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Closing Your Pool for the Summer

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 As cold weather approaches, it’s time to start thinking about shutting down your swimming pool. The hardest part of shutting down your pool is saying goodbye to all the summer fun, late nights and good vibes. Winterizing, or shutting down your pool for the season helps guard your pool from costly damages and ensure that it’s ready to go when next swimming season rolls around. Here are a few steps to follow that will keep your pool as safe as possible for the winter.

1. Time It Right
Believe it or not, it’s important not to close the pool too early. (You wouldn’t do that anyway, right?) Closing the pool early could be problematic and make opening it more difficult for the next pool season. If the weather is too warm, the chemicals designed to protect the pool until spring may not fully stay in place. Good timing allows the winterizing chemicals to perform, preventing algae from developing.

2. Balance The Water
Balance your pool water chemistry to make sure you have the proper chlorine, pH and alkalinity levels. If these levels aren’t balanced properly, it could affect algae growth, corrosion and even scaling.

3. Add a Shock Treatment
A critical component of pool closing is the chlorine level. Chlorine prevents algae, breaks down bacteria and keeps your pool clean. Before shutting your pool down for the summer, hit your pool with an extra powerful punch of chlorine in the form of a shock treatment.

4. Remove and Clean Pool Equipment and Accessories
Remove skimmer baskets, slide, wall fittings, vacuums, pool cleaners, ladders and handrails. Clean all items and allow them to thoroughly dry before storing them away. Store all accessories in room temperature storage as freezing temperatures could shorten the life of anything plastic.

5. Lower the Water Level
Use a water pump to lower the water level about a foot below the skimmer. This helps blow out any remaining water from your pool’s plumbing system so it doesn’t freeze and cause cracks.

6. Drain Your Pool and Check Filters
Your pool pump, filter and heater have a drain plug. Drain the water out of these then clean your pool filter. Filters will need to be backwashed then disconnected and stored in a clean dry place. This is also the time to check your cartridge filter to clean or replace it.

7. Cover It Up
The final (and saddest) step is to officially cover your pool for the summer. Use a solid swimming pool cover that will keep out debris, block the sun and discourage algae growth. Once it’s all covered, sit back and prepare for the long wait for the next pool season.

Follow these steps and take good care when closing your pool. This could be the difference between opening a clean pool next summer or one that’s a mess.

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