Tips: Winterizing the Pool for
the off season…
Balance the water chemistry:
Approximately 3 - 7 days prior to closing t...
If you'd rather not worry about the pool this winter, and save 4-5 months of pump electricity and
chemical expense - you ...
And that's how you can winterize a sunbelt pool. It's
everything a northern pool would do, with the
exception of blowing...
of 3

Pool winterizing chemical tips

Tips on winterizing your pool... for the Snowbelt and Sunbelt!
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: Real Estate      

Transcripts - Pool winterizing chemical tips

  • 1. Tips: Winterizing the Pool for the off season… Balance the water chemistry: Approximately 3 - 7 days prior to closing the pool, adjust your water balance within the ranges below: pH: 7.2 - 7.6 Alkalinity: 80 - 120 ppm Calcium Hardness: 180 - 220 ppm Then, shock the pool with a Chlorine Shock or a Non-Chlorine Shock, at least 1lb per 10,000 gallons (follow package directions). Allow the chlorine level to return to 1.0 - 3.0 ppm before adding any winter algaecide and your pool cover. Chlorine tends to break down both algaecides and [floating] pool covers. Remove skimmer baskets, wall fittings, cleaners, solar blankets, ladders from the pool. Put these in a safe location during the winter. Don't coil pool cleaners hoses tight. Lower water level in pool. Using the filter pump, or a submersible pump, lower the level 12" - 18" below the skimmer for mesh covers, and 3" - 6" below the tile for solid, floating covers. If you are using an Equator skimmer cover on aboveground or in ground pools for some vinyl lined pools, the water level will not need to be lowered. Drain all pumping, filtering, heating and chlorinating equipment. Every pump, filter, heater and chlorinator has drain plugs to allow water to drain out. All water must be drained or blown out or it will freeze and crack. After draining, D.E. filter grids or Cartridge filters should be removed and cleaned thoroughly. If the filter and pump is small enough to remove it and store it indoors, this may be desirable. If not, using a small amount of air from a shop vacuum, compressor or Mighty Vac is good to blow out any water that may still be in the equipment. Lubricate Fall closing of the pool is a good time to lubricate the pump lid O-ring O-rings with Magic Lube. If you have a push-pull valve (also known as a slide valve) on the filter, lubricate it's O-rings as well. If you have a gas heater with cast iron plugs, lubricate these threads or leave the plugs in after draining to prevent rusting. Clean pool Skim pool, vacuum pool, brush pool. Leaf rake (bag) types skim nets are best. Also useful for scooping large amounts of leaves/debris from pool floor. If pool is especially silty or has lots of algae, Vacuum Pool to Waste. This means to bypass the filter, and vacuum dirt from floors/walls out the backwash line. This prevents constant clogging/cleaning of filter. Place the multiport filter valve on drain to waste position (usually 2pm, if viewed as a clock face) If you have a push-pull filter valve, or a cartridge type filter there is no easy way to vacuum to waste, except for cutting the pipe coming out of the pump and then reconnecting afterwards. Brush the pool thoroughly. The pool should be as clean and clear as possible before covering. Winterize the plumbing to and from the pool If you have an in ground pool, you should blow out the lines using a Mighty Vac to blow air from the skimmer, through the equipment, and back to the pool. Then plug the lines at the pool using expansion plugs. If you don't blow the lines, add Swimming Pool Antifreeze into the line (follow package directions). Above ground pools usually just need to disconnect the hoses to and from the pump and filter, and plug the wall outlets. Add winterizing algaecide and other floaters. Remember not to add algaecide and shock at the same time. This tends to result in the chlorine breaking down the algaecide. High chlorine levels can also be harsh to floating solid pool covers. For winter chemical kits,
  • 2. If you'd rather not worry about the pool this winter, and save 4-5 months of pump electricity and chemical expense - you can do a partial pool winterization. For many of those in the white portions of the map, a partial pool closing can be preferable to maintaining an unused pool all year around. 1. Balance your water chemistry You know - pH, Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness levels. Use a quality test kit and adjust to correct levels. After balancing, shock the pool with either chlorine or non-chlorine based pool shock. 2. Vacuum, Brush and Skim your pool In that order. Even if your pool cleaner keeps your pool very clean, a good brushing of the pool surfaces, with a good pool brush is important before shutting down for the winter. 3. Lower the water level below the skimmer If you have a separate main drain, close the skimmers and continue backwashing or draining water to 1-2" below the skimmer opening for a solid cover, or 6-8" for a mesh cover. You can usually "suck the skimmers dry", after the water level has dropped below the opening to the skimmer. Do this by opening the skimmer valve slowly, while it's running full steam on the main drain only. You may be able to hear the skimmer sucking air, just before the air gets sucked into the pump. Just as the air from the skimmer line reaches the pump, close the valve quickly, to resume pumping from the main drain only. Using this method, you will remove most of the water from the skimmer. 4. Cover the Pool Options for covering the pool include safety pool covers, solid pool covers and leaf nets. Safety pool covers can be either mesh or solid, and are made to fit the exact shape of your pool (plus one foot all around). These covers anchor into the deck for safety, they look great, and can last over 12 years. Solid covers are laminated polypropylene tarps that float on the water, and are held in place with water bags placed around the edge. A small cover pump, attached to a garden hose, is needed to pump off rain water. Leaf nets are not really meant to be used as a winter cover, but would be better than having none at all. Leaf nets will block some of the sun, but not nearly as much as a solid cover or a safety cover. Blocking the sun is a big part of what winter pool covers do, in addition to keeping debris and dust out of the pool. This will help to ensure that your unfiltered water will stay fresh and clean. Without a winter cover, most stagnant pools will grow algae when water temps are above 60 degrees. 5. Drain the Equipment If your pool equipment is below the level of the pool water, draining the equipment is difficult, and different steps would be involved. But, assuming that your pump and filter is at or above water level, you can simply remove the drain plugs on all your pumping, filtering, heating and sanitizing equipment. Move all of your valves, including the backwash valve, to make sure no water is left standing inside or up against a closed valve. What about the underground plumbing lines? For most sunbelt pools, these need not be drained or blown out, as they are for Snowbelt pools. For the water to freeze in underground pipes, a freeze of 1-2 weeks duration is usually necessary. If you want to add some insurance, you can pour some pool antifreeze into the skimmer lines, and use a hose to pour some into your return lines. An extra step for skimmers is to plug the lines with winter plugs.
  • 3. And that's how you can winterize a sunbelt pool. It's everything a northern pool would do, with the exception of blowing out the lines. The benefits to this type of partial winterization for sunbelt pool owners are: •Reduce pool maintenance for 4-6 months. •Reduce wear and tear on your pool equipment. •Reduce electrical and chemical consumption. •Increase pool safety, when a safety cover is used. Cover the pool. A tight fit of your pool cover is essential. Your cover should not have holes or gaps where leaves and debris may enter the pool. A mesh safety cover provides the highest protection and safety. Solid pool covers are not safe and will require a cover pump or siphon to remove rain water and snow melt. Water Bags or AquaBloks are used to secure an in ground solid pool cover. Above ground pool covers use a cable/winch device to secure the cover around the pool. Air Pillows are used in above ground pools to absorb the expansion of ice inside the pool. In areas of high wind, an above ground pool owner will find wall bags or cover seal useful products. A leaf net is very useful if you have a lot of trees surrounding your pool.

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