How to Winterize Your Pool to Prevent Freeze Damage

Pool Winterization

As cold weather approaches, it is time to winterize your pool and close it up until the next round of warm weather. You do not need to remove all the water from your pool, but you do need to manage the chemistry and water level of your pool in order to prevent freeze damage.

How to Winterize Your Pool

To begin “overwintering,” or properly preparing your pool for winter, make sure that you have the proper supplies on hand, which include a winter chemical kit, rubber plugs for return valves and skimmers, a pool cover, a set of water tubes, and a leaf net, before undertaking the following steps.

  • Adjust the chemicals. Over the winter, your pool can develop a cover of scale and corrosion that you can prevent with the right chemical balance. You are concerned with three measurements that you want to make sure are properly balanced:
    • PH desired level of 7.2 and 7.6
      Alkalinity 80 to 120 ppm (parts per million)
      Calcium hardness 180 to 220 ppm
  • Clean the water. Using a pool skimmer, clean off anything floating on the pool. Clean the sides and bottom of your pool with a pool vacuum and brush.
  • Add winterizing chemicals To kill all the bacteria living in the pool, fill a five gallon bucket of water with a shock product of at least 65% sodium hydrochlorite or a non-chlorine substitute, and pour it into the pool while the filtration system is running. Once the chlorine level has returned to 1 to 3 ppm over a few days, add an algaecide to kill algae and prevent more from developing. Both the shock and the algaecide should be stronger than what you would use during the year to keep bacteria and algae at bay.
  • Remove pool equipment. After cleaning the pool, remove all pool equipment, including ladders, filters, hoses, heaters, and baskets, rinse and dry them, and store them in a dry place such as a shed or garage for the winter.
  • Lower the water level. Although you will not completely drain the pool, lowering the water level below the skimmer and water returns will prevent the water from freezing and expanding, to the detriment of your pool plumbing and filter system. Using a shop vac on the blower setting or an air compressor, remove some water from the pool to get it below the skimmer. Put the rubber plugs in the return lines to prevent freezing, and add one gallon of anti-freeze for each 10 feet of distance from the pool to the pump.
  • Add a winter cover. Opt for a more sturdy safety pool cover that will hold weight if you have young children. Many people also add a leaf net to collect leaves and discard them so that they will not way down the cover. Place a cover pump on top of the cover to remove water that accumulates throughout the cold season.

Call the Pros to Avoid Overwintering Hassles

Following all of the steps to winterize your pool is important to keep your pool in good condition and minimize problems next spring. If you’re overwhelmed with everything involved with winterizing your pool, call Crystal Utah to learn more about our ongoing and semi-annual pool maintenance services.