September marks the official end of summer. As temperatures cool down and we look forward to fall activities, one thing remains: closing your pool. Closing your pool may make you feel melancholy, but it’s an important task to do to protect your investment. Here’s how you properly close your pool at the end of the summer season.
Step 1: Clean the Pool
The first thing you should do is have your pool cleaned. Thoroughly cleaning your pool before shutting it down is crucial since it will prevent the growth of bacteria. A clean pool also prevents clogging of the filtration system after it has been closed. Although you can clean the pool yourself, it’s better to enlist the help of a professional pool cleaner to make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned.
Step 2: Test the Water
Next, you should test and balance the chemicals in your swimming pool, as you’ve done all summer. Ensure the water is well balanced before closing your pool. You can test your pool’s water by using a pool test kit. Afterward, use water treatments to get the pH level between 7.2 and 7.6, the alkalinity between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm), and the calcium hardness between 180 and 200 ppm.
Step 3: Add Winterizing Chemicals
Once the water is perfectly balanced, add winterizing chemicals that will help prepare your pool for winter. These chemicals ensure that the pool doesn’t develop scale or bacteria while it’s closed. These winterizing chemicals, including phosphate remover, stain chemicals, and scale chemicals, can be added about a week before you plan to stop using the pool.
Step 4: Shock and Chlorinate the Pool
The night before, or even a few days before closing and covering your pool, shock it one last time. Mix this super chlorinating powder with some pool water in a large bucket. Then, as the filter is running, pour the mixture into the pool. After this treatment and once the total chlorine level returns to a range between 1 and 3 ppm, add an algaecide to prevent the growth of algae throughout the winter.
Step 5: Lower Pool Water Level
Because Maryland experiences cold and sometimes freezing temperatures during the winter, you’ll want to lower the water level before closing your pool for the season. Lower the water level to below the tile border or the bottom of the edge of the skimmer, depending on the type of pool cover you’ll be using. If you live in a warm climate where temperatures rarely dip below freezing, you can skip this step.
Step 6: Backwash and Clean the Filter and Pump
The last thing you want to happen is to be greeted with nasty debris and bacteria in your filter when you reopen your pool. To prevent this from happening, clean it out before closing your pool for the season. To backwash the filter, turn off the pool’s heater, turn off the filter, then choose the filter valve setting labeled “backwash” or “drain to waste”.
Step 7: Clear Pool Pump Lines
Because residual water can freeze inside your pool equipment and water lines, it’s important that you dry them as much as possible. When water freezes inside your pool pump lines, it can cause them to expand and crack. Try blowing out the lines with an air compressor to remove every drop of water before closing your pool.
Step 8: Remove All Pool Accessories
Next, remove all pool accessories. This includes things like:
- Diving Boards
- Skimmer baskets
- Wall fittings
Prolonged exposure to chemicals during the winter can damage pool accessories and cause significant problems when you reopen your pool. Removing pool accessories also helps ensure that the winter pool cover fits correctly.
Step 9: Install a Winter Pool Cover
The last step is to install a winter pool cover. This cover will keep your pool clean and clear all winter long. There are various types of pool covers to choose from, but the weather and your budget will be the most important factors that determine the best cover for your pool.
Have a Professional Close Your Pool for You
Closing a pool is no easy task. Let Patriot Pool Service take this daunting task off your hands. As a professional pool maintenance company, caring for pools is what we do. That means you can rest assured knowing that your pool will be closed properly and be ready to go next pool season.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment.