Owning a swimming pool gives your home a sense of style and charm like no other. Not only does having a swimming pool raise the value of the house, but it can also be an amenity that you and your family can enjoy for decades to come. The only downside about owning a pool is that you have to maintain all of the parts correctly and on schedule as well.
Otherwise, you won’t be making the most out of your investment, which is where we come in to assist at Arundel Pool and Spa. Still, we understand that many homeowners aren’t too sure about performing seasonal pool maintenance, so we’ll go over the basics throughout this post to give you an idea of when it’s okay to start the winterizing process. Let’s go over the basic steps.
Winterizing your swimming pool matters for a number of reasons. Mainly, preparing the pool for winter lowers the risk of critical components and expensive parts getting damaged during a winter storm or through ordinary wear and tear since you last winterized the pool.
You may have put off maintaining your pool for quite a while, and that’s relatively normal for most homeowners; however, it’s also the biggest mistake you can make if you own a swimming pool. Without a doubt, forgoing maintenance today only leads to more expensive repairs down the road when critical system components fail just when you need the poo most.
Indeed, keeping your pool winterized is also a way to extend the life of the pool since the idea is to prevent the elements from causing severe damage, such as split or cracked hoses and valves.
But the good news is that you can avoid that mistake altogether if you prepare ahead of time during the mid or late fall season. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to finish the job before temperatures start to drop.
So, to show you where to start, here are the basic steps of winterizing a swimming pool.
Essentially, you winterize a pool by performing the following steps:
- Remove all equipment, accessories, and attachments before moving on to the next steps
- Clean the pool thoroughly to make winterization more effective
- Test the level of chemicals in the water
- Lower the water level as needed based on your type of pool
- Drain all of the parts, including the pool pump and filters
- Set any system parts to their winterize setting if possible
- Store everything away from the elements
- Use a pool cover throughout the winter
Let’s go over each step to give you an idea of what you need to do along the way.
1. Remove Equipment, Accessories & Attachments
The best part about owning a pool is that you get to customize it and make it your own. You may have installed custom ladders, diving boards or purchased a matching outdoor furniture set. Either way, you have to remove all of those extra features when you start preparing the pool for winterization. Without a doubt, the last thing you want is to believe that you performed everything correctly only to find out that all of your accessories were damaged over the winter.
2. Clean the Pool Thoroughly for Effective Winterizing
At the very least, you should also clean the pool thoroughly because if you don’t, any winterization you perform won’t be as adequate – or it won’t work at all. That said, make sure you shock the pool and use an algaecide.
Also, using a pool skimmer to clean the bottom of the pool is another step you shouldn’t skip, even if you keep the pool pretty clean throughout the year. While you should never use more chemicals than recommended by a manufacturer, it won’t hurt to run your skimmer one extra time to make sure you’re ready for the next step.
3. Test Water Chemical Levels
In case you didn’t know, the chemicals in pool water need to be within a safe range. You can buy testing kits at any pool supply shop or in a specialty hardware store, and it’s standard practice to test the water before and after each cleaning and winterization. The alkalinity in the water should be between 80 to 150 parts per million (ppm) with an acidity pH level of 7.2 to 7.6.
But if you have any doubt about what levels work best for your system, it’s always best to contact an expert like us to make sure. Other ideal levels include calcium hardness between 175 ppm and 225 ppm and a chlorine level of 1 ppm to 3 ppm.
4. Lower the Water Level as Needed
Next, you’ll need to lower the water level according to the pool’s design, and that’s where we can assist you as well. You may have purchased the home with a pool already installed, and you’re not sure what type of pool you actually have.
It could take several days to lower the water level in a large pool, and you may not have to drain the pool very much either. It all depends on the size, shape, and design of the pool, but generally, the water level should be just below the skimmer.
5. Drain All Parts, Including the Pool Pump and Filters
This step is where you prevent winter damage from occurring in the first place. For example, if you don’t flush your water pump and drain all of the water inside the unit, the water remaining inside can freeze, expand, and burst through the valves.
So, it’s preferable to plan ahead and drain the water from pumps, filters, or any other components that carry water. Another reason why you drain everything is to make it easier to clean these parts when you want to bring your pool back into service.
6. Set to Winterize Setting if Possible
The great part about owning a pool is that you can automate many features if you pay for the right system. Along those lines, some components like sand filters will come with a winterization setting you can select, but not every product is alike.
Still, at a minimum, you’ll need to perform a backwash of the filter and a rinse too. Then, you can set the sand filter to the winterization setting if you own that type of system. So, if you have any doubts about the kind of filter you have, feel free to contact us at any time, and we’ll show you the basics.
7. Store Everything Away from the Elements
This step may seem self-explanatory, but it’s a common mistake. Removing sensitive parts and preparing the pool won’t matter if you still leave the components exposed to the elements all winter long. You don’t necessarily have to store the parts inside your home, but you should at the very least have a dry, safe place to store everything, and that includes any furniture.
8. Use a Pool Cover
Lastly, we come to pool covers, and technically speaking, you may not need to use one if you don’t have to worry about the pool freezing. Yet, it’s a good idea if you want your pool to be safe and secure, along with being shielded from the elements. The trick to finding the right pool cover is that you have to buy a cover designed for winter because covers are designed for safety purposes. Once you choose a cover, the idea is to make sure it fits well and does the job.
Swimming Pool Winterizing Services at Arundel Pool and Spa
Overall, those are the basic steps for winterizing a swimming pool correctly, but if you have any specific questions regarding the type of pool you have, feel free to give us a call at (443) 550-3375. At Arundel Pool and Spa, we understand that taking care of a swimming pool takes time and effort, so that’s where we step in to provide you with quality pool services you can count on because we specialize in swimming pools, hot tubs, cleaning supplies, and maintenance services.
Contact us today for an estimate!