How to Properly Winterize Your Pool

Winterizing your pool

We are well into the busy season of football, leaves and sweaters and the holidays are within sight. Although you haven’t thought about going for a dip in your pool in over a month, it’s important not to completely forget about your pool just yet. Winterizing your pool for winter in southwestern PA is a vital part of preparation for winter.

Clean the pool
First thing’s first, clean out the pool. Simply use a skimmer to remove grass, leaves, bugs, rocks and other debris that have meandered their way into the unused pool. You’ll also want to take the time to clean your pool tools such as the vacuum and skimmer so they’ll be ready for next summer, but also so they won’t rot and get moldy in storage. Although cleaning the tile now will be a chilly task in this brisk weather, it will be much easier than doing so in the late spring when the scum has had all winter long to set.

Draining the water
Whatever you do, do NOT completely drain the pool. The water in soil freezes and expands – just like all other water. When water expands underneath an empty pool, it can shift the position of the pool. The pool needs to have some water in it to weigh it down against the frozen water in the soil. When emptying the pool, empty the water just below the skimmer and it will eliminate this problem.

Pump and heater care
Drain all of the water from the pump and then disconnect the pump and filter. Remove the cartridge and thoroughly clean the filter. You’ll also need to drain the water from the heater and use a compressor to blow out all of the water inside.

Avoid frozen pipes
To ensure that your pipes won’t freeze and burst you’ll need to drain all of the pipes. First remove all of the fittings at the pump and filter system. After this, use a wet shop vacuum or air compressor to blow out the pipes, return plumbing and the main line drain.

Pool cover
Flotation device – This can be an inner-tube purchased from the store or an old tire. Before installing the pool cover, place the flotation device in the middle of the pool. Doing this will cause the ice to push in on the flotation device rather than outward on the pool walls.

Pool cover – The pool cover is very important and is not the place to try and cut costs. It needs to be able to hold the weight of snow and ice while also protecting people from falling through it accidentally. Before covering your pool, inspect it for any rips, tears or cuts and make any and all necessary repairs.

Image via About.com

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Tom Gillece Sr. is the founder and president of Gillece Services in Pittsburgh, providing residential Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Waterproofing services throughout Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1980, Gillece has helped homeowners with all of their emergency, maintenance, repair and replacement needs for more than 30 years. For the latest news and offers, Gillece can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.