7 Easy Tips For Closing Your Pool This Fall

closing your pool

Closing Your Pool

With summer gone, it’s time for above ground pool owners to close down their pools. Winter brings frigid temperatures and ice can cause thousands of dollars of damage to pools that aren’t prepared correctly. That makes properly closing down your pool an essential part of pool maintenance. Here are our key steps to prepare you for closing your pool.

In-Ground Pools

The first task in prepping your pool for its winter nap is to make sure the water chemistry is correctly balanced to last through the winter without corroding or forming scale on the sides of your pool. This will also keep the thousands of gallons you have in your pool clean and ready to use next summer.

Next, cycle the water through the pump and filter for a few days until chlorine levels to return to normal. Then add winter algaecide.

On closing day, clean the pool one last time. Be sure to use a brush on the walls and the bottom to clear any leftover algae or silt. Drain water from the pump, filtering, and heating systems.

It’s a general practice to drain the pool below the mouth of the skimmer inlet. The idea is to keep water out of the filter and pumping system. While this sounds convenient, freezing may be an issue if you have tile at the waterline.

Above-Ground Pools

You’ll need to remove and store pumps and filters. Insert plugs into the pool filter water intake and outflow openings (usually in the pool’s sidewall). Disconnect all hoses from the pool and let it drain. Disconnect and drain all water heaters, filters, skimmers, automatic chlorinator, or salt chlorinator, and then store these in a warm, dry place like your basement.

Lastly, inflate and deploy the pool pillows and cover the pool. Be sure the cover is secure so that it won’t blow away and that there is enough support from the pillow underneath so that ice meltwater will drain easily from the cover. Otherwise, ice and meltwater can stretch and tear the cover and contaminate your pool water.

Closing down your pool may sound like daunting maintenance job, but it’s something that can be finished in the span of a week but a mistake could cost you thousands.

There’s a lot more to it than just slapping a cover on and calling it a day.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to get your swimmin’ hole ready for its long winter’s rest.

1. Get the timing right

Closing your pool too early can encourage algae growth and make your job a whole lot harder when it’s time to reopen the following spring.

Make your life easier and enjoy your pool longer by waiting until late summer.

If your pool is heated, you can get away with waiting until October.

A good rule of thumb is to wait until the water is consistently lower than 65 degrees before closing.

Begin the process about a week before you actually want the pool to be closed.

2. Clean it up

Brush the sides and bottom of your pool and then vacuum it. A thorough cleaning before closing for the season will help to prevent algae growth and lighten your workload when it’s time to open it back up.

3. Test the waters

It’s best to take a sample of your pool’s water to a reputable pool store to have it tested.

You’ll want the pH to be between 7.4 and 7.6 and the alkalinity to be between 100 and 150 ppm.

Shoot for the top of these ranges when you’re closing your pool for the winter.

4. Add the chemicals

The winterizing chemicals you’ll add to your pool are:

  • A pH increaser and/or an alkalinity increaser.
  • Sanitizer, such as Chlorine or Bromine.
  • Chlorine shock.
  • Winter algaecide.

Keep in mind that the chlorine shock will destroy the algaecide.

The best course of action is to add the shock five to seven days before closing your pool, and then waiting to add the algaecide until right before you put the cover on.

5. What about the filter and pump?

Remove the drain plugs and allow the pump to drain. Remove the pump and all the hoses that are attached. If you have a chlorinator, that should be removed at this time as well.

If you keep all the drain plugs in the pump basket, you’ll know right where they are and you won’t risk them getting misplaced.

The hoses, pump, and chlorinator will last longer if you store them inside during the cold winter months.

No matter what type of filter you have, it will need to be removed and cleaned before storage. Filters should also be stored inside, with the exception of a sand filter, which may be too large and/or heavy to take indoors.

6. To drain or not to drain?

There is some debate about the validity of lowering the water level for the winter. This issue revolves around protecting the skimmer from cracking due to freezing temps.

For an above ground pool, removing the hose from the skimmer and using a winter skimmer cover plate will remove the need to drain the pool at all. The normal level will actually be better.

An inground pool is a bit different. Your best bet is to hire a professional to come and blow out the pipes. They can insert a rubber piece that will protect the skimmer from damage in the freezing cold. If this is done, you won’t need to drain the pool.

If you have tile on the sides of your pool, you should lower the water level to about 4 inches beneath the tile. This will prevent it from possible damage.

At this point in the process, it’s also the best time to remove ladders and any other accessories that can be stored.

7. Cover it up

An above-ground pool will need an air pillow beneath the cover.

You can use clips and cables to secure your cover.

An in-ground pool doesn’t require an air pillow but should use clips to secure the cover.

The long wait for spring

You’ve cleaned and scrubbed, added chemicals and covered up your pool.

Following these maintenance tips gives you the best chance of not having any unwelcome surprises come spring. Have any questions about closing your pool? Contact us here. 

