At the end of a beautiful, relaxing summer season, you know it is time for winter prep – cleaning the grill, mowing and raking the yard, putting away your outdoor toys in the shed, and more. But are you familiar with what you need to do to close down your above-ground swimming pool? These five simple steps will guide you through keeping your surface pool safe, undamaged, and ready to resume operation next year.
Step One: The Final Touches
It may seem counterintuitive, but the first thing you should do before closing your above-ground pool down is going through all the preparations you would normally take before opening it. You’ll want to balance the water to have safe and acceptable ranges of pH balance (between 7.2 to 7.8), calcium hardness (180 to 220 ppm), and overall alkalinity (80-120 ppm.)
Once everything is set to “ready to swim” conditions, you’ll want to shock the pool with chlorine until it is between 1 to 3 ppm, and then add your algaecide to prepare the pool for a winter of fauna formation. Never add the two at the same time, however, as this can negate the benefits you are trying to gain!
Step Two: Scrub It Down
This step is especially important, as this is the last chance that you’ll have to make sure you keep your above-ground pool sparkling and clean for the rest of the season. The work you put in now will have to carry the pool for several months, so be sure to brush down the walls and floor thoroughly, vacuum up all the waste, and drain potential blockages out preemptively. It is well worth it to invest in automatic pool cleaners to tackle the dirty work for you, so you can focus on the next task.
Step Three: Storage Time
Everything must go! Time to take out the fittings, ladders, buoys, baskets, and anything else that is in your pool. Put them into storage with your pool skimmers, brushes, nets, vacuums, and other tools. Ideally, there should be nothing in the water at all – everything that isn’t fixed down can safely go. Remember to store everything neatly so that you can access it easily next year, and avoid over winding hoses or binding them too tightly.
Step Four: What a Drain
At this point, everything is out of the water. Now, you should get rid of some of the water, too! Depending on the type of pool cover you have, you’ll want to drain up to six inches of sparkling blue for “floating” covers, and up to three feet of your freshly cleaned water for mesh-style covers. Other covers may not require as much or even any draining, so be sure to check the manual in case you aren’t sure what type you have.
You’ll also want to start draining all the constituent components, making sure to clear any parts that have been exposed to or submerged in water. You don’t want them to freeze and crack during the first freeze of the year! Once they’re dry enough, put them into storage if possible, or use a shop vac to make certain they’re absolutely clear if you have to leave them out. While you’re in there, it’s a good time to lubricate and antifreeze any parts that need them.
Step Five: The Cover-Up
Now that your pool is in immaculate condition, you may be tempted to dive in for one more quick swim, but belay that urge. Now all that remains is shuttering the pool. Your pool cover may vary, with mesh covers being preferred for their safety, but solid covers also being an option, although they require a little more maintenance. Your above-ground pool cover will likely use a winch to secure it, so familiarize yourself with that, as well.
Closing Your Swimming Pool in Rochester, Webster, and North Greece
Having a pool is backyard Bucket List 101, but many people make the investment without knowing exactly what they’re getting into! For more information about taking care of your pool year-round, why not check out our blog? Pools can be hard work, which is why we hope this article has been informative and helpful to you! If you need assistance or clarification with anything you’ve read today or are interested in looking into more resources to smooth your wintery water wait, you can visit us here at Ace Swim and Leisure in Rochester, Webster, and North Greece. We’ll be more than happy to help you ensure that next summer, you’ll have everything you need to start the season off with a splash!