One of the best reasons to winterize an above ground swimming pool is for helping to protect it from freezing water during the winter. When water freezes it expands and ice weighs more than water. Swimming pools are not designed to support this much weight. Keeping the pool clean will save time and allow it be ready as soon as summer arrives.
When winterizing a pool, the first step is to ensure the balance of calcium hardness, total alkalinity, and pH. Balancing the water chemistry helps to protect the pool surface from etching and staining. When purchasing an above ground pool, instructions for adding a winterizing chemical kit should have been included. Follow these directions when adding the kit to the water. When swimming season rolls around, the water will be clear and blue.
A floater with a chlorine or bromine oxidizer should not be used. It can stick to the walls of the pool and can bleach and/or stain it. This is particularly true if the above ground swimming pool has a vinyl liner. This is also why bromine or chlorine tablets should not be thrown into the pool. When they sink to the bottom of the pool, they can cause damage to the surface.
As mentioned, when water freezes it expands. What most people do not realize is that this expansion can cause a lot of damage to not only the pool, but the filter and the pool plumbing. Protecting the above ground pool from damage due to freezing is important in every part of the country. Even areas that do not generally have very cold temperatures can experience temperatures below freezing.
Protect the skimmer by lowering the level of water in the pool below the mouth. By keeping the water out of the throat of the skimmer, the chance of it becoming damaged by freezing water is lessened.
An Aquador may be used for this purpose. It is a plastic dam that will keep the water out of the skimmer, eliminating the need to lower the level of the water for the winter.
When the water level is not lowered it can help to support the swimming pool cover. Air pillows should be used as well.
All the hoses and the filtering equipment will need to have the water drained from them.
1. Begin this process by placing a plug in the return fitting. This is where the water is returned to the pool.
2. The hoses should be disconnected at the filtering system or from the skimmer and the return and drained.
3. There should be a plug at the bottom of the filter, which can be used for draining.
4. The multiport valve should be turned to the winterize or the closed position and the pressure gauge removed.
5. Remove the drain plugs to drain the pump. Some swimming pools have two plugs that will need to be removed.
6. When the pump is drained it will need to be turned on just for a second to allow the water to be pumped from the impeller veins. This should take only a second. Leaving it on longer can cause burn out of the seal.
7. The pump can be taken inside for the winter. This will help to protect it better than leaving it outdoors.
8. Some above ground swimming pools have chemicals feeders. If so, the feeder should be allowed to drain completely. This includes bromine or chlorine tablets. If left in the feeder during the winter, the chemicals can damage it and other pool equipment.
9. The pump strainer basket is a good place to keep the plugs that have been removed from the pool. They will be all together and when it is time to use the pool again, you will not have a problem locating them.
10. Along with the pump, the pressure gauge can be stored indoors while the weather is cold. The gauge has a tube where water often collects and stays. This could cause the tube to freeze and break if left outdoors in very cold weather.
11. Leave all the plugs out of the swimming pool equipment that is left outdoors. This will allow any water that may collect in them to drain.
After all of these steps are done, the cover can be put on the pool to keep it free of debris. The best type is a solid one that will keep the sunlight and the debris out of the pool. They help to keep the pool as clean as possible in addition to preventing the growth of algae. Using air pillows helps as well. The cover is held up in a dome shape. This helps the debris and the water to roll off instead of sitting in a puddle.