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Once the summer season is over, it is the responsibility of pool owners to carry out winterizing the pool.
Unlike the most common in-ground pools, above ground pools require much care and expertise during the pool winterizing process.
It’s really important to winterize pool installations effectively since you have to isolate it for at least three to four months.
Basics regarding winterizing an above ground pool
If you leave your pool unattended during the winter season then there is a possibility that you may have to deal with irreparable damage.
You are expected to drain the water from the pipes of the pool, as during the winter the volume of water expands and it will damage them.
In case you are undertaking a DIY project to cover your pool, you need to use pool equipment, tools, and chemicals to accomplish the job with flying colors.
Tips and tricks you need to employ
With the help of several tips and tricks, you can easily secure your pool during the winter season.
A few easy to undertake tips that will help you to protect your pool while not in use during winters are as follows.
Maintain the pH level
A week or so before you undertake the pool closing process for the winter, make sure that you check the chemicals present in it.
Most importantly, maintain the pH of the swimming pool water around 7.6 and the level of alkalinity should be around 80 to 120 ppm.
You are also required to effectively maintain the calcium levels in the water and make sure that it is not highly concentrated to avoid calcium hardness.
Remove accessories from your pool
Pools come with several accessories like lights and ladders that will hinder proper pool closing and covering.
When it is not covered properly, the pool may become prone to algal and bacterial infestation.
Moreover, it can easily turn into a cesspool of dirt and debris.
To protect yourself from heavy spending on repairs and replacements, it is wise to uninstall the accessories and then use a pool closing kit and suitable winter cover to protect the pool.
Clean the filter
In case you have a cartridge filter, soak them inside the filter cleaner.
You need to employ the backwashing process if you have a DE or sand filter and clean the dirt that usually builds up inside the filter tank and pump filter.
Correcting common problems
At times when you start the process of pool winterization, there are several aspects that you need to consider.
If these aspects are not duly addressed, there is a possibility that the whole winterization effort might suffer drastically.
The most important problems that you might face while prepping a pool for winter are as follows.
- Pool not getting covered properly
If your pool is not covered properly, it can cause serious issues for you in the future.
To cover your pool properly, you are required to remove the accessories and any other pool equipment from around the pool and then use a special winter cover to protect it and the pool water thoroughly.
Accessories can also make your pool prone to weathering, rust, and corrosion.
- The improper chemical balance in the pool water
It is often seen that when you winterize the pool it usually has an inappropriate chemical balance.
If you winterize a pool that doesn’t have proper chemical balance then it will get heavily infested with algal spores and stubborn stain marks on the pool surface.
To prevent yourself from such issues it would be wise to take a water sample from your pool and duly test it with the help of chemical or strip kits.
- The surface of the pool is not clean
While you plan to winterize the pool, you need to scrub the surface with the help of several effective chemicals, including muriatic acid.
This process will increase the pH level of the pool and you can easily get rid of algal and fungal spores.
- Dirty filters
Proper cleaning of a dirty filter is a must during the pool winterization process as a dirty filter can lead to serious surface contamination.
Apart from dirty filters, you are also expected to properly monitor whether the drain pipes and filter tank of the pool are duly emptied or not.
Sometimes, the pool pump gets jammed during the winterization process, this is the reason why you must dry the pump thoroughly before storing it.
Analysis of best practices
While you plan to winterize your pool, it is essential to undertake the best cleaning practices that are easy to accomplish and cost little.
Some of the widely employed processes are given below:
- Thoroughly vacuum the pool
During the initial step, you need to vacuum your pool water thoroughly and remove all floating debris from the water.
Now, all you need to do is to test the water of the pool; this you can do with the help of test strips or by testing chemicals.
Lastly, just add the special winter chemicals to your pool. Just follow the instructions that come with the kit and your pool will be secure during the winter.
- Test chemicals in the pool water
With the help of test strips or chemicals, you can easily test the concentration of chemicals in the water.
You are required to check on the pH, alkalinity, chlorine concentration, and calcium hardness in the water.
It would be wise to perfectly balance the chemical levels in the water, or during the winter season, they may cause corrosion and permanent staining of the inner surface.
