The weather is growing colder, which means more facilities are packing up their outdoor offerings and moving inside. One of the major attractions in the summer months requires almost equal care when planning for colder climates, although it barely sees any use in the winter: outdoor swimming pools.
As the providers of basket strainers for a variety of aquatic applications, we think it’s important to discuss the importance of preparing pools for the wintertime to ensure the safety and functionality of the area for the next swimming season. We’ve compiled a step-by-step checklist to follow when winterizing an in-ground, outdoor pool:
1. Remove all debris from the water and surrounding area—this includes ladders, flotation devices, and other items.
2. Test and balance the chemicals. PoolCenter.com recommends the following water balances before adding the chlorine shock:
- pH: 7.2 to 7.6
- Alkalinity: 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness: 180 to 220 ppm
3. Wait for the chlorine shock to wear off and the level to return to the 1 to 3 ppm range.
4. Lower the water level to a few inches under the return line. (Note: This step is only necessary for tile-lined, not vinyl-lined.)
5. Remove the water from the plumbing to avoid cracks from freezing weather. About.com recommends using a vacuum to blow out the water on each line.
6. Plug and seal each line.
7. Drain all water from the filtering, pumping, and heating equipment. DON’T FORGET YOUR STRAINER.
8. Add a winter chemical kit to the water, which will help avoid algae and other growth. (PoolCenter has great offerings for any size pool.)
9. Check the pool cover for holes and tears before covering and sealing.
10. Cover and seal.
In addition, we encourage facilities to triple check the seal and close off the area to avoid any “guests” who might attempt to walk in the area during the winter months. For more information on how our products function in the commercial pool industry, see our website.