The carefree days of summer have slipped away and winter is coming. Before you start addressing holiday cards and stuffing the turkey, you have one more thing on your end-of-summer to-do list. Before the colder temperatures really set in, you need to winterize your pool. If all of the debris isn't removed, the walls scrubbed, and the water properly treated, the oasis that is so inviting during the summer can become a breeding ground for algae when they sit still during the colder months. Sadly, wintering your pool isn't as easy as packing away the beach towels and deflating the toys. However, with the right tools in your pool winterization kit, you'll have everything you need to back the job quick and easy.
Skimmer Nets & Poles
With brightly colored fall leaves littering the pool, the first item in your pool winterization kit should be a skimmer net. Nylon nets and plastic frames have to longest life span and are lightweight. Also, look for a net with a deep pocket to ensure that you are able to contain all of the debris.
Many nets are sold without a handle and you will need to buy one separately. The advantage of detachable poles is that you can customize the set that is best for you, and use the pole in conjunction with other tools. When selecting a pole, choose one that telescopes or extends to at least the deepest depth of your pool. This will ensure that you are able to remove anything that has fallen to the pool's floor. Also, poles made from anodized aluminum will resist rust and corrosion and are lightweight enough to allow you to clean the entire pool without exhausting your arms.
Brushes & Cleaners
When packing up your pool for the winter, you will need to clean the walls and floor. Algae or dirt left on pool walls can cause staining and water lines. The most basic tool for the job is a brush, which you can attach to a telescopic pole. Selecting a 20 to 24 inch brush, made with nylon bristles, will allow you to clean a large area at once. Look for a flexible blush that will get into the contours of your pool walls.
If manually scrubbing your pool doesn't sound like your idea of a good time, an automatic pool cleaner can tackle the task for you. There are several varieties available. Suction-side cleaners travel over the walls using suction for the pools plumbing and are best for light cleaning and removing dust and small debris. Pressure-side cleaners use pressure from the pool's plumbing system to move about the pool and are designed for heaver cleaning and collecting larger debris. However, the true workhorses of automatic pool cleaners are the robotic versions. After plugging these cleaners in, they will move over the walls and floor on their own, scrubbing and collecting debris as they go. Though automatic pools cleaners can be an investment, they will extend the life of your pool's filtration system and can be used both during the summer season and to prepare for winter.
Treating the water in your pool is essential to preparing it for winter. The first step in treating your pool is to add a phosphate remover approximately one week before closing your pool. The enzymes in phosphate removers will prevent water lines and odors by preventing algae and breaking down non-living organic compounds in the water.
Even with the best cleaning and water treating regimens, some algae and bacteria growth is bound to happen. Treating the water with granular chlorine will quickly kill bacteria. For a more natural approach, use a chlorine-free shock agent, which uses oxygen to destroy organic waste.
Pool owners in areas where extreme temperatures can cause pool water to freeze should take one extra step in winterizing their pool. Pool line antifreeze can be added to prevent water in the pool's plumbing from freezing. This step is essential since ruptured plumbing lines are extremely costly and time consuming to repair.
Preparing the pool for winter isn't what any pool owner dreamed of when installing their system. However, having a customized winterization kit on hand can make quick work of the task. Knowing your pool is sitting clean and waiting for sunny summer days can make the winter months a bit warmer.