December 1, 2023
A private pool in your Lake County backyard provides hours of fun in the sun for friends and family. But knowing how to winterize a pool in preparation for the colder months is the cornerstone of ownership and vital to keeping your pool in peak condition.
Clements Pool Services and Remodeling has over 15 years of experience in swimming pool renovation and remodeling. Our team of pool service professionals in Lake County, FL, recommends taking the following steps to prepare your pool for the cold winter months:
Prepping Your In-Ground Pool for Winter
Once the outdoor temperature dips below 65 degrees Fahrenheit for several days in a row, you can start the process of winterizing your pool. Starting the process in temperatures warmer than 65 degrees may result in algae growth. Allow several days to complete steps 1-7.
#1: Remove Pool Furniture and Accessories
Clear the pool of floats and rafts, steps, ladders, skimmer baskets, etc., and store them in a dry place during the colder months.
#2: Test the Water and Balance the Chemicals
Before closing your pool, make sure the water chemistry meets the following specifications:
- Alkalinity: 80-150 ppm (parts per million)
- pH level: 7.2-7.6
- Calcium hardness: 175-225 ppm
- Chlorine level: 1-3 ppm
Adjust the water chemistry levels if necessary. Lean toward the higher numbers within each spectrum as the pH levels will decrease over time.
#3: Thoroughly Clean the Pool
Remove any leaves or debris using skim nets and a pool vacuum. Empty the skimmer basket and brush the pool’s sides and floor. Make sure to clean the filters as well.
#4: Add Algaecide and Pool Shock
Before you close your pool for the winter, add pool shock and algaecide. These chemicals kill algae, bacteria, and parasites. Depending on the shock manufacturer, you may need to do this a few days before closing and covering your pool.
After adding algaecide and shocking the pool, run the pump for up to 24 hours to distribute the chemicals.
#5: Drain Pool Equipment and Store Indoors
Freezing water will expand and damage pool equipment. Drain the pool pump, pool heater, and filters. Store all equipment indoors.
If you are winterizing an above-ground pool, instead of draining the pool pump, disconnect all hoses and plug the outlets.
#6: Adjust Water Levels and Place the Cover on your Pool
If you live in a climate with freezing winter temperatures, it is imperative to lower your pool’s water level before covering your pool.
You have two viable options for swimming pool cold weather protection: winter covers and safety covers. Safety covers require anchors for security — while winter covers don’t provide the same level of protection from objects or animals falling in, they are easier to install and remove at the end of winter.
Above-ground pools require an air pillow installation in the middle of the pool to mitigate ice expansion and protect it from excess pressure caused by snow.