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How To Winterize Your Swimming Pool

Winterizing your inground swimming pool is the saddest task when it comes to pool maintenance as it means swimming season is over. However, that doesn’t mean it has to be the hardest chore. In fact, putting your pool to bed for the winter months can be done quite easily and quickly if you follow these tips. If you take these into consideration your pool should be nice and clean when you reopen it in the spring after a long Canadian Winter and it won’t suffer damage from freezing water.

**1-**The first thing to do is make sure you have properly-balanced water chemistry as this will help prevent etching and staining on the pool’s surface. Test the water for calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and pH levels. If they need adjusting you should do it now.

2- You should add a winterizing chemical kit as it will help keep the water nice and clear. Make sure you follow the instructions on the kit.

**3-**Don’t use a floater in the pool if it contains bromine or chlorine since these are strong oxidizers. If you do, you’ll find the floater will likely stick against the pool’s wall and bleach or stain it. This is why you shouldn’t toss bromine or chlorine tablets or pucks into the water either as they’ll sink and bleach the bottom of pool.

**4-**Water expands when it freezes and this action can damage the filter system, the plumbing and the pool itself. To prevent this make sure all of your lines are drained as well as the filter. The plumbing lines can be blown out with a shop vac. Once you’ve blown the water out you should plug the lines at the pool end. Threaded plugs are the best and make sure the plug has an O ring or rubber gasket to seal the line. If threaded plugs don’t work with you’re a rubber freeze plug should do. The filter should have a drain plug located at the bottom of it where the water can be released.

**5-**The pool water should be drained to just below the skimmer’s mouth. This means there won’t be any water that can freeze inside the throat of it.

**6-**If your pool has a vinyl liner you may want to use an Aquador to cover the skimmer’s mouth. This is basically a type of plastic dam which keeps the water from entering the skimmer and it means you won’t have to drain the water level.

**7-**You can also use a device called a Gizzmo in the skimmer. This is basically a hollow tube that will collapse if water enters the skimmer and freezes. A Gizzmo has threads which need to be rolled in Teflon tape to create a better seal.

**8-**Once you’ve taken care of the water, skimmers, filter, and plumbing lines you should cover your pool to keep debris out of it. There are several types of winterized pool covers to choose from and you should research to see which style will suit you best.

**9-**Be sure to move the multiport valve on top of the filter to the winterize or closed position and take the pressure gauges off of the filter and take them inside. The pump will also need to be drained and most of them have plugs to make this an easy job.

**10-**When you’ve drained the pump you should turn it on for a split second to remove any water from the impeller. If you operate the pump any longer you could burn its seal out.

**11-**Empty your automatic chemical feeder of bromine or chlorine tablets and take it inside if possible.

**12-**Don’t replace the plugs after you’ve drained your equipment. If they’re plugged, any water that should happen to get inside the equipment won’t be able to drain out. When you’re pool is getting ready to hibernate for the winter it’s a good idea to keep all of your plugs and gauges etc. in the same place. If you do this you won’t have to waste time hunting for them when you’re ready to open the swimming pool in the spring.

Need a winter pool cover to keep your pool safe and clean over the winter?  Check out our selection of safety pool covers and winter pool covers for every shape and size pool.

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