How Do I Winterize An In-Ground Pool?
Summer in Massachusetts is ending, which means it is time for homeowners to begin the painful process of closing down their in-ground pools until next summer.
Winterizing an in-ground pool can be tedious when doing so for the first time. By following these steps, homeowners from Cape Cod to Boston, Plymouth to Sudbury, and everywhere in between can sleep well all winter, knowing their in-ground pool is safely winterized.
Why is Pool Winterization Important?
Winterizing your pool is especially important when you live in a part of the country with a diverse climate. In Massachusetts, winter can arrive suddenly and with a punch. Winterizing your in-ground pool is necessary to ensure the lifespan of your pool and prevent any need for costly repairs.
Leslie’s Pool Supplies offers a great list of all the steps you can take to ensure your in-ground pool is properly closed for the season, especially for New England homeowners, where the climate can be harsh during the winter months.
How Do I Winterize My In-Ground Pool?
Before closing your pool for the season, be sure to vacuum, brush, and skim the pool thoroughly to remove any debris, dirt, tree branches, etc.
Adjust the pH to the correct level. pH should generally be between 7.4 and 7.6.
Adjust the Calcium Hardness to 200-400 ppm using a Hardness product of your choice.
Add one quart of Algae control per 25,000 gallons. Algae control should be mixed with water and poured around the perimeter of your pool.
After one hour, shock your pool (two pounds per 10,000 gallons of water). Ensure the chlorine level is between 1.5 - 3.0 ppm.
Next, you will want to let the pump run for a complete cycle. Allowing the pool pump to run will help disperse all the chemicals throughout the water.
Once this cycle is complete, lower the water level below the skimmer and remove the drain plugs.
Turn off the main power supply, then position the mult-iport valve handle between two settings. This step is important as the ports will remain partially open for freeze expansion. This should be expected for homeowners with in-ground pools in Massachusetts and other parts of New England!
Add pool antifreeze to all lines (one gallon for every 10 feet of pipe)
Refill pool to approximately 5 inches below the skimmer line
Make sure to remove hoses, ladders, pool toys, and any other non-permanent attachments.
Inflate and tie air pillows to a stable object. Air pillows help to prevent ice damage during the cold New England months!
Cover your pool using a safety cover or winter cover
Fill and place water bags (if you live in a windy climate).
Over the winter, do not forget to check the chemical balance of your in-ground pool every two weeks.
Winterizing your in-ground pool helps to ensure the lifespan of your backyard pool. Failing to do so could result in freezing pipes, pump and filter damage, as well as damage to the pool lining.
By following these steps, you can safely close down your pool for the winter season and have peace of mind that once spring arrives, your in-ground pool will be nearly swim-ready!
For more comprehensive information on closing your in-ground pool for the season, visit the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals.