Many people do not realize just how important proper winterization is for an above-ground swimming pool. It is absolutely mandatory in order to keep your pool in good shape for as long as possible. It is possible to handle the winterization chores by yourself, but if you are hesitant as to whether or not you will do it correctly, you may want to hire an expert for the job.
Unfortunately, most of us do not live in the heat of the Arizona desert, so closing down our pools for the winter months requires a lot more work. If your area’s temperature reaches the below-freezing point, it makes preparation for winter even more vital. Below are some helpful tips if you plan to winterize your above-ground pool on your own.
You will want to start by thoroughly cleaning it. You probably won’t be looking at it too much for a few months, and you do not want to leave debris floating around in it all winter. So get it all out before the cold season starts. Scrub the sides of your pool with a firm brush, use a pool net to get all floating leaves, grass, etc., and vacuum up every last grain of sand or blade of grass from the bottom of your pool. You will want to leave it spotless.
Next, it is wise to clean all pool equipment and accessories. Make absolutely certain that all of your pool equipment, including your pool cover, is dry. After making sure there is not water on anything, store it all in a safe and dry place for the winter.
The next step is to make sure that all of the chemicals in your above-ground swimming pool are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Check your pH balance (the numbers need to be between 7.2 and 7.6), alkalinity needs to be somewhere between 80 and 100. Calcium mineral solidity should be between 180 and 220 ppm. After assuring all of those numbers are where they are supposed to be, shock your swimming pool in order to get all the bacteria that you may have missed while cleaning out of your pool. It is important that your pool is left squeaky-clean for the winter months.
You will then need to drain the water from your pool so that it is a few inches underneath your skimmer. You do not want any water sneaking away and causing ice build-up anywhere that it is not supposed to. Drain out your chlorinator, pump, and filtration system.
Some people like to use a “pool pillow” to keep their pool cover from sinking in during the winter. This is a good idea, but whether or not you use this method, you will need to make sure that your cover stays in place all season. Your pool cover should also be solarized to keep the water left in your pool from freezing.
Once you have taken all the necessary steps, you are ready to close your pool for the winter. Check on your pool every now and then to make sure that nothing is cracking, and that your pool cover is in place, and try to stay warm in the cold!