Now that Labor Day has come and gone, your thoughts are probably turning to fall. The kids are back in school and work is more focused. Whether we like it or not, fall is coming to Pennsylvania. It’s time to think about how to close your pool for the winter if it’s in the ground. Here are a few tips on how to winterize a pool so it’ll be ready to open next summer.
First, Clean Your Pool
Before you even begin to think about winterizing your pool, you need to clean it. In fact, many experts say this is the time your pool needs to be the cleanest. You’ll need to thoroughly scrub every inch. The sides and bottom all need scrubbing. You need to attack your pool with a hard bristle brush, and, then, vacuum up the debris. The main reason your pool has to be sparkling clean is algae. The best way to prevent algae from becoming a menace next spring and summer is to take care of it now. If you don’t, you will uncover your pool next spring and find a green swamp. Cleaning the pool now makes algae prevention much easier.
Pool Winterizing Chemicals
You may be wondering what chemicals you need to put in the pool for the winter. There are several chemicals you need to purchase to get your pool ready for a long winter’s nap.
You may have already done this when you cleaned your pool. Many people apply the algaecide to their pools before they scrub them down. If you haven’t had a chance to apply the winter algaecide, it should be the first thing you do. Winter algaecide has a different formula than the traditional algaecide for the colder winter temperatures.
Winter Stain Treatment
If you have stains in your pool, now is a great time to treat them. If you apply a winter stain treatment, you’ll be able to scrub those stains while you are scrubbing for algae. Not every pool will need winter stain treatment. But, if your pool has stains, you could work on them during winterization.
You will need to shock your pool one more time. You want to make sure the pH is at the optimum level before you close the pool. Most winter shock treatments are not as chlorine-heavy as summer shock treatments. You don’t need as much chlorine because the falling water temperature impedes algae growth.
You need to make sure you blow out and dry all the pool’s pipes. If you haven’t, you will need to put pool antifreeze in them to keep them from freezing. You can even put antifreeze in your pool skimmer to keep it ice-free. Unlike the antifreeze for your car, pool antifreeze is nontoxic.
Other Winterizing Chemicals
Depending on how bad your algae growth is, you may want to try adding winterizing chemicals. These stay in the pool during the winter. Sometimes called a winter pill, these chemicals usually sit in a net bag or a floater on your pool’s surface. The chemicals are slowly released all winter to help your pool stay balanced and free of algae.
How Far Down Do You Drain Your Pool for Winter?
Most experts recommend you draw down your pool about 6 inches. You want the water level to be below the skimmer. That way, you won’t have water going into the skimmer and possibly freezing during the winter months. You also don’t want to drain it too low. If you do, you may put your pool at a higher risk for collecting debris. Make sure you have drained your pool down before you put the cover on.
If you have additional questions about how to winterize a pool and need help getting your pool ready for the winter, contact Skovish Pools & Spas. You can call us, email us or visit one of our two store locations. One is in Luzerne, PA, and the other is in Shickshinny, PA.