Another summer season has come and gone. With temperatures dipping into the freezing realm in parts of the country it is time to make sure your in-ground pool is closed properly. If you haven’t had time to close the pool yet be sure to keep your pool pump running to avoid freezing which will cause cracks in the plaster. The materials that the pipes, heaters, filters, pumps and shell are made from are all very strong but when they freeze, they will expand. This will cause cracks in even the strongest of materials.
It is necessary to take proper precautions in closing your gunite plaster pool. Below you will find tips to help you properly close your in-ground gunite plaster pool.
- The first thing you need to do when closing your pool is to balance the pool water. The pools pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness levels need to be adjusted to prepare for the harsh winter cold. This should be done a few days prior to the actual closing of the pool. You may also want to shock the pool with granular chlorine while you are balancing the pool water. This needs to occur before you put the winter pool cover onto the pool. High levels of chlorine will ruin the pool cover.
- The pool should be thoroughly cleaned before you close the pool. This will avoid issues from occurring that could be present in the spring such as stains on the pools plaster. Also debris and algae left present in the pool water will dilute the chemicals leaving the environment more susceptible for more algae growth.
- Lower the pools water. The level in which you leave the pool water will be dependent on the pool cover you choose. For a mesh safety cover lower the water to about a foot below the pools tile, for a solid pool cover or one that floats on the surface the water level should be lowered to five inches below the pools tile.
- Add in the winter pool chemicals. This will require you to follow the directions on the pool closing kit. These chemicals can be purchased at any local pool center. Once the pool water level has been lowered it is the perfect time to add in the winter pool chemicals.
- Clean and store the pool filter and blow out all lines that could contain water that could possibly freeze and crack the pools equipment. Remove pumps, heaters and automatic chlorination systems. Place all of these pieces together in a temperature controlled environment to avoid any possibly freezing that can occur.
- Plug all open lines and shut the power to the pumps off. This can be done by switching off the circuit breaker. Also be sure to turn off all timers just in case someone accidentally turns the circuit breaker back on.
If this seems all to complex or if it is your first time you are closing your pool for the winter the best piece of advice I can give to you is to hire a professional pool closing company to come in and walk you through the process. They can help to address the specifics surrounding your precise in-ground pool needs.