Winterizing your above ground pool is a vital step in improving the life and performance of your pool. You do not want to keep buying a new pool every seasons end and you could have protected your older pool by closing it properly. Still, you want to be sure that come the next summer season, your pool is sparkling clean. Winterizing your pool can save you lots of work when you open it during the summer.
If you live in a region that heavily freezes, then it’s really important that you winterize your pool. The most important aspect of winterizing is to protect your pool from freezing and causing any damage to your pool equipment. Naturally, when water freezes, it expands which could really damage the liner of your pool, filtration and plumbing system. Even in warm environments, winterizing your pool is highly recommended especially when it’s not in use so that you prevent accumulation of sediments and build up of algae. Furthermore, winterizing your pool helps in preventing any accidents from occurring. Bearing this in mind, you should take special measures when winterizing your above the ground pool as they differ from in ground pools.
What pools should be winterized?
Spas and inflatable pools can be drained, carefully dried, folded and then properly stored for the winter. Both in ground and above ground pools should be filled with water and then winterized. It’s important not to completely drain you pool and leave it sitting empty. Most above ground pools with vinyl liners can easily get damaged especially when they are left without any water. The vinyl may shrink which means you have to purchase a new pool liner that is really expensive to replace and install. Additionally, an above ground pool that does not contain any water can easily be blown away by wind since its light in weight.
What will I require to winterize my pool?
• Above ground winter pool cover
• A pool winterizing chemical kit
• A chemistry tester for pool water
• A pool rake
• A pool cleaning brush
• Chemicals that can be used in maintain the pool
• A wrap for sealing so that you can enhance your pools protection from winds
• A skimmer plug
• cover pump for your pool
• Cover clips for your pool
Before you get started on the process of winterizing your pool, ensure you check the water levels so that you are sure the liner is not leaking. Although this may seem trivial, a lot of above the ground pools get destroyed when they are winterized because there was some water leakage during the time the pool was closed.
You may also want to check all your gates and fences from any intruders during that time your pool is closed. This is really important especially if you have young kids and pets in your neighborhood.
How To Winterize An Above Ground Pool: Step by step
A few days before you close your above ground pool, it’s important to test the water for calcium hardness, alkalinity, pH and chlorine. Where necessary, do the adjustments so as to attain the right levels. This is important as it prevents pool corrosion or accumulation of scale while it’s closed.
Before winterizing your pool, ensure that it is clean. It is advisable to thoroughly vacuum and brush the sides of the floor. Using a clarifier, ensure your water is crystal clear. As you do the vacuuming, reduce the water levels. Be sure to clean the tile line and get rid of excess oil and scum line so that it does not set on your pool during the winter season.
With your winterizing chemical kits, you will be able to maintain your water quality at the best levels during winter. Get all your chemicals from pool professionals and ask them for instructions on their use if it’s not indicated on the packets. It’s important that you adhere to all the instructions in the labels. If your above ground pool is bigger, you may need to buy shock and algaecide separately.
Thoroughly clean the skimmer, filter and pump basket. Get any excess chlorine products from the chlorinator. You should spray your cartridge filter elements and D.E grids with a cleaner and then rinse them off with a garden hose pipe. Backwash all the sand filters.
Reduce the water level below the skimmer and the returns. Do not drain above ground pools completely as hydrostatic pressure can result in damage. With the use of an air compressor, flush out water from the system by pushing air into the skimmer and through the plumbing. Next, affix anti-freeze to your plumbing and then connect threaded winter plugs to return fitting to ensure water is kept out of the line. Pool anti-freeze is non toxic. Never use automobile anti freeze in your above ground pool.
Disconnect all the drain plugs from the filter tank and pump and all other pool equipment. Be keen on the manufactures instruction for specific equipment.
In case you are using air pillows underneath the above ground winter cover, inflate them using a leaf blower. At the center of the pool, tie off the air pillow; for larger pools, you may need two or more air pillows. These air pillows allow ice that forms to crack inwards thus prevents damage on the structure of your pool.
Place your winter cover on the pools surface, the black side should be down. Then with the cover clips secure it. This helps your winter cover withstand strong winds and heavy rainfall. If you live in areas that are prone to heavy winds, it’s recommended to seal wrap. A seal wrap is a sturdy plastic wrap material which protects your pool from winds getting underneath it. You can use a cover pump to get rid of any excess rain water and melted snow that is on top of your pool cover.
Closing an above the ground pool is a sure way of prolonging its life. Be sure to do exactly that if you want your pool to serve you for many years.