It’s hard to wrap our heads around the fact that we have left summer behind and are quickly approaching winter. Spending time in your vinyl liner pool is over until warm weather comes back next year. With the colder temperatures comes the necessity of preparing the pool for the harsh weather and conditions that winter brings. This phase of pool maintenance is very important in order to have your pool in good shape once warm weather returns in the spring.
Now is the perfect time to get this project accomplished. When the temperature is consistently dipping below 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the best time to winterize your in-ground pool. If you start too soon, the pool is more likely to get algae, because they thrive in warmer temperatures. Give yourself several days to get everything done since there are several steps in the process. At Prestige Pools of NC, your local trusted in-ground pool builder, we are experts at taking care of a pool and making sure it is winterized to withstand the long months ahead. In this article, we will give you some tips and things to consider in getting your pool in proper order for winter.
Remove Pool Accessories
You should remove all of the pool accessories such as:
- skimmer baskets
- solar blankets
Clean them to remove any dirt and algae, allow them to dry, and then store them in a protected space.
Remove Dirt and Debris from the Pool
Leaves that are falling into the pool are not only unsightly but are also the breeding ground for algae and bacteria. Additionally, leaves clog the pump and cause other damage when left in the pool. Use a pool skimmer net to clean the pool’s surface and a vacuum to remove all the debris from the pool’s floor. Then, clean the bottom and sides of the pool thoroughly by brushing.
Clean the Pool Filter
As you know, keeping the pool filter clean all season long is important to the safety of the water in your pool. A well-functioning pool filter ensures that you have a clean and healthy environment for your pool users. A clean filter also benefits the pool equipment, increases energy efficiency, and extends the life of the pump and filtration system. Make sure that all of the dirt and grit are gone from the filter. This will eliminate buildup and bacteria in the spring when you open the pool again. Store the filter in a basement that is safe, dry, and warmer than the outside. But, if you must store it in a garage or shed, be sure to cover it and keep the filter away from chlorine and corrosive chemicals.
Adjust the Water Chemistry
A few days before you close the pool, test the water chemistry to make sure the chemistry falls within these parameters:
- alkalinity is between 80 and 150 parts per million (ppm),
- pH level is between 7.2 and 7.6,
- calcium hardness level is between 175 and 225 ppm, and
- chlorine level is between 1 ppm and 3 ppm.
Balance the alkalinity before you adjust the pH level. Levels will decrease over time, so you can adjust the chemicals on the high side and be fine.
Lower the Water Level
It’s important to lower the water level for the winter, but do not drain the pool. You can damage your vinyl-liner in-ground pool by removing too much water. Drain the level to just below or, at most, a foot below the skimmer and jets.
Add Chlorine Shock and Algaecide
The chlorine level for the winter is as important as it is in the summer. Chlorine prevents algae and diminishes bacteria. When winterizing the pool, you should add a good dose of chlorine to shock as the last step before covering the pool to kill bacteria and algae. Aim for bringing the ppm to 10 – 12. If you’re using chlorine shock (vs. non-chlorine shock), don’t add it at the same time as the algaecide.
Winterize Water Features
Don’t neglect to winterize water features around your vinyl liner in-ground pool so they will be in top shape next year. Such features include:
- any feature that requires pumping and use of water outside the pool.
Cover the Pool
The final step in winterizing your pool is putting a cover on it. A cover will block both debris and sunlight from entering the pool and, therefore, keep the winter chemicals intact as well as protect the pool. An uncovered pool will continue to catch leaves and debris over the winter. If you don’t currently own a cover, read our article about choosing the right pool cover, where we cover the most common vinyl-liner covers and give tips for picking the one best for your pool.
Request a Free Quote for a Vinyl-Liner Pool Installation
Would you like to enhance your backyard and add value to your home by adding a restful retreat with a pool? At Prestige Pools NC, we specialize in vinyl-liner in-ground pools that create beautiful places for recreation and relaxation. Call us today at 919-779-1033 or fill out the form below to schedule a quote for pool installation in Raleigh, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Knightdale, Coats, Middlesex, Four Oaks, Wendell, Zebulon, and the surrounding areas.