When the leaves fall and the weather turns cooler, it’s time to clean, protect and cover your pool for the winter. If you’re doing the project yourself, keep these suggestions in mind:
Keep things clean
- Skim and vacuum the pool thoroughly to remove leaves and other debris.
- Scrub and brush the walls and floor of the pool as necessary.
Safety tip: Wear non-slip shoes while cleaning the pool to avoid falling as you reach out with cleaning tools.
Treat the water right
- A week before closing the pool, balance the water chemistry. Take a sample to a local pool professional for testing to be sure you’ve achieved the right levels.
- If you have a solid cover, drain the water five to six inches or to just below the skimmer; drain 12 to 18 inches if you have a mesh cover.
- Eight to 24 hours before closing the pool, “shock” the water to remove contaminants.
- Add an algaecide to curb algae growth during the winter.
Safety tip: Open chlorine containers and other chemicals outside to prevent inhaling strong vapors.
Take care of systems
- Blow the water out of the plumbing lines, one at a time, using a wet/dry vacuum at the skimmer opening.
- Add antifreeze to the lines, one at a time.
- Pull the drain plugs from the pool pump to drain the pump. Drain all filters and the heating and chlorination units as well.
- Lubricate all moving parts.
Safety tip: If you’re not comfortable performing this part of the closing, contact a pool professional to ensure the job is done safely and thoroughly.
Cover things up
- Inspect your cover to make sure there are no tears or damage.
- Make sure the safety cover’s anchors are not broken or corroded; for floating covers, replace any cracked or damaged floating tubes.
- Throughout the winter, periodically remove water that has accumulated on the cover’s surface. Use a cover pump or siphon off the water with a garden hose.
Safety tip: See that the pool cover fits snugly. Gaps, sags and open areas allow dirt and debris to get in, as well as making the area less secure for children and pets.
Store your goods
- Remove pool components such ladders, handrails and skimmer baskets.
- Store all pool and spa chemicals on a top shelf or in a locked cabinet.
- Put away swim toys and pool accessories.
Safety tip: If you need to dispose of any pool chemicals, never put them in your garbage or pour them down a drain. Instead, contact the nearest hazardous waste facility for disposal instructions.
Be sure about barriers
- Check the gate door and lock to make sure they still work properly.
- Check the fencing around the perimeter to make sure there are no breaches.
Safety tip: Consider adding a pool alarm so you’ll be alerted if children or pets enter the pool area.
Learn more tips for closing a pool and find answers to other pool-related questions at POOLCENTER.com.
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