The summer time thrills of pool parties and filter changes are almost over for this year. With fall just over the horizon, it’s time for homeowners to start closing pools down for the winter season ahead. No matter the climate in which you reside there are some fundamental tasks that need to be completed in order to close your swimming pool before those first leaves fall.
While some homeowners continue to use their swimming pools year-round, many others maintain unused swimming pools with reduced cleaning schedules. In these cases, you’ll need a week to prepare to close your swimming pool. During this week, you will need to balance the water, which will consist of making sure the PH ranges between 7.2 and 7.6, the alkalinity ranges between 80-120 PPM and the calcium hardness ranges between 180-220 PPM. Balancing the water is important in keeping a swimming pool’s water clean and healthy.
Ensuring balanced water will not be the only task in your swimming pool closing preparation. Other important tasks to complete when closing your swimming pool for the summer include:
· Brushing and vacuuming the swimming pool of all debris and dirt.
· Shocking the swimming pool to remove and prevent bacteria and algae.
· Adjusting the sanitizer levels and adding a longer lasting algaecide.
· Turning off the swimming pool heater.
· Reducing the amount of time your swimming pool’s filter is run over the course of the week before you close the pool for the summer.
· Readying the cover with an inspection for damage and cleaning.
· Removing all ladders and accessories from the swimming pool and cleaning the pool furniture.
These preparations are the same for both warm weather and cold weather climates. Warm weather climates will not be able to truly close a swimming pool, but maintenance can be cut back tremendously during non-swimming months. The only special task for warmer climates to close a swimming pool is to maintain high enough sanitizer levels to kill all bacteria and algae that will continue to grow in the moderate temperatures. Checking sanitizer levels weekly and adjusting your winter filtration times will keep the pool clean and fresh all winter long. Pool filtration can be lowered to only a few hours per week but may need to be increased if you find algae growth after closing your pool for the summer. Covering the swimming pool will retard any algae growth and keep debris out of the water.
Colder and freezing climates will have a bit more work before finishing the swimming pool closing. The key to closing your swimming pool for the summer in colder climates is to complete all tasks before the leaves begin to fall. As a temperature guide, homeowners should wait for the night time temperatures to steadily fall into the 40s to ensure their pool is closed safely and without promoting algae growth. Here are the final steps for summer pool closing in colder climates:
· Drain the swimming pool water below the skimmer and blow out all lines.
· Plug the water return with the stopper.
· Add swimming pool antifreeze to the return lines, skimmer lines (if your pool is an in-ground model) and shut down.
· Drain all water out of the filter.
· Disconnect pump and filter and store if possible. (If you will not be able to disconnect be sure to cover.)
· Check water or sand bags for damage and fill.
· Cover the swimming pool with the protective cover and weigh down securely with water or sand bags. (If your pool is above ground or vinyl lined, floating styro-foam on the water surface will help prevent damage to the liner.)
Closing your swimming pool for the summer may seem like a daunting task. These tips will help to keep your swimming pool fresh, clean and damage free for the next summer swimming season without all the hassle.