Temperatures have begun to consistently dip here in the Lower Mainland, and that means its time to ensure you are beginning the winterization process for your in-ground pool. It may take approximately one week to complete the process, as some of the steps take a few days to be performed. Follow this simple check-list as a starting point for how to prepare or winterize your in-ground pool:
STEP 1: Declutter your Pool
Remove all pool accessories from your pool, including ladders, steps, pool toys, floatation devices, skimmer baskets, cleaners, and more. Rinse them with clean water and store them in a safe and covered place throughout the winter.
STEP 2: Give your Pool a Deep Clean
Use skim nets to clean the pool’s surface, and a pool vacuum to remove all debris from the bottom. Then thoroughly brush the pool’s floor and sides. Then, make sure your pool is as clean as possible by removing all leaves, silt, bugs, and other debris. This will make it easier to balance the water chemistry and prevent mold and algae growth throughout the winter months.
STEP 3: Check and Adjust the Water Chemistry
About one week before closing your pool, check the water chemistry to make sure the alkalinity is between 80 and 150 parts per million (ppm), the pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6, the calcium hardness level is between 175 and 225 ppm, and the chlorine level is between 1 ppm and 3 ppm.
Adjust as necessary, making sure you balance the alkalinity before you work on the pH level. You should be sure to err on the higher side for each of these measurements, as the levels will naturally decrease as time passes throughout the winter.
STEP 4: Bring the Water Level Down for Winter
If you aren’t using a skimmer cover and you live in an area where the water will freeze during the winter, you’ll need to lower the water level of your pool before closing it up.The water level should be about a foot below the skimmer if you have a mesh cover, and about half a foot below the skimmer for solid covers. Depending on how you’re removing the water from your pool, this process may take a couple of days.
STEP 5: Add shock and algaecide
Before covering up the pool, add shock, which kills bacteria, and algaecide, which kills algae. You may have to do this a few days before you officially close the pool, depending on the type of shock product that you buy. Follow the package directions, and make sure you distribute the chemicals around the pool evenly, instead of pouring them in just one area. If you’re using chlorine shock (vs. non-chlorine shock), don’t add it at the same time as the algaecide.
STEP 6: Cover and Protect your Pool
It’s finally time to put the cover on the pool! There are two types of covers: safety covers and winter covers. Safety covers must be anchored down, and they provide the greatest protection from debris, as well as people, pets, or wildlife accidentally falling in. Winter covers offer less protection, but you won’t have to deal with the extra step of securing them. No matter which type of cover you use, make sure it’s tight-fitting and doesn’t have any holes or tears.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about how to prepare or winterize your in-ground pool! Have questions about the process or want help along the way? Give us a call! Our team is more than happy to help assist you in any way that we can. Happy winterizing!