Sadly, summer is almost over, which means it’s time once again to start thinking about closing your in-ground pool.
Summer fun may be done for now, but the good news is that you’ll be able to open your pool even faster next summer by taking the right steps this fall. Properly closing and winterizing your pool is an important process that protects the pool equipment during the colder seasons and keeps the water clean, so you have less work to do next summer.
You can view our complete in-ground pool closing checklist here (and above-ground closing tips here) – but here are some of our most important tips:
1) Triple shock first
The night before you close the pool, triple shock it with granular chlorine. Follow the instructions on the package for how much to add, but generally most bags suggest adding 1 lb. of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water. So a triple shock would be 3 lbs. for every 10,000 gallons.
2) Vacuum, clean and winterize
Vacuum the pool thoroughly, and clean the filter. You’ll also want to remove and properly store items like the vent cap, pressure gauge, chlorinator drain plug and Visions drain plug. Dispose of any undissolved tablets, as well as the Visions cartridge, if applicable.
Winterize the pump by removing the strainer basket and the two strainer housing plugs on the front and sides of the pump housing. Turn off the main breaker to the pump (to prevent it being accidentally turned on during the winter).
3) Drain gas heater or heat pump and UV2 sanitizer
Follow your owner’s manual for specific instructions. But generally, this involves the following steps: open petcock valve on the side of the heater to drain out the water. Turn off the gas at the heater gas valve and the valve on the gas tank. On a heat pump, disconnect the inlet and outlet lines and remove the drain plug to let it drain. Use a shop vac to blow air through the inlet side of the heat pump, thus removing excess water through the outlet side. Turn off the breaker to the heat pump. Disconnect unions on the UV2 sanitizer and drain. Remove the bonding wire and unplug it from the receptacle. Store in a warm place over winter, where it won’t be disturbed.
4) Remove and store the following, when applicable:
Skimmer baskets, lifeline floats, thermometer, ladders and handrails (don’t store anywhere near the chlorine), fountains, diving board, and diving board base (grease the base’s thread studs and install protective caps).
5) Add winterization chemical kit
Add a Crystal winterizing chemical kit to the pool. You can purchase these at any Crystal Pools location. Winterizing kits typically contain a variety of additional chemicals to help prevent algae, stains and deposits.
6) Cover the pool
A high-quality pool cover is strongly recommended for every in-ground pool. A pool cover will obviously prevent debris from getting into the pool during the winter (making clean-up much easier in the spring), but there are several other benefits, too. Pool covers help to prevent water and pool chemicals from evaporating and can save on energy by naturally heating the pool a few degrees in the spring when it gets direct sunlight.
We’re happy to guide you through the steps for winterizing your pool, or we can send our skilled service professionals to do it for you. Request service online or call our Pool Service Department at (717) 534-1837.