fall-pool-closingFall is coming to the beau­ti­ful North­west. If you’re not yet con­vinced about the amaz­ing pool cov­ers we fea­tured recently in the blog, it’s just about that time again… Time to get the kids out of the pool and get it ready for winter.

The fall pool clos­ing tips below come to you cour­tesy of Pool Life, the online mag­a­zine for pool & spa owners.

The only caveat to the “BEST” sys­tem we’d add is that we’ve seen how drain­ing the pool down and blow­ing out lines can leave per­ma­nent lines in the plas­ter, so we usu­ally tell clients to cir­cu­late the water if the tem­per­a­ture drops into the 20s for more than a few days.

And it’s also a very good idea to throw kick­boards or some­thing com­press­ible into the pool or spa to pre­vent any ice that forms from push­ing on the tile wall and doing seri­ous damage.

When the tem­per­a­ture drops and the kids swap their swim­suits for school uni­forms, it’s time to pull out your pool-closing check­list.

If you’re a new pool owner, it’s a good idea to have a pro­fes­sional close your pool the first time. Own­ers who have been through the process at least once can close their pool in four easy steps. Just remem­ber the acronym B.E.S.T. (Bal­ance, Empty, Store, Tidy).

A bright cover is one of our best winter safety tips for your swimming pool.

Bal­ance

Here are few more fall pool clos­ing tips. Bal­anc­ing the water is arguably the most impor­tant step in clos­ing your pool. A good chem­i­cal bal­ance pre­vents cor­ro­sion, stain­ing and algae growth, says Rick Jan­u­ary, tech­ni­cal ser­vices rep­re­sen­ta­tive with Arch Chem­i­cals, Inc., now part of Lonza.
Start by run­ning the cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem and bal­anc­ing the pH and alka­lin­ity lev­els. Then stop by your local dealer with a sam­ple; your dealer can help you deter­mine whether you need to add any addi­tional chem­i­cals before closing.

If shock is rec­om­mended, be sure you’ve removed all phys­i­cal debris from the pool (sticks, leaves, etc.), and vac­uum or brush the liner to remove any addi­tional con­t­a­m­i­nants. Then shock the water to address any chlo­rine demands and kill any exist­ing algae.

If your water test revealed a pres­ence of met­als, Jan­u­ary says, “You will want to include a stain­ing pre­ven­ter to avoid stain­ing over the winter.”

Empty

It is impor­tant to leave some chem­i­cally bal­anced water in the pool through­out the win­ter to keep algae and con­t­a­m­i­nants away, Jan­u­ary says. So although you won’t com­pletely “empty” the pool, you will need to drain the water below the skim­mer, blow out the plumb­ing lines from the fil­ter and drain equip­ment including:

  • The pump
  • The drain
  • The heater
  • Hoses
  • Vac­uum equipment
  • Any toys that might have col­lected water and might freeze over the winter

Store

When you get to the “S” in “B.E.S.T.”, you’ll have already com­pleted the hard work of bal­anc­ing and drain­ing the water. To avoid new con­t­a­m­i­nants from enter­ing the water, put the cover on right away. A good cover will keep out con­t­a­m­i­nants as well as light and heat that could trig­ger algae growth.
In addi­tion to prop­erly stor­ing the water away beneath your cover, plan to safely store all chem­i­cals.
“The best thing to do if you have liq­uid chem­i­cals is to use those before the end of the sea­son, par­tic­u­larly if you have san­i­tiz­ers and shocks,” Jan­u­ary says, not­ing that these could degrade over the win­ter months.

For chem­i­cals you are plan­ning to keep, Jan­u­ary rec­om­mends pool own­ers fol­low these three rules:

  1. Do not store liq­uids above solids.
  2. Keep oxi­diz­ers away from other chemicals.
  3. Keep all chem­i­cals out of the weather.

Tidy

Once the cover is on and the chem­i­cals are stored safely, it’s time to tidy the pool area and stow away any remain­ing equip­ment. This includes stor­ing your fil­ter, pump, heater, vac­uum equip­ment, lad­der and auto­matic clean­ers. You may also opt to store your hoses, skim­mer bas­kets and drain plugs—just make sure you put them in a place where you can find them next year.

While you prep your equip­ment for the cold, Jan­u­ary says to inspect all equip­ment for any dam­age or degra­da­tion that could be repaired or replaced dur­ing the offseason.

If you get things right in Sep­tem­ber, then spring is going to be a lot eas­ier,” Jan­u­ary says.

Hope these fall pool clos­ing tips are helpful As always, if you have any ques­tions or need some coach­ing on clos­ing up your pool safely and com­pletely, just email us or give us a call at 503–631‑4816.

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