January 10, 2020

The Importance of Winterizing Your Pool

Preparing your pool for winter weather involves more than simply covering it with a tarp until springtime comes around. Without providing the proper care and maintenance for your pool during the off-season means, you’ll have to spend even more time cleaning when you’re ready to reopen. Not to mention, a pool that isn’t outfitted with the correct chemicals will be more susceptible to freeze damage. 

However, there are many other problems that can arise when you fail to prepare a pool for the colder seasons — but what happens if you don’t winterize a pool? For more information on how to winterize a pool and what can occur when it isn’t, follow our expert tips and advice below:

What is Winterizing?

When Should You Winterize?

When Should You Winterize?

When you enter the off-season really depends on where you live. Those who live in warmer climates can have their pools open up until October or never see the need to close them at all. Pool owners who reside in colder regions usually say goodbye to their pool usage around September. If you have a pool heater, you can extend your pool usage a little longer. 

As a general rule of thumb, if temperatures drop below 32oF overnight, it’s time to close and winterize your pool. Water that’s not treated or moving with the help of a pump will freeze in the pool, pump, and filter. This can cause catastrophic damage to the pool itself and all of its components. 

How to Winterize a Pool

The process for winterizing your pool is relatively simple so long as the right products are on hand. However, it is in your best interest to leave the winterizing process to the pros who have experience and know how to do everything correctly and efficiently. When a professional arrives at your home to winterize a pool, they will do the following steps.

  1. Test the water chemistry for pH, alkalinity, calcium, and chlorine. The pros will then balance them as needed.
  2. Clean your pool and skimmer one last time. They’ll skim the surface and vacuum the pool to make sure it’s sparkling clean, as well as clean your filter.
  3. Add the winterizing chemicals. Professional pool cleaners will adjust the alkalinity and balance the pH. They’ll shock the pool with a chlorine shock, then wait a while before adding the winterizing algaecide. 
  4. Winterize the skimmer. They’ll remove the skimmer basket and store it someplace dry. To protect the skimmer, pros will either lower the pool water or use a winter skimmer plate.
  5. Winterize the filter and pump. This step differs for different models. Professionals will know how to identify the best practice of winterizing the filter and pump.
  6. Remove and clean the pool accessories. They’ll store them somewhere dry and safe. 
  7. Lower the pool water. The pool does not have to be drained when using a winter skimmer plate. Otherwise, professionals will drain only enough water to uncover the skimmer. 
  8. Cover the pool. Professionals will make sure the pool cover is tight and flat against the pool. This will prevent debris from finding its way inside.

And there you go! Thanks to a professional’s knowledge and assistance, your pool will be ready to brace for the winter season and everything that comes along with it.

What Happens if You Don’t Winterize Your Pool?

After becoming familiar with the process, you’re probably curious about what happens if you don’t winterize your pool. Even if you’re having your residence renovated this winter, it’s still a good idea to prepare the water and pool equipment to keep them safe from the cold climate. To learn why this annual process is so important for pool owners, let’s take a look at what happens if you don’t winterize your pool:

Damaged Liners

Water expands in response to the dropping temperatures, causing damage to the liners of the pool. Not only can the frigid temperatures create cracks in the liner, but they also worsen pre-existing ones. Knowing how to winterize a pool will help prevent any damage to your liner and the expensive repair costs that accompany them.

Pipes May Burst

The liner isn’t the only part of your pool that can be damaged by low temperatures — pool pipes can also be compromised by freezing water and burst as a result. Finding where precisely the burst occurred can be tricky, not to mention cost money to fix. There is a way to protect pipes when they haven’t been winterized, but it’s not as ideal. While allowing water to run constantly can help prevent it from freezing, it will require you to spend more money in exchange. With that in mind, winterizing a pool will always be the best option to protect piping without an increase in the water bill.

Filter Issues

There are several different ways that a pool filter can be harmed by winter weather. For example, the pressure from the expanding ice can damage the valve, clamp rink, and even the filter tank itself. Filters play an important role in helping your pool stay clean and swimmable, meaning that keeping it safe by winterizing it is in your best interest.

Algae Problems

Keeping your pool’s chemistry in check is instrumental in preventing the growth of algae. However, by not winterizing a pool, this chemistry can be disrupted by the cold climate. Further, your chlorine system can also be harmed and cease to function properly, resulting in an ideal environment for algae to thrive. To prevent your pool from becoming a home for algae and bacteria, always be sure to winterize it properly — you’ll save yourself the trouble of having to remove the algae, and the pool will be ready for you to use when spring comes!

Call Carlton Pools for Professional Pool Services

Now that you know what happens if you don’t winterize your pool, ensure you complete the process thoroughly and call for assistance if necessary. At Carlton Pools, our professional swimming pool team, available in Montgomery County, PA, and throughout the region, offers a variety of pool services for homeowners. 

From pool coatings and renovations to maintenance and so much more, we can help you with all aspects of your pool. If you have any questions regarding winterizing procedures for your custom swimming pool in Montgomery County, PA, and surrounding areas, give us a call today to speak to a Carlton Pools expert!