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How To Winterize Your In-Ground Pool

It’s getting colder, and winter is just around the corner. That means, if you haven’t already, it’s time to shut down your pool for the winter! This isn’t as easy as just throwing a tarp over your pool and leaving it alone until Memorial Day—you have to take the necessary steps to make sure your pool stays safe and in good shape through the winter months.

    1. Adjust the Chemical Levels: It’s important that your pool’s pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness are all at appropriate levels before you shut your pool down for the winter. Usually you want your pH to be between 7.2 and 7.6, your alkalinity between 80 and 120 parts per million (ppm), and your calcium hardness between 180 and 220 ppm.
    2. Shock the Water With Chlorine: You need to kill all existing bacteria prior to closure. Using a shocking product on the water while the filtration system is still running is the best way.
    3. Add Winterizing Agent: You don’t want algae growing in your pool over the winter! Using a algaecide is typically the best way to take care of this issue.
    4. Clean the Pool: You’re going to want to do this the same day you shut your pool down—you don’t want to mop yourself into a corner! Skim the pool to remove any debris and then thoroughly clean the sides and bottom of the pool. You really want to be as meticulous as possible; it’s the last time you’ll be cleaning your pool for several months, so make it count!
    5. Lower the Water: Using a pump, lower the water level below the skimmer—this depends on what type of pool cover you’re using, but typically, you want it to be lowered a few feet. If you’re using a mesh cover or tarp, you’re going to want to lower the water a little further than if you were using a hard cover. The best practice is to lower the water around 6 inches below the skimmer if you’re planning on using a hard cover, and about a foot below if you plan on using a soft cover.
    6. Drain all the Equipment: Your pumps, drains, and filters need to be completely dry before you shut down for the winter! Leaving moisture inside these pieces of equipment can lead to freezing, which could ruin these expensive items. Be sure to clean them and store them in a shed or dry place for the winter.
    7. Winterize the Pipes: This is possibly the most important part. Use a shop vacuum to blow air through the skimmer and back in to the pool. If you don’t get rid of this moisture, your plumbing could freeze and then crack during the winter months, causing catastrophic damage to your pool.
    8. Cover the Pool: Make sure your pool cover appropriately fits the pool and there are no gaps. After that, you’re done! You’ve successfully winterized your pool.

Learn More About Pool Landscaping and Other Services

If you live in Maryland and own a pool, fall and winter are actually some of the best times to get your pool area done! While it’s out of commission for the winter months, let Four Seasons help you get your pool deck ready for summer early! Contact Four Seasons for more information!

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