How complicated can winterizing a pool really be? Put on the cover and stay out until spring, right? Not exactly.
If you have enjoyed entertaining poolside for some time, you know that pool winterization is absolutely critical for protecting your investment and preventing expensive repairs.
If you’re thinking about getting a swimming pool, or recently had one installed on your property, it’s important to understand the maintenance required. You might not realize that maintenance is a yearlong necessity. Even though it is not in use during winter months, harsh weather conditions can cause equipment to break.
And, for those wanting to keep their spa ready year-round so they can enjoy a soak on a cold winter evening, there are steps to take so it will be a safe environment for you and guests.
5 Pool Closing Mistakes to Avoid
Let’s touch on the mistakes to avoid first, so you can be sure your swimming pool will be ready to plunge into when spring arrives.
#1 Draining the Water
Draining might seem like the best way to prevent water from freezing and thawing, which can cause tiles to crack and damage the shell. But actually, you want to keep water in, and it should be maintained at an appropriate level. Often, we will only drain 3 to 6 inches of water during the winterization process. This is because water actually protects by lessening the pressure of freeze-thaw activity. If it’s empty, the shell becomes a victim to the ground’s freezing and expanding. An Incorrect water level can lead to tiles loosening and falling off which will void any tile warranty.
#2 Ignoring Snow and Leaf Pileup
Snow, ice and leaves can build up on the pool cover, adding weight to it and creating a swamp. Be sure to pump off excess water and blow off debris.
#3 Leaving a Diving Board and Ladders in Place
Be sure to detach and store diving boards, ladders and slides when requested. These extras can get damaged in harsh weather. Diving boards can get stained by leaf debris, and freeze-thaw cycles can degrade the surface. As an alternative, you can protect a diving board with a special, fitted cover.
#4 Short-Cutting the Water Prep Process
Yes, you do need to shock the water before winterizing it. And, you should have a water pH test performed where they adjust from 7.2 to 7.8 to prevent staining, scaling and algae growth. In addition, an algaecide will provide extra protection against the “green stuff.” A final must-do is to run the filter for about 48 hours before closing down and draining equipment.
#5 Neglecting to Completely Drain Equipment and Plumbing
All swimming pool equipment and plumbing lines must be blown out to remove excess moisture. This is essential because water collecting in lines can freeze and cause damage. If you cover equipment without properly winterizing it, you could end up with malfunctioning parts and a need to repair or replace mechanical’s in spring.
Maintain Your Spa for Winter Use
Now that we’ve covered what not to do if you plan to keep your spa in top shape during winter, let’s address the important steps you should take if you plan to keep your spa open during the cold season so you can continue entertaining outdoors. Mainly, be sure to schedule service visits about every three weeks from November to March. During those service visits, a maintenance professional should perform these tasks:
- Clean and vacuum debris
- Conduct a water test to be sure chemicals are balanced, and make necessary adjustments. Water must be sanitized if you plan to use the spa year-round.
- Check the spa water level.
- Clean filters, if needed.
- Inspect equipment to be sure mechanical’s are operating efficiently.
Schedule Winter Pool Service
Fall is a busy time of year, as we move entertaining indoors and prepare for the holidays. You can rely on our experienced pool maintenance service team to winterize your pool and service your spa year-round so you can focus on the fun parts of owning a pool— entertaining, relaxing and swimming.