You may feel it’s premature to think about how to close above ground swimming pools before the summer even ends. But if you live in an area such as Chemung County, you know the cold weather is rapidly approaching. When it comes to keeping your pool protected during the winter months, it’s never to early to think about winterizing.
A Guide to Winterizing an Above Ground Pool
The reason you must give serious thought to winterizing an above ground pool is because the damage of freezing water could be disastrous. What measures can you take to prevent this?
Clean, clean, clean!
When closing a pool for winter, you must first ensure your pool is as clean as possible for the next swimming season. Properly clearing out above ground swimming pools can save you an incredible amount of work when it comes time to open the pool next summer.
Balancing the water chemistry before closing a pool helps protect the surface of the pool from staining and etching. Make sure your water pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness are all balanced. Many pool supply stores sell pool closing kits to help ensure you balance your pool chemicals correctly.
Don’t use a floater
Avoid using a floater that contains a strong oxidizer, such as chlorine or bromine. Oxidizer floaters can stick to the pool’s wall surface, causing damaging stains. Oxidizer tablets can also create the same damaging stains on the bottom surface.
Use a checklist
Once you’ve checked and balanced your pool water chemistry, follow this checklist for winterizing an above ground pool.
- Lower water level below the mouth of the skimmer
- Line the water left in the pool, along with air pillow(s) helps support above ground pool covers
- Drain all the water from your filter equipment and hoses
- Plug the return fitting (where water returns to pool)
- Disconnect your hoses from the return, skimmer and filter system, and drain the lines
- Put the multiport valve in the closed position and remove the pressure gauge
- Drain the pump by removing the drain plugs
- After draining the pump, turn it on for a briefly to remove the excess water out. Caution: do not run the pump for more than a second or two; otherwise, you can burn out the seal.
Be sure you have one of the best above ground pool covers
Finally, the last step in closing above ground swimming pools is covering keeping out debris, algae and sunlight with a solid cover.
When winterizing an above ground pool for the cold season ahead, always take precautions to protect your investment. Whether you live in Chemung County or farther south, it’s safe to assume that the weather will drop below freezing. Why risk costly damage and repair to your pool? With a little planning and effort, you can start swimming again quickly next summer!