Closing a pool is one of the most crucial tasks that need to be taken care of seriously as it saves you a considerable amount of money on future replacements.
In case you do not close off your pool properly, then there is a possibility that it might turn into a reservoir of algal spores.
Have you ever wondered about how you can protect your swimming pool and keep it in prime condition even when you are not using it?
Well, in this article you will get genuine pro-active tips that will save you an extra effort and you can use the pool right away after re-opening it without having to worry about excess pool chemicals or any other inconvenience.
How To Close a Pool – Basics
You might have this notion in your mind that only public pools need proper pool closings, but closing your pool is just as important and necessary.
Well, guess what, private swimming pools, or even close pools require proper protection from harsh weather conditions and unwanted infestations like algae growth and also in maintaining water chemistry; They do so by many methods, such as using a pool pump, air pillow, filter like a cartridge filter, winterize pool skimmer, winter cover, and also maintaining the water level using a drain plug or pool pump as mentioned above.
It is considered essential to close your pool properly when not in need because you do not have time to maintain it during winter months or during the rainy season.
Thus, it is likely that the surface of the pool might get heavily infested with algal spores that can even leave behind ugly marks and blotches.
There are several types of equipment that you require to use on your pool before you are planning to close it down, like skimmer tools like a skimmer basket in order to remove debris, a filter like a cartridge filter, and a cover or winter cover for pool closing.
Tips and tricks to close a pool for winter perfectly
Some of the most important tips with which you can maintain the cleanliness of the pool even when not in use for a long time are as follows.
Properly shocking the pool before you winterize your inground pool
Indeed, it is considered as one of the most effective and easiest proactive methods with which you can prevent the growth of algae in your pool.
Make sure to use pool chemicals, liquid chlorine for this process as per the size of your pool.
Liquid chlorine decreases the pH level of the water that makes it unfit for algal spores to thrive and increase the total alkalinity to maintain water chemistry.
If you have a medium pool, then you can use 7.5 liters of liquid chlorine to shock the pool.
Use an adequate amount of metal sequestrants when closing pool for winter
In case your water supply contains high metal concentration, then there are chances that they can deposit at the bottom and cause irreparable damage.
To tackle such a situation, you are required to mix the proper amount of metal sequestrants in the water, to also maintain the water level.
This product will not allow the metal present in the water to deposit at the bottom of the pool.
When metals deposit on the surface, they start to oxidize and eventually stain the area that is beyond repair, also ruining the water chemistry.
Proper cleaning of the filter when closing pool for winter
You do not want countless strains of bacteria and algae to thrive on the surface of the pool throughout the winter.
In this case, you need to backwash the pool, after this, it is essential to thoroughly clean the filter.
To clean the filter you can either use muriatic acid or the mild pool cleaning detergent.
Lower the water level when closing pools for winter
Apart from infestation, algae growth, and metal corrosion, your pool is also prone to water damage.
If you live in a cold region, then lower the level of the pool water, this is so because, in winters, water starts to freezes and eventually increases in volume.
This can eventually lead to cracking of the floor and walls of your pool.
Drain the cover to winterize in ground pools
What would be a better option than to cover your pool with the help of a protective cover?
You can either purchase a hybrid or solid covers for your swimming pools that will keep twigs, leaves, and bugs at the bay.
Moreover, these covers will also help you to fix issues related to high water levels in the pool that can even cause serious damage.
Air pillow is used in order to prevent the accumulation of snow or rainwater, that increases the pressure on the cover
Drain the water from return lines – blow out pool lines
Yes, you must remove water from the return lines of the pool as it might get cracked during the severe winter season. It is a major step in pool maintenance.
If you do not want to undertake this process, in such a case it could be wise to add anti-freeze in the swimming pool.
Moreover, you can even use a water heater for time to time that will help to maintain the temperature of the pool normal.
Properly regulate pool closing chemicals balance
To maintain your pool properly it would be wise to purchase a maintenance kit and increase the total alkalinity of water.
