The warm, beautiful, and fun summer days have slowly faded away, leaving you with chillier weather and a lot less pool usage, signaling that it’s time to focus on closing your pool for winter. A properly winterized pool will be able to withstand cooler temperatures without getting damaged. Below are some pool maintenance tips to keep in mind when winterizing your pool this year. 

Lower the Water Level

It’s advisable to lower your pool’s water level before closing it down for the season. 

  • Ensure you lower the water level to a few inches below the lowest intake point. Lowering the water level ensures no water circulates into your pool pumping system and freezes.
  • Ensure the water in the pool is free of dirt, debris, and other foreign materials to allow for efficient water chemical balancing and prevent the growth of mold and algae.

Get the Water Chemistry Right

Water chemistry refers to your pool’s water composition in terms of pH, alkalinity, calcium, and cyanuric acid levels.

Before winterizing your pool, it’s advisable to get the water chemistry right. Here are a few tips on how to get your pool’s water chemistry right.

  • Increase the pH level to between 7.6-7.8. The pH level naturally decreases in stagnant water over extended periods of time, such as when you leave your pool closed during winter. Increasing pH offsets this natural decrease and counters effects of low pH such as damage and staining of your pool’s surface or liner.
  • Raise the alkalinity to between 150-175 ppm because, like pH, it decreases over time in stagnant water. Raising alkalinity prevents staining of your pool’s liner.
  • Especially important in gunite pools, increase the calcium levels to above 200 ppm to prevent the erosion and weakening of your pool’s surface during winterization.
  • Maintain the chlorine levels between 1-3 ppm to kill germs and bacteria that thrive in freezing conditions.
  • Add a sufficient amount of algaecide to prevent the growth of algae when the pool is closed. Depending on the history of algae outbreaks in your pool, you may need to add additional algaecide.

Pool Equipment

Here’s what you should do to your pool equipment as you prepare for pool winterization.

  • Remove pool equipment and accessories such as ladders, handrails, steps, etc. This will reduce temperature and weather-related damage to your essential pool equipment and accessories.
  • Wash all the equipment and allow them to air dry before storing them away for the season.
  • Conduct a thorough visual inspection of the remaining equipment and ensure there are no cracks and openings that could be worsened by ice during winter. In case you notice any cracks or gaps, repair them before closing your pool.
  • Ensure pool equipment is well-drained and don’t seal the drain plugs to allow for any residual drainage.
  • Don’t put pool antifreeze in pool equipment as it can damage the seals and gaskets.
  • Inspect to ensure that no rodents have nested on your pool’s equipment, especially the pool heaters.
  • Ensure the power breaker remains off to keep it from turning on when the plumbing lines are empty. If it turns on, it can lead to the melting of the pump components.

Pool Cover

  • Get a pool cover that perfectly fits your pool without leaving any spaces.
  • Ensure you keep the pool cover’s surface clean, especially mesh pool covers, to prevent the entry of foreign material into the pool.
  • If you have one, ensure the automatic cover pump remains in stable working condition and is free of debris to avoid pool cover damages.
  • Don’t adjust your pool cover with a large weight load (ice) or sharp-edged ice on top because doing so can cause injuries.

Your East Rochester Pool Service Experts

As the winter approaches, it’s time to prepare and plan a successful pool closing experience to ensure a stress-free pool opening come Spring. A perfect pool winterization ensures your pool remains in a sound state and lets you avoid expensive repairs. Give the pool closing experts at Pettis Pools a call if you have any questions on proper winterization or watch our three-part series on closing your pool below.