Authored by Donna Johnson in Home Improvement
Published on 11-28-2009
A swimming pool can be a great addition to your home. It will add value to your property and give your family and friends a fun place to hang out and beat the summer heat. But you must take proper care of an above ground pool all year round to keep it in good shape for summer fun.
One of the most important steps in caring for an above ground pool is winterizing. Winterizing is also known as closing your pool for the year or season, and it should be done once the weather is cool enough that you will no longer be swimming until the next summer. Do not winterize your pool too early, because you will not be able to use it until you open it up again.
Before winterizing your pool, you must make sure the water is chemically balanced. The water should have a pH of 7.2 to 7.6. There should also be only one to three parts per million (ppm) of chlorine and the calcium hardness level should be 175 to 250 ppm. Once you have chemically balanced the water, you can add winterizing chemicals. These chemicals are available in a kit. Run the pool filter for about one hour after adding the winterizing chemicals.
While the filter is running, you can begin putting your pool accessories up for the winter. Remove all furniture from the pool deck or cover the pieces securely with waterproof tarps. Store all pool toys, along with your pool’s ladder, skimmer and vacuum, in a cool, dry place for the winter to avoid damage. Tightly cap all leftover pool chemicals and store them in a cool, dry place that is out of the reach of children and pets.
Next you should raise the level of the pool so that it is above the inlets and skimmers. Use winterizing plates to keep the water from actually going into the skimmer, and winterizing plugs to keep the water from running out of the pool.
Disconnect the pump and motor from the pool. You should also empty them of all water and clean them out thoroughly at this time. Let all the water out of the hoses and filter tank as well. You should replace all filters when opening your pool for the next season.
If you have a permanent metal frame pool, you will need to cover it with a winter pool cover. Before covering the pool, place a winter balloon into the pool. The winter balloon must be centered in the pool and held in place with ropes. Place the winter cover on the pool, making sure that it rests over all sides of the pool. Tighten it in place with a winch.
If you take the time to properly winterize your above ground pool each year, your pool will remain in good shape for the next season. You will avoid costly repairs from winter damage, and you and your family will be able to enjoy your above ground pool at the first possible opportunity in the next summer season.