Winterize Your Above Ground Pool with This Helpful Guide

If you want to keep your above ground pool safe during the freezing winter temperatures and also to be able to start using it without any trouble then you will have to winterize it and close it properly. Otherwise, you must be prepared for burst or cracked pipes, fittings, filters, pumps, etc. Restarting your pool after winter can prove to be very tedious and expensive if it had not been properly winterized before closing for winter. Below are the steps for winterizing your above ground pool.

Step 1. You must have all the items necessary for winterizing your above ground pool. They are winterizing kit, air compressor or shop vac, rubber plugs, pool cover, gizmos, wrenches and screwdrivers as necessary and air pillow.

Step 2. You must remember that it is the inherent nature of water to expand on freezing. This expansion can damage or crack wherever water remains trapped and freezes. Therefore it is necessary to remove water thoroughly from all pipes, fittings, filter and pump. Start by backwashing the filter. Then thoroughly drain the filter equipment and the hoses by disconnecting them. Do not use any acid to clean the filter as acid left behind through winter may damage the components. You can do acid cleaning when opening in spring or summer.

Step 3. The next step is to make sure that the pump is completely empty by draining it by removing the drain plug, running it for a second to remove water trapped in the impeller vanes, disconnecting it and then turning the pump upside down to remove any remaining water. Don’t run the pump empty for more than a second or you will burn the seals. Remove the pump if possible and store it in a dry place. Make sure that you keep all removed parts in a basket.

Step 4. Remove and drain all hoses. Plug all return pipes. Plug the skimmer hole with the gizzmo or with rubber plug. Don’t replace any drain plugs, Just store them away. If you don’t want to plug the skimmer you can drain the water to the level below it. However letting the water remain will help the cover to remain in place.

Step 5. If you let the water remain in the above ground pool then it is going to remain stagnant for months. To prevent the surface of the pool from getting stained and etched you will need to treat it. The water needs to be chemically balanced using the chemicals provided in the winterizing chemical kit available for this purpose. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to get the desired pH, hardness and total alkalinity of the water. The pH is usually kept 7.2-7.6.

Step 6. Remove all deck equipments like rails, boards, ladders, slides etc. and store them for the winter in a dry place. Although it is rare, if the water in the pool freezes it will expand and break the pool walls. The pillow will take up the slack and prevent this from happening. You can use tires and tubes if pillow is not available. Fill the air pillow with air and place it on the water at the centre of the pool. The grommets provided with the pillow have ropes attached to them. Tie the ropes to the pool sides. Make sure that the pillow has no leaks before using it.

Step 7. The final step is to cover the pool. This will prevent rainwater and debris from contaminating the water. Place the cover on the pool. The pillow and the water will help in holding the cover up so that rainwater or other objects fall off and don’t collect over it. This will prevent the cover from collapsing into the pool. Finally the cover cable should be secured to prevent it from being blown away. Your cover should be such that the above ground pool sides are draped over by around one foot on all sides.

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