator early or the internal parts will crack and/or split. Follow the manufacturer's directions for winterizing your chlorine generator.
You must also remove your Nature 2 express cartridge from the canister.
You must completely drain your heater early or the internal parts will crack and/or split. Follow the manufacturer's directions for draining your heater.
6. For those of you with water tube covers please note:
a. Leave slack in your cover on the pool
b. Only fill your water tubes half full €" leave room for the water in them to freeze.
c. It is completely normal for poly covers to leak water through the top €" these covers will not always seal 100% - it is even better for your cover if you keep a small thin layer of water on it
d. Do not use cinder blocks, bricks or anything other than water tubes to hold your cover in place €" these objects could slide into your pool and cut your liner
7. Last but not least it is normal to add water to your pool throughout the winter months due to evaporation.

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