How to Winterize a Swimming Pool

The time of year to winterize your swimming pool has arrived once again. Winterizing a pool is important regardless of where you live, but if you live in northern climates, it’s even more important to learn how to winterize a swimming pool. It should be kept in mind, however, that if winterizing is not performed correctly, it can cause expensive issues, including broken swimming pool equipment.

One of the reasons that improper winterization can occur is the fact that water volume expands 9 percent when it freezes. Therefore, if water is trapped inside a swimming pool pump, the pump could freeze, expand, and then break. This type of damage could result in hundreds of dollars in replacement expenses.

Prior to closing your swimming pool for the season, it’s vital to ensure that the water in your swimming pool is chemically balanced. If necessary, the levels should be adjusted. Chemically balanced water helps protect your swimming pool from scale buildup and corrosion, both of which can occur during your pool’s off-season.

Along with chemically balancing the water in your pool, it’s also vital that you remove all equipment from the deck, including rails, ladders, furniture, etc. In order to winterize a swimming pool, you will also need to clean the sides and floor of your swimming pool and then vacuum any loose debris or dirt. Any dirt left for a long period can result in stains.

Winterizing chemicals should be broadcast into the deep end of your swimming pool to assist in setting the quality of your swimming pool water. Doing so can help to protect your swimming pool cover, pool walls, and liner.

You will also need to make sure the skimmer, filter and pump basket are thoroughly cleaned. Any unused chlorine product should be removed from the chlorinator. The sand filter, if you have one, should also be backwashed.

The water in the swimming pool should be lowered below the returns and the skimmer. A Shop Vac or air compressor will need to be used to blow water from the system, forcing air down the skimmer and out through the plumbing. Remember that you should never completely drain the pool.

Finally, use a winter cover over the surface of the pool to completely protect your swimming pool during the winter months and place a cover pump in the center of the swimming pool to drain away excess water.