A pool surrounded by snow with the words, "preparing your pool for winter."

With the chill of winter hanging in the air, it’s time to close down your pool. Closing down your pool will help protect it from ice, parasite and algae growth, and ensure an easy opening come spring and summer. Not sure what steps you should take to close down your pool? Not to worry, the trusted team at Liquidus Pool Services is here to help you prepare your pool for the winter.

Step 1: Clean Your Pool

The first step in cleaning your pool should be to skim the water with a pool skimmer. This will help clear up any debris to prevent them from causing a stain as the pool lays dormant. Next, brush the walls of your pool with a pool brush to remove any dirt and grime. Once that is completed, you will want to thoroughly clean out the skimmer baskets.

When the surface of the pool looks clean and the skimmer baskets are emptied, you will need to vacuum the surfaces of your pool next. Pay particular attention to areas that don’t get much water circulation when the filter and pump are running as these are prime areas for algae growth.

Step 2: Check the Water Chemistry

Before you close down your pool, you will want to shock it and make sure the water chemistry is correct. Follow the directions on your shock treatment carefully!

Then, to check the water chemistry of your pool, follow these instructions:

  • Dip the test strip from your water chemistry kit into the water and compare it to the chart
    • The pH should be between 7.2-7.6 pH
  • Balance the pH accordingly
    • Note: Always keep your pump running when you are adding chemicals to your pool
  • Finally, check the sanitizer levels
    • Chlorine levels should be around 4 ppm

Step 3: Backwashing the Filter

To backwash the filter, you first need to turn off your pool’s heater (if you have one). Next, turn off your pool’s filter and set the multi-port valve to backwash. You will then need to connect the backwash hose to the waste port. Always make sure you are using the correct size hose so that waste doesn’t escape during this step. Some filter systems already have a waste site directly connected to the drain, removing the need for a backwash hose. Always check with your filter system manual to be sure if your system does or not.

Once the hose has been set up, you will need to run your filter for about 3-5 minutes. After 3-5 minutes have passed, turn the valve to rinse and let it run for 30 seconds. The rinse will allow the water to rerun through your filter system and reset it. Finally, turn off the filter system and open the pressure relief valve.

Step 4: Lower the Water

Lowering the water level is an essential step in protecting your skimmer and decorative tile from damage due to freezing. To safely lower the water level, you will want to set your filter system’s valve to waste. Next, close the skimmer valves so that the only open area for the water to go is the drain.

Turn the filter system on and allow the water to reach about 3-6 inches below your pool’s skimmer. Turn the system off and move on to the next step.

Step 5: Prepping Your Filter System for Winter

If you have a cartridge or Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) filter system, they can be disassembled and stored for winter to protect them from freezing. If you have a sand filter though, it is hardy enough to withstand the winter and should not be disassembled unless you are thinking about changing the sand.

How to Disassemble a Cartridge Filter

  • Open the pressure relief valve.
  • Loosen the collar holding the top part of the filter housing. You should be able to lift the housing and then remove the cartridge.
  • Clean the cartridge by lightly spraying it with a hose. This will help to dislodge any excess dirt.
  • When you store your filter cartridge, make sure it is dry and stored in a dry safe place where it won’t get crushed.
  • Reassemble the filter housing and return it to the pool.

How to Disassemble a D.E. Filter

  • Open the pressure relief valve.
  • Loosen the collar holding the top of the filter housing in place.
  • Lift the housing and remove the filter grids.
  • To dislodge any excess dirt, use a hose to lightly spray down the filter grid. (Do not use a full-force spray as you can damage the grid, resulting in the need for a replacement.)
  • Allow the grid to dry and then store it in a safe place.
  • Reassemble the filter housing.

Step 6: Clear the Plumbing Lines

You should clean your pool’s plumbing lines to prevent the cracking and bursting of pipes due to the expansion of freezing water. However, leave this step to pool professionals, such as the team at Liquidus Pool Services, to ensure that no damage is done to your pool’s plumbing.

Step 7: Cover Your Pool

Finally, put your pool’s cover on and you’ll be all set to handle the cold winter months!

If you are worried about doing any of the above steps, the team at Liquidus Pool Services can help. We can give your pool a routine check-up, maintenance, and ensure that your pool is all set to wait out the winter. Take your weekend back and make sure your pool is protected by contacting our team today!