Oh! It is slightly cold now. Frost is coming towards us fast every day. You have stopped now drenching in the water and enjoying the cooling sensation of the pool. It is time to get the impression from the breeze, so have to pause your drowning for some days and learn how to winterize an above ground pool.
It is mournful, I know, but you have to pause layoff your indulgence with a pool very soon because of winter. The pausing can be started with to know and do about how to winterize an above ground pool. Where do you live? If you live in Southern areas, then much effort is not paramount as no frost is seen here. If you live in the eastern region, you have to take some bugging tasks to winterize a pool. The freezing location asks more extra care for the pool.
How to Winterize an Above Ground Pool
When to Winterize an Above Ground Pool
It is said earlier winterizing a pool depends on the location you live in. You have to watch the temperature to find the correct time. If you see that the temperature falls below 18 degrees Celsius, do not hasten, wait for the temperature below that level.
This is because you need more time to work on the pool. On the other hand, you have to wait for the cold touch to the pool. The cold touch is that which is useful for unclogging the infection in the pool. So, let the pool touch this for some time of lower temperature.
Additionally, if you live in the area where the frosts or freezing condition does not stumble, then you are more relaxed than the others. The random rising of temperature can give you time to go with periodic testing and balancing. You can do the water test and add some chemistry to the pool in the meantime.
Why Winterize an Above Ground Pool
The area wrapping with snow, frost, ice in the winter calls the necessities for winterizing an above ground pool. If you cannot cover it, it will cover the snow and frost, which are not suitable for the normal maintenance of the pool.
The pool will be out of order if you cannot cover and maintain it before, including in winter. As you will not get interested in swimming in the pool in cold weather, the pool doesn’t get its proper detainment either too. So it is better to cover it with a touch of winter care in that time.
The snow and frost accumulated in the pool can spoil your pool water. You may need to skim or replace the whole water and have to make extra effort to break the ice or hard snow.
Whatever it is, you have to maintain the pool in the winter before its covering and then cover it for better sustain.
Steps of How to Winterize an Above Ground Pool
Below I am going to help you with the utmost caring steps that how can you winterize your pool in your way. These are not complicated steps rather simple to do. Just be noted that you have all the proper requirements to clean the pool.
1. Test the Chemical Level of your Pool water
Before everything, you have to test the pool water to know the appropriate condition of the pool. There is a variety of test strips or kits are available in the market. You can use one of those to test the calcium hardness, pH level, alkalinity, and chlorine. These kits are maintained in the way that you can get the correct outcome. If you want to be more accurate, then have a little amount of water in a pot as a sample and hand this to the pool store. They will test the water with the appropriate tools.
Now let me tell you about the proper results that your pool water should have within. The ranges are
- Calcium Hardness level: 175 ppm to 225 ppm
- pH level: 7.2 – 7.8
- Chlorine level: 2- 3 ppm
- Alkalinity level: 80 – 120 ppm
2. Clean the Pool
How do you maintain your winter clothes after winter? Do you just leave those in the cupboard? No, you clean and dry them, and after that, put them in the cupboard carefully for the next winter. This happened for pools too. Till the following summer, the pool would be under the cover. If you don’t maintain the cleanliness, then the aggregated dirt and organisms will make the pool more polluted, and you have to provide double effort before opening it in the next season. Cleaning a pool also requires several stages. You need to have pool closing kits too.
Vacuum the Entire Pool
You can use the manual or automatic pool cleaner to vacuum the pool. Cleaning the entire pool can help you remove the debris, leaves, dirt from the pool water. In the market, there are lots of robotic cleaners where your task is easier than ever before.
Brush the Entire Pool
After vacuuming, don’t forget to clean the pool surface, floors, walls, ladder, and deck with a brush of nylon or steel bristles whatever the pool demands. Brushing will remove the reliable and robust strains and spots in the tiles or concrete floor of the pool by scrubbing those. Bristles made of various material is suitable for multiple pools, so make sure that you purchase the right option for your pool.
Clean the Skimmer
After that, you have to clean the inner side of the skimmer to eradicate any black residue, if any, from the surface. You can brush in that part too and keep the level of water below the skimmer. After cleaning, store it in a dry place for the next workouts.
