Temperatures are cooling down. For most pool owners, this means that yet another swim season has come to an end, even in the Valley of the Sun – unless there is an existing geothermal heating unit. While it’s perfectly acceptable to leave your pool open year-round, there are several benefits to be gained by properly closing your pool, including preserving water quality and protecting the surface.
Follow these tips for successfully winterizing your pool.
Balance Water Chemistry
Approximately one week before closing the pool, adjust the water to the recommended levels of pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorination. Use a test kit to ensure proper levels of each. Proper levels are as follows:
- pH: 7.2 – 7.4
- Alkalinity: 80 – 120
- Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm
- Chlorination: 1.0 – 3.0 ppm
Clean the Pool
Using an automatic cleaner (if applicable), remove any leaves, insects or dirt from the pool. You can also fish debris out with a net. Thoroughly brush and vacuum the sides – not just the bottom – of your pool to remove scum lines.
Remove All Accessories
Remove all pool accessories, including (but not limited to) skimmer baskets, ladders, wall fittings, and automatic cleaners. Put these in a safe location until spring. This helps secure your equipment. It also ensures your pool cover fits snugly.
Add Winter Chemicals
Once your pool is balanced, cleaned and all accessories have been safely stored away for the winter, it’s time to add the winterizing chemicals. These include pH increaser, chlorine tablets, chlorine shock, and winter algaecide. Follow all manufacturer directions when adding any chemicals to the pool’s water. You can also buy a chemical kit – ask your pool builder or retailer for more information.
Cover Your Pool
Place the cover over your pool. If you don’t already have a pool cover, look for one that provides a tight fit, as this will ensure no debris or insects can get in between the gaps. If you have children or pets, it is recommended to use a safety cover; consult your manual on how to put this on.