Thus, you can easily keep the pH of the poll below 7, maintaining total alkalinity; due to which none of the bacterial or algal spores will be able to thrive in it, and it’s possible to balance your water.
Pool kits will also make you aware of metal concentration that can be curbed with the use of sequestrants helping in pool maintenance.
Take off any accessory when you winterize an inground pool
To cover your pool thoroughly make sure to take off any ladder or accessory attached by the side of the pool.
You should get rid of any accessory as they can get rusted and in time the rust can enter in your pool.
Correcting common problems when closing inground pool
It is better to take corrective measures while closing a pool for the winter season, like a winter cover, air pillow, skimmer, and filter as you can easily save a hefty amount of money.
Moreover, these effective measures will also save your time, and protect you from any type of skin allergies.
Cracking of pool surface
This is one of the most commonly reported problems by pool owners that cost them a large sum of money in repair.
In case you have a ground pool, then you need to add anti-freeze and drain the water about 6 inches below the skimmer.
For those of you who have above ground pool, it is advised to pull the drain plug and completely drain the pool, filter, and heater.
Algal and bacterial infestation in the pool
Who wants to have a pool that is booming with algal and bacterial strains?
Well, the only way to protect your pool from such a condition and balance your water is to properly undertake pool-shock before closing your pool for the winter season.
For starters make sure to use liquid chlorine and algaecide; these components decrease the pH level of the pool.
None of the bacterial and algal strains can thrive inside a pool that has low temperature and acidic pH.
The improper covering of the pool surface when you close the pool for winter
If you have an above ground pool and you want to cover it thoroughly, in such a condition it is duly essential to take away all accessories.
This is so because, the accessories like a ladder, lights, etc. will cause hindrance for the pool cover.
In addition to this, accessories also get rusted and in the long run, can even contaminate the surface and inner lining of the pool.
Effective ways to close your pool for winter
There are different types of processes that will guide you to completely secure your pool when not in use.
Even though different processes offer you a unique feature but a few common and most useful ones are given below.
Clean the pool thoroughly before closing
Indeed it is considered as one of the most effective ways with which you can protect your pool from becoming a reservoir of bacteria and algal spores when not in use.
Initially, you are required to drain the water and brush the walls of the pool.
You also have to clean the machinery and remove all the water so that it won’t get damaged in any possible manner.
Lastly, you must cover your pool as being advised by the manufacturer.
Close the pool when the water temperature is below 60 degrees
Yes, when the temperature of your pool drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then several bacterial and algal strains can survive. So the use of a winter cover is highly suggested.
Thus, it gets more than easy on your part to close your backyard pool.
In the first step, you are required to clean off any leaves and debris floating on the top surface of the pool.
You also need to reduce the level of water level up to 6 inches below the skimmer.
This process will safeguard the pool when the water freezes and expands the volume during the extreme winter season.
You have to add antifreeze and algaecide in the pool so that the water will stay clean throughout the winter.
Lastly, just cover the surface with the help of a hard pool cover or a winter cover.
Completely drain the water for above ground pool before closing for the season
In case you have above ground pool, you must drain all of the water and remover accessories from the pool.
For above-ground pools, it is also essential that you drain pump, heater, and filter and clean them before storing them during winter months.
Accessories like light and ladders are removed from the above ground pool so that you can easily cover them while not in use.
Tools that you need to use when closing an inground pool
Several tools will offer you genuine aid in accomplishing the pool closing task without any hassle.
Tools and equipment that are widely used during the proper pool closing procedure are as follows.
If you are planning to close your pool during winters or rainy season, it would be wise to undertake proper shocking in advance.
You need to use the proper amount of liquid chlorine in your pool to get rid of any bacterial or algal strain.
In a medium swimming pool use 7.5 liters of liquid chlorine for the shock.
Taking pro-active measures in advance before closing the pool is a must as you do not have to spend a hefty amount on frequent replacements.
It would be wise to scrub the walls, corners, and surface of the pool with the help of an aluminum brush.