How To Get Ready For National Pool Opening Day

national pool opening day

National Pool Opening Day

There is a national holiday for each date on the calendar and also for every subject under the sun, but National Pool Opening Day is a holiday we can all rally round.

Schedule Your Pool Opening Today

As a pool owner, you understand there’s a lot of things that go into opening your pool. National Pool Opening Day is an amazing reminder to prepare for the summer season!

Test the Water First

Once you peel the winter cap and realize the challenge before you, begin by assessing your pool chemical levels. A good water test kit is important for testing your pool’s chemical balance.

When stocking up for summertime on pool shock and pills, don’t forget to purchase water balance chemicals for pH, alk, and calcium. You might also need an algaecide to control algae. And a water clarifier to remove finer particles out of the water.

Pool equipment

Examine the pool gear, mainly the filter and pump, but also other pool equipment like pool valves, chlorinators, heaters, cleaners, skimmers, ladders, slides and diving boards.

Start looking for any soil, mulch, trees or nearby plants that may get in the way of your equipment. Pool equipment does better in a sunny, dry location and not buried in bushes.

Pool cleaners have wearable components, and generally, require more frequent repairs than other pool equipment. Inspect closely for the cleaner parts that contact the surface, or debris totes or hose components that are worn.

Pool filters, either sand, DE or cartridge will need the filter press replaced at a single point. Sand lasts about 5 decades, DE grids for ten decades, and filter capsules 2-3 years for a good-sized filter. You can prolong the life and improve filtration by using a Pool Filter Cleaner before and after opening your pool.

Pool pumps have electric motors that will fail at some point in time, usually at spring startup, or at the hottest aspect of the summer. When your motor will not turn or trips the breaker, it might be a loose cable, triggered GFCI or it might be an engine that is fried. Pumping problems may be air leaking to the pump, or a clogged impeller, or the water level.

Pool Accessories

Pool Ladders, Slides & Diving Boards possess a lot of bolts that need to be checked for tightness. Notably the step treads, which can loosen over time.

Chlorinators are normally easy to care for, but the chlorinator lid o-ring needs to be lubed often to protect the o-ring from the chlorine.

Pool Heaters

If you have a pool heater, the best spring maintenance you can do is clean out the base of the device to remove any leaves, cobwebs, and anthills. Make sure the air vents and drain holes aren’t blocked in the cabinet. If leaves have collected inside a heat pump, or in addition to a gasoline heater exchanger, remove the heater top to wash out them.

Above-Ground Pools

Above ground, pools will join the hoses or pipes from the wall skimmer to the pool filter and then to the pool pump, and back to the pool return. Open the filter air bleeder, open the lines to be flooded by the valves and fill the pump with water. After being sure that the return and suction valves are available plugs the pump into a grounded electrical socket, and the pool skimmer and wall return aren’t plugged.

Inground Pools

Inground pools equipment reassembly is a bit more complicated, but it begins the same way, by screwing the drain wires back to the pump, heater, filter. Together with the water level up, pool plugs can be pulled out of the skimmer and wall contributes to flooding the lines. Contrary to Above ground pools, inground pumps sit above the water level. Fill the pump with water from a hose or hose, and seal. Open the filter air bleeder, open the return and suction valves, and then turn on the pump. Start-Up with a multiport valve on the ‘Waste’ place is a fantastic way to flush out the skimmer and drain, and it has much less resistance too, great for pumps that have difficulty ‘grabbing prime’.

 

National Pool Opening Day is the last Saturday in April. Make it your annual tradition to join us in welcoming spring by opening your pool! In case the final Saturday is too soon to start your pool, then join in by cleaning off your pool cover and prepping it to open when it’s warm enough. If you open the pool in May, it is the ideal time to examine your pool water.

If you need help opening your pool, contact us today!

Pool Tips: How To Choose The Size of Your Above Ground Pool

above-ground pool

How To Choose Your Pool

Once you’ve decided to get a swimming pool, you have an endless array of options. So that you get the pool that is best for you and your family. You can pick the shape, the material, extras that can be installed around the pool. And, sometimes the most important factor of all, height. If your family is ready to purchase an above ground pool, we highly recommend reviewing these pool tips.

How Should You Choose The Size of Your Above Ground Pool?

Before making a purchase, we recommend you researching your local pool ordinances. To make sure the size of the pool you want aligns with your local codes and ordinances.

Based on Budget

Above-ground pools tend to come in three standard heights: 48 inches, generally used by people with families that have young children, and 52-54 inches, which is a little bit taller to allow for more swimming.

What is the layout plan?

Whether you plan on just having a margin along the top or you plan on having material along the bottom of your pool as well, subtract those inches so you can better imagine the height of the water and choose which height works best.

Who is the pool for?

The taller your above ground pool is, the more water you have and the more fun swimming can be. Especially if you or other adults are going to be the primary ones swimming in it. However, if you have children who are also going to be swimming then choosing a pool height, like the standard 48 inches, can be a safer choice.

If you’d like to learn more about Cincinnati Pool and Patio’s options and installation process, please contact us here.