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How to Properly Winterize Your Above Ground Pool

Preparing your above ground pool for winter is an essential part of year-round pool care. Here in Canada, not taking care to properly winterize you pool can lead to damage to both your pool and cover over the Winter. Winterizing your pool protects the equipment from damage caused by freezing, and also keeps the water as clean as possible in preparation for the next swim season. A good Winter pool cover will help protect your pool during a harsh Canadian Winter.  By taking the time to get your pool ready for winter, you’ll ultimately save yourself a lot of extra work and money when you’re ready to open it again for the summer.

Clean the Pool

It will be much easier to open your pool next season if you give it a complete cleaning before closing it down. Vacuum the floor, use a wall brush on the walls and floors, and clean the filter and skimmer.

Balance the Water Chemistry

A few days before closing your pool, check the water chemistry to make sure it’s balanced. Test your pool’s pH, Total Alkalinity, and Calcium Hardness, and then adjust the levels as needed. Balancing your pool water helps to protect against corrosion and buildups that can occur over the winter when your pool is not in use.

Shock the Pool and Add Algaecide

Shock your pool according to the manufacturer’s directions. You may want to consider using a chlorine-free shock, particularly if your pool has a vinyl liner. Chlorine can also interfere with the action of algaecide and deteriorate your winter cover. After shocking your pool, you can add algaecide to the water. It’s a good idea to choose an extra-strength algaecide, designed to protect your pool throughout the winter.

Lower the Water Level

It’s important not to drain your pool completely, because it can cause the vinyl to shrink. Instead, lower the water level below the level of your skimmer, which can be easily damaged if water freezes around it. Leaving some water in the pool will also help to support your winter cover.

Drain and Remove Equipment

During the winter, any water remaining in your pool’s filtration system can freeze and cause cracking. You can use an air compressor to force residual water out of the system by blowing air down the skimmer and through the plumbing. Disconnect the skimmer, pump, hoses, and fittings, and store everything inside, ready for the next swim season. It’s a good idea to mark the hoses and fittings in some way to remind yourself how to connect them when you open your pool. You may also want to remove the pool ladder as a safety precaution.

Cover the Pool

Cover the pool with a tight-fitting cover, which will help to prevent dirt and debris from collecting in the water. A solid cover is often the best option because it will also keep out sunlight, which can cause algae growth. You can use an automatic or manual cover pump to periodically remove rain water and melted snow as it collects on top of the cover throughout the winter. It’s a often a good idea to add air pillows under the cover, which help to support the pool cover and also shift rainwater to the edge of the pool, making it easier to remove. What supplies do you need to get your pool ready for winter? Discount Pool Supply offers free shipping across Canada, so start stocking up now.

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