Do you have an above ground pool and are trying to figure out how to properly winterize it in preparation for winter?
If so, be sure to read through this guide so your above ground pool can not only make it through this winter but will be able to be used once winter is over.
Proper maintenance of your pool is essential in order to increase its life span as well as keeping it safe to use in the future. Check out this guide below to help get you on the right track.
Test the water of the pool
We are going to get into a little bit of science here but it’s needed if you want to get everything done properly. A week before you close your pool, test the water for pH, the alkalinity, and the calcium hardness.
I know that may sound complicated but it’s actually very easy! There are test kits that will give you this information, all you have to do is stick the device into the water.
For the pH, look for the device to say 7.2-7.6.
Alkalinity should be between 80-120 ppm (parts-per-million)
Calcium hardness needs to be between 175-250 ppm.
Clean Your Pool Thoroughly
Before you do anything else, clean your pool. You will need a pool vacuum and a brush. Proceed to brush and vacuum the sides and floor of your pool.
Also, make sure you have a net to grab leaves, bugs, or any other debris that may be in your pool. Have a trash bag nearby so you can dump all of the debris that you collected.
Add winterizing chemicals
Believe it or not, there are actually winterizing chemicals out there that help your water during the winter. These kits are fairly cheap but some can be expensive. One good thing is that some of these kits don’t require you to use a filter when using them.
Of course, it’s always best to read the directions before you start pouring stuff in there. This is especially important because while some winterizing kits don’t require you to make measurements, not all of them are like that.
Adding too much or too little of a chemical can completely ruin your pool.
Clean the filter
Cleaning the filter is extremely important if you want to keep all of those dirty contaminants out. If you have a sand filter, it should be backwashed. You also need to clean the pump basket and the skimmer. If your pool has a chlorinator, remove all of the chlorine that’s inside.
Lower the water levels
Before you lower the water, you need to know that you should never (I can’t stress that enough) completely drain above ground pools. The hydrostatic pressure can cause major damage.
Instead, use an air compressor to force air into the skimmer and through the plumbing. This will blow the water out of the system.
Drain and plug the pipes
You will need to drain the return line and the skimmer. This is very simple to do.
For the return line, use a pool plug and then disconnect the hose. This should drain it completely dry. However, if you have PVC pipes, you will have to use an air compressor and some pool anti-freeze as mentioned before.
For the skimmer, all you have to do is remove and drain the pump that is connected to the hose. A skimmer plug will help keep water out during the winter so make sure to invest in a skimmer plug.
Or you can invest in a skimmer guard. A skimmer guard is both a skimmer plug and a skimmer protector as it will keep water out by plugging up the pipes.
You need to drain everything else as well. Whatever other equipment you used needs to be drained. If not, the water will freeze and crack the equipment. For the pool heater, grab a cover for it to protect it from the snow.
Once everything is drained, you need to shut the power off to everything. This does not only help your pool, but this also helps your electricity bill.
Cover your pool
This is your main protection against debris. If you ever had a pool before and left it uncovered, I’m sure you realized that the next time you went to use the pool it was filled with bugs and a bunch of other nasty things.
Go to your pool’s website or look at the box to find out the dimensions. Buying a cover that’s too small will be almost useless as it won’t cover the full pool.
You want to get a cover that’s slightly bigger than your pool’s dimensions. That way, when you tighten the cover, it will still cover everything.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a lot of questions I get asked a lot, so I will try to answer these questions in case you have the same question.
Why do I need to measure pH levels?
The pH levels not only keeps the water clean, but it also protects a lot of your pool components from damage. If the water is too alkaline, it can cause scaling on the pool surface as well as the plumbing equipment.
Do I need to check up on my pool during the winter?
If this is your first time winterizing your above ground pool, I would say that you should check up on it from time to time. Generally, you don’t need to check up on it and you can let it sit there without worry.
Of course, everyone is different. If you feel like everything was done correctly, then your pool should be okay at the start of spring.
The pool cover is something that all pool owners keep an eye on during the winter.
Sometimes an animal can come by and tear into it, or a tree branch can fall on top of the cover and cause damage but as long as the cover stays intact and is in good condition, your pool should be fine.