With fall right around the corner, many people are looking to complete maintenance around the home to prepare for winter. For those with a pool, this includes preparing it for the off season. Today, we at Metropolitan Pools would like to discuss the steps to winterize your vinyl pool.
Do You Need to Clean Your Pool Before Winterizing?
1) Clean Swimming Pool. Use your vacuum to get any debris off the floor of the pool after you use the pool skimmer and clean all the debris from the top of the pool. Ensure you clean the baskets.
2) Test the Water & Balance Chemicals. To prevent any corrosion or build-up of scale, test the water and adjust the pH to increase acidity or alkalinity as needed. In your pool, make sure keep the chlorine level below five ppm to protect other additives.
3) Winterizing Chemicals. Add the other chemicals once chlorine is balanced.
Algaecide: Avoid green and brown stains on your liner caused by spores from growing by preventing them.
Metal Sequestrant: This prevents rust and scale stains if your pool has high levels of iron, calcium, copper, etc.
Pool Enzymes: Destroys organic contaminants like dirt and leaf debris.
4) Shock & Water Circulation. Before you do the next steps and test the water the next day for a final balance check, go ahead and shock the pool one last time and run the pump overnight.
5) Reduce Water Level. Drain the water slightly to prevent overflow. A general guideline is to keep it about an inch below your skimmer opening, though you’ll want to follow the manufacturer’s suggestion on the cover.
6) Backwash & Clean the Pump & Filter. Once the pool is cleaned and treated, you need to make sure the pump and filter are cleaned as well. Before storing it for the winter, take cartridge out and wash it with pool filter cleaner, then rinse it and let it dry completely.
7) Add Non-toxic Pool Antifreeze & Remove Accessories. To prevent them from rusting and ensuring the pool cover fits securely, take the ladders, rails, and other accessories off the pool.
8) Pool Cover Installation. Once all the steps are complete, it is strongly recommended that you put the cover on.
Why You Shouldn’t Drain the Pool
Many people consider draining the pool for winter and see it as it the best approach, however, you don’t need to drain your pool to winterize it. As mentioned, you only want to lower the water level a bit to prevent overflow and keep it at the bottom edge of your skimmer. Allowing it to be full prevents the temperature fluctuations from causing the liner to shrink. The weight of the water counteracts the pressure fluctuations as the soil on the other side of the pool expands and contracts with moisture and temperature changes. The pool can crack or cave in if it is empty.