Thus, you can easily get rid of harmful spores that can create a nuisance for you in the future.
Indeed it is one of the most important tools with which you can easily remove floating leaves, insect bodies, and twigs from the surface.
By using telescopic poles you can even save money on chlorine concentration.
This is so because; lower the concentration of impurities present in the pool, less requirement for the liquid chlorine for pool shocking.
The pH maintenance kit
You can even maintain the pH of the pool by using an effective kit.
Through the use of a pH kit, you will get an idea about how much liquid chlorine or baking powder you need to sterilize the pool thoroughly.
Automatic vacuum heads
Cleaning the pool before you close it for the winter season is considered as a wise choice.
For this purpose, you need to use an efficient tool that will take the load off your shoulders as it is fully automatic
Moreover, you can easily clear the debris and spores as it offers a transparent body.
There is nothing more prospective than to have a hybrid or sturdily built pool cover upon closing your pool.
This equipment will protect your pool from different types of contaminations when it is not in use during the winter and rainy season.
Pool Closings – Frequently Asked Questions
How far down do you drain your pool for winter?
You need to drain the water of your mid-size in-ground pool for about 6 inches right below the skimmer during winters.
In case you have an above ground pool without a skimmer, you need to drain it completely as it is more prone to damage when the water freezes and expands during severe winter months.
Can you close a pool with leaves in it?
No, this will increase the alkalinity of the water and they can even decrease the oxygen inside the pool. Make sure to avoid closing your pools in such conditions.
In addition to this leaves start to decay and you might have to deal with the obnoxious odor.
When should you close your pool?
When the water temperature gets below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, then you need to close your pool with the help of a hybrid or hardcover.
This is so because below 60 degrees strains of algae and bacteria won’t be able to survive, which occurs upon pool closure.
At the time of closing of the pool, you need to measure the pH level of the water and add liquid chlorine if it is highly alkaline.
How to winterize above ground pool?
You have to properly maintain the level of phosphate and pH in the pool.
For this purpose do use an adequate amount of liquid chlorine to shock the pool water.
It is also recommended that you brush the pool thoroughly before closing it for the winter season.
How to close a pool for the winter?
First things first, you need to scrub the walls, corners, and the surface of the pool.
It would be wise to maintain a low pH level before closing the pool by shocking it with liquid chlorine.
When you are covering up the pool, then do add algaecides and metal sequestrants as they won’t let the metal present in the water to oxidize.
Backwashing is another method with which you should properly clean the filter of the pool from any muck or spore.
How to close a pool for winter in-ground?
There are several steps that you need to take during a pool closing process like cleaning the pool and shocking it with liquid chlorine.
To get additional security you must blow the liners out and reduce the level of the pool water.
Finally, do get rid of any accessory around the pool and use sequestrants that prevent metals from depositing at the base of the pool.
How to winterize an in-ground saltwater pool?
There are several things that you need to take into consideration like testing the level of salt and pH balance of the pool water.
Moreover, you are also required to add enzymes as well as anti-staining agents in the saltwater pool before closing it.
How to drain an in-ground pool below skimmer?
In order to drain an in-ground pool below the skimmer, Initially, you need to see to it that the valves and other connections are made properly before you drain an in-ground pool below the skimmer.
You also have to turn off any other water fixtures and jet streams as it might hinder the proper draining process.
Lastly, you are supposed to open the waste line and then attach it to the waste port, this will help you with the proper disposal of dirty water.
How to drain above ground pool with a sand filter?
To drain the sand filter properly you must unscrew the cap that is present at the bottom.
You need to drain out the water from the filter near about 12 hours stretch.
Once the draining process is over, you should open housing for sand filter and clean any impurities present inside.
How to drain an above ground pool for winter?
You can simply use an exit hose for this process, but it is essential to place the hose end at the waste port so that the dirty water can get disposed of without any hassle.
While draining the pool make sure to scrub off the inner surface of the above ground pool.
This process will help you to get rid of algal spores and you do not have to jet stream the surface afterward.