When people talk about the approaching winter, the pool is not what they have in mind. But knowing how to prepare your pool for the winter is one of the smartest and most important things you can do, as winterizing your pool can save you some very costly repairs. Pool manufacturers won't honor the warranty on a pool if the damage was due to failure to properly maintain the pool. So don't waste any time -- start winterizing your pool immediately.
- Clean the pool Give your pool a thorough cleaning by vacuuming the floor, and cleaning the filter and skimmer.
- Balance the water Chemically balancing the water is an important step in caring for your pool. Properly balanced water protects the pool from the corrosion that can occur when the pool is shut down. The correct ranges are:
- PH: 7.2 to 7.6
- Alkalinity 80 to 120
- Calcium hardness 180 to 220
- Shock the pool Shock the pool and add algaecide. If you pool has a vinyl liner, it's recommended to use a chlorine-free shock. Don't put the shock and the algaecide on at the same time.
- Lower the water level Don't drain the pool entirely. Rather, lower the water level to 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) below the skimmer level, by draining it a bit [source: backyard city pools].
- Drain the filter Disconnect the skimmer and return hoses from the pool. Drain the filter and pump. Store the hoses away for next season.
- Remove the ladder from the pool. This is an important safety precaution, to ensure that no one tries to enter the pool now that the water level has been lowered [source: backyard city pools].
- Cover the pool with a tight fitting cover. This will prevent dirt and debris from entering the pool. Any snow or ice should promptly be removed from the cover to avoid having the cover crack [source: Pools Above Ground].