We all know having difficulties opening a pool in the spring can be a headache. Winterizing your pool is the most important thing you can do to make your spring opening as easy as possible. There are enormous benefits to correctly closing your pool, including protecting your pool surfaces and equipment and keeping water looking its best all winter long.
What Does Winterization do?
Winterization of your pool greatly reduces the risk of freezing damage to your pool and equipment. It also reduces the risk of having water problems during spring openings such as algae and/or cloudiness.
What do I Need?
The only winter-specific items needed for pool closings are winterizing chemicals and typically a winter pool cover.
What do I Need to Know?
If you are planning on tackling winterization yourself, it is very important to take the time to ensure it is done properly. Failure to properly close your pool can cause costs even larger than having your pool professionally closed.
How do I Close my Pool?
Step 1: Balancing
The first step to winterizing you pool is having your water tested. Your pool water will typically be well balanced by the end of the pool season; however it is still important to be certain before closing the pool. If any are found, you must treat any algae and/or metal problems, adjust Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and pH.
Step 2: Cleaning
During this time it is also important to brush walls and thoroughly vacuum pool. We also suggest a backwash and that you clean your filter with Filter Brite. Important note: The filter backwash should occur one day before continuing pool closing.
Step 3: Solar Cover
Your regular solar cover is not meant to be used for a closed pool! Remove the cover and give it a good clean, and preserve with Stow Away.
Step 4: Closing Kit
Now is the time to add your winter closing chemicals.
This specially designed closing kit contains one 1L bottle of BioGuard Hibernate Algicide II and 2 bags of Hiber Shock PLUS one 2.1L bottle of BioGuard Pool Closing Complete or Hibernate Stain and Scale.
Designed for all types of swimming pools
Specially formulated for cold water and winter conditions
Hiber Shock removes swimmer wastes prior to winterization
Hibernate Algicide II is effective at killing and controlling algae in swimming pools during the winter months
- Use Hibernate Stain & Scale to prevent staining and scaling on your pool surfaces throughout the entirety of the winter!
Step 5: Draining
This step is very important for winterizations in climates with winter temperatures dropping as low as those here in the Maritimes. Set your filter to “waste” or “drain” and partially drain your pool, usually at least 4” – 6” below your skimmer and returns.
Steps 6-9: Equipment
MAKE SURE ELECTRICITY AND / OR GAS IS SHUT OFF.
Step 6: Filter
Set dial valve to ‘winter’ or at a neutral position (between settings). Take drain plug off filter to drain water from filter and leave it off to drip or drain all winter. Remember, if there is water that can freeze during the winter then ice will likely expand and cause cracks. Remove the filter’s pressure gauge and sight glass and bring inside.
Step 7: Pump
Repairing or replacing your pump can be very costly. To ensure safe winter conditions for your pump: Undo the lid and the drain plug and leave them off! Suck all water out with a Wet Vac to prevent freezing. Also add a lubricating anti-freeze to your pump.
Step 8: Plumbing/Returns
Take the eyeball pieces out of your returns and install winter plugs (1 ½” or 2”) or rubber stoppers.
Disconnect plumbing connectors, take apart and suck water out of lines with a Wet-Vac. Disconnect connection to (if there is one) pump suction line (line from pump to skimmer). Block off 2 holes in skimmer with plugs, then Wet-Vac line from pump to skimmer.
Above Ground: Protect the lines with Hibernate Antifreeze. BE CAREFUL WITH AUTOMOBILE ANTIFREEZE – many are toxic! It could severely damage your equipment. Antifreeze goes in lines, not in pool. Chlorinator should be drained and flushed but antifreeze should not be added to chlorinator.
Step 9: Heater
Disconnect the by-pass. Remove plugs from front and rear headers and suck out any remaining water from the heater to avoid freezing.
Step 10: Winter Cover
Cover the Pool with a winter cover to protect it from winter winds, leaves, dirt and debris. Use tie-downs or water bags to secure, NOT cement blocks, etc. which can damage pools if they fall in! We recommend an Enviro-mesh winter cover for all above-ground pools as they allow water to drain into your pool while filtering out unwanted debris. For in-ground pools we highly recommend safety covers.
When Should I Close my Pool?
Your pool should be closed a good time before temperatures drop to near-freezing. We believe the best time for Nova Scotian pools to be closed is in the early weeks of October. The later you close the easier it will be to open!
What can I expect?
With the combination of proper pool closing technique and chemicals, you can safely expect to have a stress-free opening of your pool in the spring. Our service technicians tell us they get very excited when they show up in the spring to see an Enviro-mesh pool cover; they know the opening will be quick and successful!