You can use a skimmer cover too, which helps to wrap the whole skimmer and block the elements of the skimmer. This can let you leave the pool without lowering the pool water level. Without the skimmer cover, it may increase the water and got freeze and thus damage the whole pool even if you keep the water below the skimmer.
So, for this time, you have to check the pool water regularly so that it can deplete some water if it rains or increases the water in anyways.
Clean the Pool Filter
You may have two filters, like cartridge or sand filters. These have a way of cleaning in diverse ways. For the type of cartridge, soak it into the filter cleaner. For the sand filter, you can backwash your filter to get rid of the sand and other debris from the screen. After that, you have to dry the filter in the sun or keep in any dry place.
3. Put Winterizing Chemicals
You have tested the water to know the availability of various chemicals in the water. This is not enough; you have to use the results of the test to rebalance the chemicals. After cleaning the pool, now it is time to balance the water with a particular chemical according to your test results and the average value that should be optimum for the pool. This will save the pool liner and the pool surface to have damage.
Fix the pH Level
pH level measures the acidity of the pool water. By estimating with a test kit, you are able to know that how acidic your water is. If the pH level is lower than the lowest standard level, then the acidity is high; you have to reduce the pH level.
If the pH level is higher than the highest standard level, then the water is more essential that is also not good. You have to balance the pH level to increase the acidity to the standard value. You can find lots of pH increaser and pH decreaser in the market to work on it. Always keep the level to 7.2 – 7.8.
Balance the Alkalinity
Alkalinity is the level of various chemicals in the pool water like carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides, etc. As the alkalinity depends on several chemicals so you can manage the alkalinity with any of these chemicals according to the test kit results of alkalinity.
Additionally, you can manage it by alkalinity increaser if you want to hike the base. And also, you can add bicarbonates to maintain it. There are ways to reduce the alkalinity that is muriatic acid. All of these are available in the market and online stores. You have to maintain the level of alkalinity to 80 t0 150 ppm.
Manage the Calcium Hardness
Calcium Hardness is the measurement of hardness and softness of the pool water. In winter, whatever the frost or snow or just cold feelings, the water becomes hard with the cold weather. The hardness can throw the calcium trash in the pool and makes the water cloudy & an irritating build up inside the pool. You have to go for chemicals than reduce the calcium hardness from the water. Once the hardness is increased, you won’t be able to mend it with shock or other cleaners. You have to reduce the calcium from it.
On the other hand, if the water is unlimitedly soft, it attracts the calcium from the surface of the pool and damages the floor and concrete by this. Then the pool becomes caustic and lets ladders, other metals become corrosive and thus, it would demand an extra cost from you. So use Calcium Hardness increaser and other respective chemicals to increase the amount of calcium chloride. 175 to 225 ppm is the considerable amount of managing the proper amount.
Apply the Shock
You have to sanitize your pool before covering the pool. Make sure that you put the actual amount of shock in the pool water after doing a test in the pool. This will help the pool water to be sanitized so that the water would not be left polluted under the cover in the wintertime.
Some shocks calcium hypochlorites take much more time to dissolve, and you cannot wait for covering the pool. In this case, use the fast-dissolving that dissolves in the water at fewer hours, and you can close the pool readily. Usually, long dissolution takes time from 10 to 24 hours. So use those shocks if you have a whole night before covering the pool.
4. Remove the Pool Liner
Whether there is frost or not, the pool liner becomes damaged with the ice expansion or extreme cold. So, you have to remove the coating, clean it, dry in the sunlight and store these at an air-free place. Otherwise, it would become damaged and also deteriorate the pool. This will help you to start swimming in the next season quickly.
5. Remove the Accessories
You have to set aside the screens to keep those working for long. After cleaning the sand filter, you have to unplug & remove the roller valve and the sight glass. Then you can store those things indoors. If the sand filter is of much weight to carry, then you may leave it outside. Eventually, don’t forget to unplug it.
If you go in the condition of unplugging, then frost or ice cannot make the filter freeze and damage it. In the same way, after rinsing and draining water, keep the valves open and store the cartridge filter and Diatomaceous Earth. Unplugging everything is much essential than any other thing else. The store option is the second best thing if you have the opportunity to do this.
You should move the pump, hoses, and chlorinators(if any) too. Do not forget to drain the water from these accessories and dry those in the sun. Store all the things in the same place so that you don’t have to search for these when you need them.
