Winterizing Your Swimming Pool

by Pool Builders on 08-09-2008 in Articles

1. If through wall skimmer inlet and outlets are used, the skimmer must be blocked off with a block off plate to prevent any water from lying in the skimmer. The return fitting must also be blocked off by using a plug on the inside of the pool. It is very important that the return fitting not protrude into the pool and that water is not allowed to flow into the skimmer. If this is not followed, when the ice in your pool forms it will grab onto your skimmer and return fittings, and if the ice should shift it will rip your wall at these locations.

2. A properly sized ice compensator (pool pillow) must be secured in the pool water to relieve the ice pressure that can exert severe pressure on the pool wall.

3. The best way to install chemicals is before you do any winterizing processes. Super chlorinate the pool, run the filter for four to six hours, then install a winterizing kit and then put the cover on.

4. A cover must be used to keep out dirt and debris from the pool. It is important when securing the cover that enough slack is used so that it rests on the top of the water so that the pressure is not on the pool frame. A build up of snow on the top of the cover should be removed.

5. The filter should be thoroughly backwashed. If you have a cartridge or a diatomaceous earth filter, cartridge or elements should be removed sprayed down and cleaned. Next you should remove any winterizing plugs from the filter and from the pump. Next if you have a site glass on your valve that should be removed, the pressure gauge should be removed and shake out any water that might be inside. If you have an in-line Chlorinator removed the lid, remove the winterizing plug. Take out any chlorine and dispose of a properly. If you have a multi-port valve put the selector handle in between any two selections, this will hold the valve open and prevent any water laying in there that could freeze. Filter hoses should be removed and emptied. If you have a heater make sure the gas is turned off and the manifold winterizing plug is removed (don't forget to remove any plugs in the heater. Failure to do so can cause very expensive damage).

Do not cover the pump with plastic this will cause moisture to build up which will seriously damage the inside of the pump. It is a good idea or to get a heater cover to keep any debris such as leaves, acorns, etc. this could start a fire when restarting a heater next year.

While the pool is winterized it is important that it remain undisturbed throughout the winter months.

This is Right!

The cover should lie on the surface of the pool water. Leave slack, do not pull tight. Any excessive accumulation of water, or snow should be removed immediately.

This is Wrong!

Do not install the cover this tight. The weight of snow or rain will force the cover at the seams and along the pool edges.

IMPORTANT: During the winter months, inspect your pool and surrounding area. Remove any accumulation of water, ice and snow from the top of the pool and from the skimmer and return to prevent formation of an ice, water or snow load which can cause severe damage to pool and pool cover.

It is essential that you monitor the amount of snow and ice on top of your pool during the winter months. If you feel that the cable that attaches the cover to the pool is too tight and is pulling up on the pool ledges, or is creating excessive weight on the pool, release the cable at once to prevent damage to the pool.

Please note: Improper installation of your pool cover can cause damage to your pool and will void all pool and cover warranties.

Mild Climates:

Your climate permits a longer swimming season. However, if there are many weeks in which your pool will not be used, continue routine maintenance on a reduced schedule instead of completely closing your pool for the season.

1. Begin by reducing filter-running time in half. Keep pH between 7.2-7.8 and free available chlorine between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (use tester). Follow pool equipment manufacturer's instructions for proper care of equipment during this time.

2. If you do not cover your pool, clean your skimmer every week, maintain filter according to manufacturer's instructions and vacuum as needed.

3. Covering your pool will keep out leaves and dirt. Before covering, shock treat according to manufacturer's directions.

S.Merillat®

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