It’s time to close our pool for winter. We’ve enjoyed a great summer with our pool, and the warm fall here in LA has extended our fun through October.
But now that cooler weather has descended on us, it’s time to think about how we will close our pool for the winter. Being in LA we don’t have to worry about draining our pool or any water freezing in the pipes, but just because the water doesn’t freeze, doesn’t mean we don’t have to take care of it.
We leave our pool uncovered, but if you leave in a cooler climate that gets large amounts or rain or snow, you should probably invest in a pool cover.
Here’s the best way to close your pool for winter.
Skim and Brush
Although you won’t be using the pool, it’s important to keep skimming it and scooping up leaves, dirt, and any organic matter that falls in so long as it has water.
It’s easy to ignore the pool in winter, but a buildup will cause your filter to work harder and can lead to algae growth.
A pool cover negates this extra work, but your pool should be completely free from contaminants before you cover it.
Check the Filters
The end of swimming season is the perfect time to check and clean (or replace) your pools cartridge filters. If you’ve got a diatomaceous earth (DE) filter, you’ll need to continue your regular monthly maintenance, which includes backwashing, reloading DE, and a thorough filter clean at least once in the winter if you’re not draining the pool.
You don’t want to go into winter with a dirty filter that is struggling to keep your pool clean. If you live in an area that can freeze, drain your filter, pump, and heater and consider blowing out the pipes using an air compressor or shop vac.
Regulate Your Chemicals
Even if you have a pool maintenance service, it’s vital that you know how to check your pool’s chemistry. The easiest way to do this is by using testing strips. Clorox sent us a few testing strips along with some other chemicals to assist in getting the water balanced.
The main levels you’ll want to test for are chlorine levels and your PH. If your chlorine is low you can add these Clorox tables directly to your skimmer or in a pool float and they will quickly dissolve and get your pool back in order.
Balancing your PH is a bit trickier but Clorox sent PH Down and PH Up chemicals that make it easy to regulate. Just follow the reading on your chemical strip and apply which PH chemical is needed. If your PH is already balanced then you are golden.
We had an issue earlier this summer with algae. As you can see our pool was the same color as the bottle…gross!!!
I spent weeks brushing almost every other day and as hard as I tried to keep the chemicals balanced I needed a bit of a boost to get rid of the algae. Fortunately, I had a bottle of Clorox Algaecide, and within a day the algae had vanished.
I’ll always keep a bottle of this miracle worker nearby in case of algae emergencies.
If you’re completely shutting down and covering your pool in the winter, make sure it’s sparkling clean before you do.
Lower Your Water Level
Use a water pump to lower the water level about a foot below the skimmer. Only do this if you are completely shutting down your pool for the winter. This will help you blow out any remaining water from your pools plumbing system so it doesn’t freeze and cause cracks. A lower water level can also prevent cracks in tile if the water freezes.
Cover Your Pool
A pool cover can be used in the winter months to prevent contaminants from falling into your pool and also protects it from sunlight and algae. Your pool chemistry will also remain more stable when using a pool cover.
For a complete pool shut down, put all of your pool accessories in room temperature storage. This includes chlorine tablet containers, brushes, skim baskets, and poles. Freezing temperatures will shorten the life of anything plastic.
Your pool is now ready to close for winter.