Alexandria, VA (Nov. 29, 2022) – While swimming is an activity to be enjoyed year-round, winterizing your backyard pool may be necessary in colder climates where the temperature drops this time of year. Step Into Swim, the water safety initiative of the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA), offers best practices and basic maintenance updates for pool owners looking to prep for their outdoor spaces for a winter wonderland season.
“Pools provide families with opportunities to spend time together, enjoy the outdoors and stay active,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, President and CEO of PHTA. “Having an effective winterizing process is key to protecting the pool in colder weather so that it can be enjoyed by all during the swimming months. For many pool owners, the process starts with a qualified pool professional you can trust to get it done right.”
When winterizing a pool, pool professionals may keep the following steps in mind, as outlined by PHTA, formerly the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals. Winterizing processes may differ depending on the type of pool, the equipment used and the region.
Clean the pool and its equipment. This means cleaning the filter cartridges, emptying the chemical feeders, draining the pump, removing the skimmer, and placing accessories in a safe space to be found and used again in the spring.
Once the pool has been thoroughly cleaned by removing leaves, dirt and debris, it is ready for water treatment. Balancing the pool water is key because as the water temperature decreases, it will become more corrosive.
Water that stays in the plumbing lines can freeze and cause damage. This can be prevented by cleaning all in-ground pool lines with an air compressor or the discharge side of a shop vacuum. When lines are clean, remove the wall fittings and insert tapered, expandable plugs into the return lines.
Lowering the water level is dependent on the type of cover and the specific region based on anticipated winter weather. Surface water that freezes can damage waterline tiles, dry out vinyl liners and expose plaster surfaces to the atmosphere.
Shock, which kills bacteria, and algaecide, which kills algae, should be added before the pool is covered up for the season. Always be careful when handling chemicals and do not mix them. Follow manufacturer directions and safety precautions.
Make sure to have a durable and safe cover for the pool. This is the final step in the process to winterizing a backyard pool.
Safety is critical in and around the water, even for pools that are closed for the season. Pool owners should practice safety at all times, set up layers of protection and ensure loved ones have the swim education they need to be safe.