As summer draws to a close, we all face a sad reality. It's time to close down your pool for the winter, getting it ready for the long, cold winter we will all have to endure before we can enjoy another summer in the sun. Here's how to do it the right way so you can hit the ground running when the weather heats up again.
Get the Process Started
Once you decide when you are going to close your pool for the winter, it's important to get all your ducks in a row. Get your winter cover out of storage, and make sure it is still in good condition. Once that is done, you can start pulling ladders, toys and any other removable equipment and get them ready to store.
Most pools are covered by one of three types of cover, either mesh, solid or automatic. The covers manufactured by Latham Pools can be custom cut and fit for your specific pool, meaning a perfect fit. Their Coverstar and Pool Cover Specialist lines of automatic covers make pool closing the easiest, especially when combined with a cover pump.
Let the pool water start cooling as well. Once it's below 60 degrees, algae is less likely below that mark. The last step in preparation is to shock the pool. Once the level of free chlorine (FC) sticks overnight, you can plan on closing your pool within the next two to three days. Run the pool filter for 24 to 48 hours, and you are ready to close.
Preparing Pipes and Pumps
Start by removing any floating debris such as leaves. Then, hit the pool with the maximum dosage of PolyQuat to help further prevent algae growth. You should begin pumping the water level down to the level recommended by your pool's manufacturer. Typically this is around four inches. Once that is done, blow out the plumbing with a shop vac. Pull all drain plug on the filter pump, drain pump and heater. Then store them to prevent freezing.
Additionally, you can add pool antifreeze to all plumbing to protect them during the winter, at a rate of one gallon for every 10 to 15 feet of pipe. Seal the pipes with expandable rubber plugs.
Now you are ready to cover the pool. If you've got PCS or Coverstar pool cover, the process is as simple as pressing a button. Once the cover has rolled out over the surface of your inground pool, that's it. They take normally the hardest part of the pool-closing process a snap. Even the solid or mesh covers that are cut to your pool's exact dimensions are easy to get in place, with stainless steel springs and D-ring connectors to hold the cover in the correct position. The covers are strong enough not only to protect the water below, but also keep your family safe from accidents.
Your pool is now officially closed for the winter, but that doesn't mean the maintenance is done. You should keep up swimming pool care during the fall, and blow any leaves that fall on the cover off once they have dried out.
Even the most winter-prepared pool is only as safe as the cover over top of it. For the best in automatic, mesh or solid pool covers, contact Latham Pools to learn more about their whole line of products.