Fall is here and that means winter is coming soon. Unfortunately, it is time to swap out the bathing suits, shorts and sandals for sweaters, leggings and boots. Along with the cool weather of fall comes outdoor activities like hiking or playing in the leaves and snow, which means the pool has to shut down … for now. So, what is the best way to winterize a pool that’s above ground?
An above-ground swimming pool needs maintenance and protection to use for next spring and summer and the seasons thereafter. Because a pool is the focal point of a backyard and most likely the hangout spot for family, friends and guests, owners will want to make sure to keep it maintained for the next swim season.
While it may seem like a complicated task with a lot of steps, winterizing a pool above ground is much easier than one may think. This project only takes a few hours and does not require hard labor. Here are a few tips for winterizing a pool above ground.
Why Winterizing a Pool Above Ground Is Important
Winterizing a pool above ground is important to prevent damage to it. The process of winterizing includes making sure the pool is ready for the cold weather when it is not being used. If homeowners want a pool to last and be ready to use next swim season, it is important to winterize it so that the pool will be in great condition come spring. Winterizing can include using the right chemicals to treat the water, skimming the water and using a pool cover.
What Does Winterizing a Pool Above Ground Do?
With the cold weather coming very soon, cold temperatures, ice and snow will be here depending on the region one lives in. If a homeowner is in an area with freezing temperatures, frost, hard freeze and ice can damage the lining of a pool. Winterizing an above-ground pool is also necessary to prevent algae from growing, leaves accumulating, dirt and debris from setting in, and it keeps bugs and animals out. Equipment can also be easily damaged if the pool is not winterized.
When To Winterize and the Tools Needed
So now that summer is over, when is the best time to winterize an above-ground pool? October is here and makes for the perfect time to do it, but if one lives in a warmer area a person can get away with waiting until the water temperature is below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important not to do it too early or too late, as you want to make sure the chemicals are able to work well.
Below is a list of supplies needed to winterize your pool. These supplies can be gathered from a local home improvement store.
- Water balancing chemicals
- Vacuum attachments or skimmer
- Winter pool cover
- Leaf net
- Wrap or tarp
- Air pillows
- Cover clips
- Winterizing pill
- Chlorine shock
- Test kit
- Stain remover
What To Do With the Tools
After gathering everything on the list for winterizing a pool above ground, homeowners will want to get started. First, make sure to use a stain and scale remover for the last few weeks of pool use to prevent stains. Then, add a phosphate treatment to make sure levels are maintained. This will be added to the pool skimmer.
Next, remove all toys and equipment from the pool. This includes floats, pool noodles, beach balls, ladders or anything else that remains in the pool. Store the equipment in your garage or where storage space is available. After this, making sure the pool is clean is key. Remove any leaves, dirt or anything that has sunk to the bottom by using a skimmer, brush or pool vacuum.
Test the pool’s pH levels, alkalinity and calcium hardness levels. Optimum pH levels range between 7.4 and 7.6, while alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 ppm with calcium levels being between 200 and 400 ppm. Add algae liquid control by mixing it in a bucket with cold water, turn on the pool filter and let it run for no more than two hours and add the liquid around the edges of the pool.
After this step is complete, add shock treatment and chlorine as stated by package instructions to clean the pool. Remove the filter for cleaning and add a winterizing pill to keep the pool water at high quality. Cut off the power by turning off the breaker and remove the inlet to replace it with a winterizing plug. Remove the drain plugs, disconnect the hoses and drain the chlorine feeder.
Lastly, add a pool cover for protection. The air pillows will keep the cover from coming up and you can secure the cover with cover clips. Store all of the pool items and equipment in a safe place for use next season.
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