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Closing a Swimming Pool

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There are a lot of moving parts to think about while closing your pool for the season. Before closing your pool for the season, you should give it a thorough cleaning to remove any leaves or debris from the bottom, and the water should be perfectly clear with a measured level of chlorine.

Scrub the Pool

You’ll have a lot harder time opening the pool in the spring if you don’t clean it well before putting it away for the season. Due of the organic detritus that was left in the pool at the time of shutting, a substantial amount of algae will have grown during the winter. The organic waste depletes the chlorine or other sanitizer in the water. A lack of water sanitation will allow germs to multiply unchecked, leading to cloudy water rich in nutrients for algae growth. In the spring, the pool’s water will be quite green, necessitating a lot of extra work and a hefty chemical bill to fix the problem and make the pool usable again.

Preparing The Skimmer For Winter

It is time to close the pool once you have restored the proper chemical balance and eliminated any organic waste and materials. The pool should be drained to a depth below the lowest return fitting before being properly closed. At this point, you should be able to blast out all of the water in the plumbing lines using an air blower or shop vac vacuum on the blow setting. The goal here is to empty the pipes fully so that there is no water remaining to expand due to freezing. It is highly possible that you will have a leaking situation in your pool come spring if you fail to successfully drain all of the water from the suction lines and the return lines. Anti-freeze should not be poured into water pipes. He would place a shop vac vacuum or air blower next to the pump in the mechanical room and direct it toward the pool to remove the water from the skimmer line. Turning on the air blower will cause water to shoot out of the skimmer’s top, but you may need to let it run for 5–10 minutes to get rid of all the water so you can seal it with a rubber expansion plug or threaded plug.

Preparing the Returns for Winter

Putting something down inside the skimmer to prevent the ice that accumulates in there from precipitation and snow melts from freezing and expanding and shattering the inside of the skimmer is an essential part of winterizing your swimming pool. The product designed for this function is known as a gizmo, and it takes the form of a little sealed container that threads into one of the skimmer’s lower ports. Alternatively, you may use a pop bottle, such as a two-liter bottle of soda, partially filled with water to achieve neutral buoyancy. In contrast to the skimmer, the ice on this bottle is crushed inwards.

Once the water level in the pool has been lowered below the return fittings, you can begin draining the return lines by blowing water back towards the pool from the mechanical room or pump room. Water will spray out of the returns and into the pool if the water level drops below the return fittings. Water’s weight in the lines makes it difficult to hold the air blower steady when it enters the pool, but after 10 to 15 seconds of air circulating through the system, it becomes much easier to manage. It may take two individuals to successfully plug the returns while the air blower is still running. If there is still water in the system, you should redirect it to the next return line, which is further away, by first plugging the return that is closest to the pump room. If you reversed the process and sealed off the return that was further from the pump, the water would freeze and expand, cracking the pipe and causing a leak. Blowing out the skimmer and return lines is the first step in winterizing a pool; the next steps are covering the pool and turning off the pump, filter, and heater.

Pool Enclosure

For the colder months, you can choose from a few distinct varieties of pool cover. Stretch safety covers, which are newer and more expensive, are tightened across the pool with the help of spring compression. One of the most costly Winter covers, stretch covers call for anchors to be placed into the deck all around the swimming pool. Tarp covers, in which water bags are used to secure a big tarp around the perimeter of the pool, are another choice for winter covers for a swimming pool. An alternative is a lock-in cover, which may be constructed from vinyl or the much lighter Polyweave. Similar to how a vinyl liner connects into a coping track, lock-in covers attach into their own coping track. Once the cover is in place, you can secure it entirely by pouring water over the top of it. There is no need to fill water bags or screw anchors into the pool deck for this sort of cover.

Pump Winterization

Taking off the winterization plugs from the pump is the first step in preparing the pool for the winter. Both the front and side of the wet end, near where it connects to the motor, typically include winterization plugs for swimming pool pumps. The water in the pump and impeller compartment will drain out after the plugs are removed. Taking out the winterization plugs is all that’s needed to keep your pool pump safe during the winter; there’s no need to do any additional blowing out. The pumps are constructed to withstand the harsh elements of a Canadian winter. If you’ve drained the system completely, there’s no need to bring them inside. Once a winterization plug has been removed, it is crucial that it not be misplaced. Most people agree that the pump strainer basket is the best place to keep the winterization plugs for the equipment over the off-season.

Preparing A Sand Filter For Winter

After the pump has been properly winterized, you can move on to the filter. In North America, sand filters are the norm for swimming pools. The first step in using this filter is taking out the bung at the bottom of the tank. The entire process of draining the tank will take several days. Additionally, make sure the sand filter’s dial is in the winterization position so that water held inside doesn’t freeze and crack the filter head. The filter head’s pressure gauge and backwash site glass are seasonal components that should be removed and kept safe in the pump’s strainer basket when the season is over.

Preparing A Cartridge Filter For Winter

If your system uses a cartridge filter, replace it. The filter must be opened so that the four cartridges may be taken out. The standard number of cartridges in a swimming pool filter is four. Some systems, however, need two or even three cartridges. During the off-season, you should take these filters out and give them a thorough cleaning. A cleaning solution of one cup of automatic dishwasher detergent to five gallons of water can be used to clean the pool filter. The filters should be completely immersed in this solution for 12 to 24 hours before being thoroughly rinsed. This sort of maintenance only needs to be done once every season at most. Consider doing this twice a season at any pool that has a large turnover rate of bathers. The filter tank, like the sand filter, has a primary drain plug at the bottom that needs to be taken out periodically. The filter tank’s pressure gauges should be taken out of use and placed in the pump’s skimmer basket.

Heating System Winterization

If your home has a gas heater, winterizing it correctly is crucial because it is the most costly part of the plumbing system. A cracked heat exchanger is a very expensive repair in the spring, and it’s nearly certain to happen if you don’t winterize the heater properly. Removing the exterior winterization plugs is an important step in preparing a gas heater for storage over the winter. Typically, there are four bolts, either 9/16 inches or 1/2 inches in diameter, on the exterior of the heater. Because of their age, these bolts frequently rust, thus special care must be taken to avoid stripping the threads or the nuts. You will need two 7/16 inch combination wrenches to open the pressure switch in your heater if it is of an older design, which is the case with most heaters. A trickle of water will be released from the water heater as a result of this. Once the pressure switch has been opened and the winterization plugs have been removed, you can use a shop vac or air blower to flush the heater’s plumbing system. This will cause the water to rush out of the heater’s winterization ports. To make sure all water has been cleared, let the blower on for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Before sealing up the system for the winter, double check that you haven’t forgotten any of the O-rings or winterization plugs. Remove and store indoors any seasonal components, such as the salt water cell or ozone generator. Before you put the cover on the pool for the winter, it’s a good idea to add 10 liters of chlorine to make sure it stays clean until spring.

Green Pools is run by Steven Goodale, who also happens to be a prolific author and the proprietor of Green Pools in Toronto, Canada. Pool salt water system updates and pump installation tips can be found at his website, [http://PoolSaltWater.com].

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