Removing leaves and debris from the water is essential and you also need to backwash the dirty filter water.
Lastly, lower the water level, install skimmer guards, and install the winter cover over pool and pump.
Tools and chemicals you need to use
For proper winterization of a swimming pool, there are several tools and chemicals available that will help you to undertake the process on your own.
Some of the most essential tools and chemicals that you need to use are given below.
First things first, it is essential that you maintain the internal temperature of your pool during winter months.
Due to this reason, you need to purchase winterization chemicals that will keep the water normal even during severe cold.
To accurately measure the level of pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, etc. in the water you need to use strips or chemical kits.
These testing kits are easy to use; you just have to follow the instructions written on the package.
Leaving your skimmer without a proper cover can cause irreparable damage during the severe winter season.
Thus, to get genuine protection from making a hefty investment in repairs and replacement you need to use a skimmer cover.
Purchase a pool cover that is ruggedly built, as a good quality cover can easily bear severe temperatures during winter months. You might also consider putting an air pillow in the center of the pool to prevent icing.
Buy a pool cover bigger than the overall area of your pool so that it can cover the pool without any difficulty.
Using vacuum heads to clean the muck at the bottom of the pool during winterization is an essential process.
This tool is fully automatic and saves lots of time that you can use on other activities.
You can easily clean the vacuum heads from time to time as they have a transparent body that collects the debris.
Frequently asked questions
How far down do you drain your pool for winter?
It is advised to drain the pool completely during the winterizing process.
This is because the water in winter expands and it may cause serious damage to the structure.
However, if you decide to just decrease the water level partially and not drain the pool, make sure to leave an air pillow in the pool during winter.
Can I leave my above ground pool uncovered in winter?
Leaving your above ground pool uncovered will make it prone to algal and bacterial infestations.
Moreover, your pool structure will also be prone to severe weather conditions, and you may have to pay a considerable amount for proper repair. An air pillow can help, as it alleviates pressure on the pool walls.
How to winterize an above ground pool?
There are several steps that you are expected to follow during the process of winterization, such as cleaning the inner lining, maintaining the pH, and clearing the skimmer, and draining or reducing the water level.
It is wise to cover the pool water with the help of either a hybrid or hardcover as they offer genuine protection from leaves and debris.
How to close a pool?
Initially, you are expected to clean the pool and check on the pH level and then empty the drain pipes completely.
In the next step, take off the accessories that are installed around the above ground pool and then duly secure it and the pump with a cover.
How far to drain an inground pool for winter?
If you have an in-ground pool, then drain the water at least 6 inches below the skimmer.
This process will protect your pool in case the water does freeze and expand during the severe winter season.
Can I leave my Coleman pool up in the winter?
It would be wise to leave your Coleman pool up during the winterization process or the structure might even collapse.
Furthermore, you need to undertake several precautions that will protect your pool during the winter season. Be sure to cover it and the pump.
How to winterize an Intex above ground pool?
During the initial process, you need to clear the pool and drain the water with the help of a connector.
Then you are required to reconnect all of the loose parts and scrub the inner surface of the pool by using a brush.
In the next step, it is recommended that you deconstruct the Intex pool’s frame and dry the liner.
Lastly, clean the accessories, get rid of the filter cartridge, and store pool parts efficiently under a cover.
How to drain an above ground pool for winter?
You can simply use an exit hose to drain out the water from an above ground pool.
Initially, you should scrub the surface of the pool and then drain the dirty water.
You then have to refill the pool, shock it, and check the pH to see if it is alkaline, then undertake the prepping process.
How to winterize above ground pool pump?
In the first step, you need to disassemble the parts of the above ground pool pump. More importantly, see to it that the hose of the pump is clear from debris.
You must dry the pump and its components for 24 hours before you place it in a cool place under cover during the winter season.
How to drain the pool below the skimmer?
One of the best ways by which you can easily drain the pool below the skimmer is by using the vacuuming process.
You can use vacuum heads for this process. They have a transparent cover that allows you to easily clean them.
References and further reading
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