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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Closing Your Above Ground Pool

Seven steps to close down swim season

I hate to bring this up, but someone has to.  It’s nearly time to take action.  Yep, it is almost time to shut down your pool for the winter.  People who do it properly can tell you how enjoyable it makes opening the pool back up in the spring.  For those of us who have done it wrong, we likely won’t make that mistake again.  Shutting down your pool the right way for the winter translates into a much quicker and smooth opening in the spring.  Check out these basics steps below as you prepare to shut things down:

Test your water - This simple but often overlooked step allows you to make sure your chemical levels are within proper ranges.  The pH should be in the 7.2-7.6 range and the alkalinity should fall somewhere between 100-150ppm.
Clean the pool - Another simple step, be sure to brush the walls, skim the surface and vacuum.

Add winter chemicals or shock your pool - Manufactures recommendations can vary so be sure to check your owner’s guide prior to reaching this step.  A good winter chemical kit should provide simple directions.  If you don’t need a kit, simply shock the pool with chlorine and add the proper amount of winter algaecide.

Remove and plug - Pretty basic instructions on this point.  Remove your ladder, slides, feeders, solar blankets, etc.  Also, don’t forget to take the basket out of your skimmer basket.

Drain some water - Ideally, your pool’s water level should be below the mouth of the skimmer.  

Winterize your pump and filter - You must drain and/or blow out water from your system.  Failure to do so could lead to cracked drains and hoses from freezing water.  Using a plug to keep water out is also a great idea!  Finally, carve out some space indoors if at all possible to store your pump and filter equipment.  I recommend performing routine maintenance and a visual inspection of your pool at this point as well.

Cover your pool - You’re almost done! With the steps above completed, it is now time to select your winter cover.  Add one or more of our winter air pillows and then pull the cover on tight (really tight).
With this task crossed off your list it’s time to go inside, have a hot chocolate, reminisce on the memories of the summer and look ahead to spring – when you’ll open your pool and welcome summer back!