Archives for October 2013

Closing Down Your Pool for the Winter

When the weather starts to cool down and the sun sets earlier in the evening it is a sure sign that it is that time of year once again. It is time to close down your source for summer fun, your swimming pool. The time for enjoying warm weather activities is over and you need to close your pool down properly so when the warmer weather returns you do not discover issues related to staining, corrosion, or buildup in your pool.

Without a doubt, swimming pool closing can be a stressful experience for some people, but with the right plan and tools set in place, it can be done quickly and stress free. The first step in any plan involving swimming pool maintenance is to have the right tools in place. These are the key items you will need to ensure that you close your pool down correctly.

Tools Needed for Shutting Down a Pool

  • Pool cover
  • Winter air pillow
  • Various tools for touching up the coating
  • Winter Skimmer guard
  • Winterizing chemicals (which chemical depend on your specific pool needs)
  • Slow release winter chemical ball
  • A pump on the pool cover (used to help keep any rain or melted snow off the cover)
  • Various screwdrivers and channel locks
  • Air compressor

Depending upon the specific needs of your pool, you may need other items to shut down your pool.

Once all of the tools are gathered, the process of shutting down your pool begins. The first thing that needs to be done is the breaking down of any ladders or diving boards that do not need to remain up all winter. For those items that are not removable, wipe them down with a product such as Vaseline, to prevent rusting during the winter months. Your next step is to remove any pool toys or other debris that may be sitting in the pool. You can use your skimmer to help remove these items.  With the pool free of all toys and debris, give the sides of your pool and the floors a good brush down; follow this with vacuuming the same areas.

At this point, inspect the coating for any visible signs of wear and tear.  These areas can be touched up with Pond Shield epoxy simply by sanding the affected area and applying the epoxy right to the spot that needs repair.  Pond Shield is not only safe for fish and plants, it is also very chemical resistant and can be used in a chlorinated environment.

The next step involves winterizing your filter system.  Carefully remove jet eyeballs and fittings then remove your skimmer. Start with the lid, then the basket, and clean out. You want to ensure to remove any debris trapped there by your skimmer basket.  Removing, cleaning, and drying your cartridge filter, sand filter, and DE (Diatomaceous Earth) filter are the next steps. Check your chlorine basket and remove any tablets remaining and discard, putting the cap back in place once done.

Next in the process is to remove and clean out any debris in the pump basket.  Remember to shut the valve off or water will flood.  Clean the area of any debris, replace the lid, and turn your pump back on. Blowing out the pipes and your returns is the next step in closing down your pool. After all of these items have been completed, disconnect any pool equipment that requires winter storage, this includes pump and filter systems.

The last steps in the process of closing down your pool for the winter include treating your pool with chemicals and covering it. First, you’ll need to use a basic shock treatment, followed by a winter algaecide, and a rust and scale remover.  Once completed put the winter chemical ball in your pool and place the pool cover over your pool. You have safely shut down your pool for the winter.

Ameline Clerk is a writer specializing in both interior and exterior design. She is a keen swimmer and loves everything related to swimming pools.

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