We’ve reached that time of year when we take our last dip in the pool at home before closing it for the winter. In addition to saying goodbye to the nice weather of the summer, we must now put the cover on our pools and clean up the area so that we have to do as little work as possible when we open it up when the spring comes around.
You need to take several steps to prepare your pool for the winter. Here’s a guide to winterizing your pool without a hitch.
Collect Your Equipment
Having your winterizing equipment ready before you start the process will help you avoid forgetting important tools, as well as having to pause operation and start over. First, you need the pool cover, which will keep leaves and other debris from getting into the water. You also need the skimmers, rubber plugs for return valves, leaf nets, water tubes and a winter chemical kit. Other tools include a bucket or two for carrying chemicals, a ruler, loops wrenches and screwdrivers, both flat and Phillips-head.
Use the ruler to determine how big of a cover your pool requires. Taking length and width measurements will be easier if you have the standard rectangular pool. However, if your pool has a more unique shape, contact an expert such as a swimming pool contractor in New Jersey. They will have the knowledge needed for covering different shapes and sizes of pools. Determining the length and width of your pool will also help you figure out how big of a leaf net you’ll need.
Backwashing, Draining and Item Removal
The state of certain parts of your pool can determine how many issues it experiences in the winter. Leaving your filter dirty can lead to bigger messes to clean up down the road, and the drain plugs in the pump can get lost easily. Clean your filter with a backwash and completely drain the pump of water and keep its drain plugs in the bucket to save for the spring. Getting rid of all of the water will save your pump from cracking and breaking because of frozen water. All of the pool’s jet fittings should also be removed, and the bucket and skimmer baskets will keep them safe.
Clear the Area
A safe working area will allow you to get the job done quickly and efficiently. This includes getting all toys and floats out of the pool, giving your pool a couple extra skims, and dumping leaves and dirt out of the skimmers and dump baskets. It also helps to remove ladders, railings and diving boards, which debris can get caught in and use to find its way into your pool when you’re not paying attention. Debris can also get into your pool from the roof on a windy day, so it helps to have the number of a professional such as this northern new jersey roofing contractor.
Once the pool is filled with only water, apply the chemicals needed to keep the pool in good condition during the colder parts of the year. Your winterizing chemicals need to be completely dissolved before dumping them into the water, so mix them in a bucket beforehand to avoid stains on the inner walls or floor. Algicide and scale remover can be added without mixing them.
Cover the Pool
You’re going to need a few people for this part. Have a person hold each end of the cover and walk it over the pool’s surface. Make sure that no water is on the cover first so that it doesn’t sink. Water tubes will help the hooks keep the cover still. Make sure that the tubes are filled just enough to apply necessary weight, but light enough so that they don’t rip open and let the cover slip out from underneath.
Installing the Leaf Net
A leaf net will come in handy if your pool is in an area with a large number of trees. This tool will keep debris from landing on your cover and staying long enough to deteriorate and reduce the protective qualities of the cover’s material. Applying the leaf net will also be a multi-person job, and you’ll need to ensure that it guards the same spots as the cover. You can tie an extra knot in the hoops of the net to make up for any leftover space.
Review the area to make sure that all spots are accounted for. This includes checking any gaps between the cover and the edges of the pool, inspecting the amount of water in the water tubes, and looking at how tight the knots are at each end. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, even if it requires extra work.
Keep this step-by-step guide on hand when you have to winterize your pool so that the uncovering process in the spring is simpler.