9 Easy Steps for Winterizing Your Swimming Pool
Bassel de Jaroueh, Owner at Casa Pools
The weather is getting cold, the leaves are changing color and the warm memories of summertime fun are fading away.
Pool closing time is usually a sad time of year...
It is time to start getting your pool ready for the cold winter months. Properly winterizing your pool will protect your equipment from ice damage, keep your water clean, and save you time and money when opening your pool in the spring.
Winterizing your pool may seem complicated but, with a little preparation, it can be a very simple and pain-free process.
We at CASA POOLS has compiled a set of step-by-step instructions to help you safely and effectively winterize your pool:
- Locate all your winterizing supplies. This should include the cover, the water tubes, the plugs for the skimmers and return jets and your winterizing chemicals. You will also need an air compressor or a powerful shop vac. You need these items for proper winterization.
- Backwash the filter very well to clean it out. Drain filter tanks and leave backwash valve open. On sand filters, unplug the filter drain plug and leave off. Make sure multiport valve has no water in it.
- Disconnect your pump and filter. Make sure that pump is totally drained out of any water. Remove any drain plugs from the pump.
- Unscrew and loosen any quick disconnect fittings or unions at your pump and filter system. Remember, the name of the game is "no freeze cracks". If the water is all drained out of your pipes and fittings, it cannot freeze and expand and crack.
- This is an Important step to protect pipings and mechanical parts from cracking.
Remove all return jet fittings.
Remove all skimmer baskets.
Blow out all return jet pipes using an air compressor. Hook up air compressor to the return lines at the filter system and blow the air. Keep the air blowing until the air bubbles start to become visible from the return jets in the pool.
Put a plug in the fitting under the water when you see the bubbles blowing at full force. This will mean that 99% of the water is out of the pipe. Make sure plug is in tight ! This is most important.
Blow out all skimmer pipes in a similar fashion as before. Put the screw in plug in the skimmer when bubbles start to become visible.
This is very important ! Water can easily freeze in a skimmer and crack the plastic.
Remember - we do not recommend putting anti-freeze type products in the pipes. You will not need it if the lines are properly blown out. The anti-freeze can cause a mess in the Spring when you go to start your system and it gets sucked into your filter and blown back into the pool.
Blow out main drain line too. No, you don’t have to dive down and plug the drain pipe. When you see bubbles coming out of the drain, plug the pipe on your end or close the gate valve. This is as much protection as you can give to a main drain line. By doing this you will cause an "air lock" in the line and no more water should enter the pipe from the pool side.
- Put duct tape on all exposed pipes to prevent anything from getting into them. Use a lot of tape.
- Remove dive board and ladders. Put the pump inside as well. You probably are not going to want to move your filter if it is a sand filter. You can leave that outside !
- Mix any granular winterizing chemicals in a bucket so that they are totally dissolved. Dump mixture into the pool. This is very important. If you are using any liquid winterizing chemicals, pour them in the pool as well. Test the pool for pH and Total Alkalinity. Adjust to normal levels using pH PLUS or MINUS and ALKALINITY PLUS. pH should be between 7.2 - 7.6 and Alkalinity between 100-150 ppm. Make sure one of your winterizer chemicals consists of a SHOCK-type product. You want the chlorine level in the pool to be rather high (over 3.0 for wintertime).
- Water level !!
We at CASA POOLS feel You do not have to drain any water out of the pool provided that you have properly blown out and plugged all your underground pipes. Some people are used to their pool being drained down past the skimmer. This is usually done instead of blowing out the pipes.
You really only have to drain the water down in a pool if it has tile at the water level because the surface water will freeze and expand over the winter and this could cause those tiles to crack. Aside from this situation, we feel that there is no valid reason to lower the water in the pool. Also, you do not have to remove or "lower" the pool light provided that you keep your water at the normal level.
Finally, place the cover on the pool.