All the accessories like above ground pool ladders, toys, lights, heater, floaters should be taken out of the pool. Clean and dry in the sun and finally store all the accessories in the indoor. The reason behind this is to keep your pool free from any type of damage like rust or scratches. On the other hand, the accessories are also essential to be washed and dried in the sun and stored in a safe place. Store those away from the direct sunlight though, for winter; there would be fewer UV rays, it is essential to be safe.
Reducing the Water level
It depends on how you are going to maintain the skimmer. It is stated earlier that you may choose to drain the water & keep the skimmer. If you use the skimmer cover plate, then the plate blocks the excess water in the pool flowed from the source of heavy rain or snow collect. Then the water would remain in the lower the pool liner, and you can get an automatically low level of water. But you have to move draining water from the top of the cover regularly in the winter.
If you choose not to put skimmer cover, then you must reduce the level of water lower the skimmer. Otherwise, the extension of rain or ice and snow can make cracks and rust in the pool surface and walls. So, either choose the skimmer cover or reduce the water level to the proper level so that it does not inflate the pool.
6. Have a Pool Air Pillow
Another name is the ice compensator. It can absorb the pressure of excess water and makes your pool safe. Though it will not set aside the freezing ice or water from the cover it helps to lower the pressure of the pool cover.
Just keep the air pillow in the center of the cover. You can use some hoses to secure it with the pool cover. On the other hand, you can attach with all the four sides keeping the pillow in the middle. You can use any DIY methods to fix the pillow. There are also built-in hoses or clips to secure the air pillow in the supply market. The center position of the air pillow makes the pillow working effectively with its roles.
Not only can it keep aside the debris, leaves, or other dirt away from the cover also. The cover would be clear, and the pool water would be safe too. Even during the spring cleaning up, this air pillow will provide you much protection. But don’t inflate it to the full only blow it to three fourth of all. Otherwise, the freezing water may boost and pop out the air pillow.
7. Put the Cover of Pool
It is time to cover your pool after all the things are done finally. Put a winter cover above the pool and install the air pillow in the middle of the cover with the hose or clips. After covering the pool, don’t use any stones, bricks, or any other hand materials that may hurt your pool cover. You may have the walk-around deck where you can use a water bag to secure the lid.
With all the possibilities, you have to make sure that the pool cover must be dry and won’t have any touch of wet things or water there. For this, you can use a cover pump to extract extra water.
Some Tips in Time of Closing a Pool
It is all about winterizing the pool. You can maintain the best position of the pool if you go with this process. There are several tips that you can follow in how to winterize an above ground pool.
- When you are ready to shock a pool, make sure that you put the shock in the night before you plan to close the pool. In another way, if you cannot maintain this way, the whole plan can get delayed.
- Moreover, it is recommended to use the skimmer cover though most of the people don’t want to use it. It would get benefits for you like the ice water cannot crack your winter cover and skimmer. The skimmer helps to block the water expansion over the cover.
- If possible, move all the hardware and accessories in indoor after disconnecting all. It is better for the longer lives of these accessories too. Put all the things in the same place to get all these at hand when you are ready to dive into the pool.
- Make sure that you never trench all the water of the pool. It will make the pool deteriorate very soon. So avoid doing this horrible exercise.
- If the air pillow doesn’t stay at the center of the winter cover, then don’t worry about this. Staying in the middle of the cover would do the work more effectively.
- You have to be watchful to the winter cover through the whole winter to keep it dry. Never let the cover weight with water or frost that may go inside. This would crack the covers and all over the pool.
- If you have the saltwater system, then out on the ‘winter’ switch of chlorine generator if it has. Otherwise, remove the cell that is used to operate the salt system of chlorine generator and store it in a safe place. It is better to clean the cell before storing it as like other accessories.
Pool closing is done for now. Your pool is now ready to do the whole fun in the sun. When you get back to swimming again, then it is sure that the pool would be in the best care in the wintertime. You can use these winterizing ways of maintaining a pool when you are out of town for long days.
Winterizing doesn’t confirm only the normal use of it next time; it would make the pool durable also for a longer time. Each thing related to the pool should be maintained and stored in line for better preservation of the pool.
Now you are prepared for the whole winter whatever the intensity of cold is. Whether you live in the eastern or southern area, you are all fit to be worry-free. Just enjoy the winter or frosting and wait for the upcoming fun next summer.