Winterizing Pool in Freezing Zones

Ensure That the Pool is clean and ready for Winterizing

Get out the pool vacuum and any other tools you need to clean the pool’s interior walls and flooring. Be sure to clean out the filter as well so it is also ready for storage. The pool should be clean so that no staining occurs during warm days when the water is thawed. It also reduces pollutants that can accumulate in the pool and lead to other issues like scum accumulation. In addition, remove or dissolve remaining chlorine or bromine tablets if you have them in your pool. You don’t want them affecting the weatherization process.

Ensure That the Water Chemistry is balanced for Winterizing

Check your pH level, chlorine level, total alkalinity level, etc. to prevent scaling, corrosion, and other issues that occur from unbalanced chemistry. Weatherization kits often include many of the ingredients needed to prepare your pool for the winter. The main purpose for weatherization is to maintain a clear pool through the winter and prevent algae growth at the beginning of spring. Algae will grow very rapidly and you don’t want a mess to deal with in the spring.

Chemistry levels should include the following (may vary):

Chlorine should be around 1.5-3.0 ppm.
Total alkalinity should be 80-120 ppm for masonry-lined pools and 120-140 ppm for vinyl-lined pools.
The pH level should measure 7.2-7.6.
Calcium hardness level should measure between 200 and 400 ppm.

Check the pool manufacturer’s level recommendations to ensure maximum protection, since it may vary from one pool to the next. Also, winterizing kits may specify certain levels as well, but be sure it is for the right size of pool and the right type, such as in-ground or an above ground pool with a vinyl liner.

Lower the Water Level

The level of water in your pool should be 4-6 inches below the lowest outlet, such as the skimmer opening or a water return opening. At the least, ensure you are below the skimmer. The main purpose for draining some water and not all of it is to ensure that the pool has enough weight to hold it down and prevent damage during the thaw process that causes the ground to expand.

Remove All Accessories

After you have reduced the pool’s water level and checked the chemical balances, you can start the rest of the weatherization process. All accessories must be cleaned and drained to prevent mold growth and stains while they are stored away for the winter.

Accessories you should remove from the swimming pool include:

Water pump
Filtration units
Chemical floaters
And all hoses

Cover the Swimming Pool

Once you have all the accessories removed, you can cover the pool. However, you need to have a special float to place in the center of the pool, underneath the winter cover. This will control the freezing ice buildup on the cover, which helps prevent future damage. In different terms, it allows the water to run off of the cover and reduces ice accumulation. Floats can be found at your local swimming pool dealer or you can create one, but be absolutely sure you create one that will handle the elements durably and provide all-season functionality.