Now that the kids are back in school and the weather will start to change, we knew it was that dreaded time of year to clean out the pool. It seems like there is so much work involved, but every year it appears to go faster and faster. My husband and I must be getting more efficient with every year of winterizing the outdoor pool. I will never forget the first year that we moved into our home. It’s one of those Craftsman house plans and when summer ended, we both struggled with properly closing it. Not only was it difficult to get the cover on it, we forgot to drain the water from the valves and they froze as well and it ended up bursting the following winter. From then on out, we developed a checklist so we would not make that costly mistake again.
First on the list is to clean and treat the water. We vacuumed it intensely and removed all the debris from the pool and the surrounding area. Then we needed to properly balance the chemicals in the water. We learned the second year that the water will stain the pool if we skip this step. We purchased a winterizing chemical kit online that made it easier to get the pH, calcium and alkalinity to balance. So when the temperature drops, the chemicals will prevent the water from becoming corrosive and damaging to your pool.
Now we were ready to drain some water out of the pool. A common rule of thumb is to remove enough water so that the pool’s side skimmers are no longer covered. Our pool covering instructed us to remove an extra inch or two more for a better seal. If your pool has a filter and/or a skimmer, those will have to be removed before covering. If a skimmer freezes, then it is done for good. Removing filters and cleaning them will increase their life expectancy. Additionally, be sure to dry it completely and store it in a dry space for the winter. For the time being, we decided not to drain our outdoor sauna/hot tub. We can still get plenty of relaxation out of it for a few more months, at least until it starts getting icy outside. If you ask me, the best months to use a hot tub are the chilly months before and after winter.
Next step was to properly drain water from the plumbing and valves. Like I said earlier, this is an important step not to skip especially to avoid costly damage come spring. We sealed valves that are below the water with electrical tape to help keep the water out. My husband got to use his shop vacuum in reverse to suck out the water from the pipes. He always enjoys any chance he gets to use his tools.
As we cleaned up the area, I remembered to remove the lights that are mostly above the water. We also packed up the diving board and ladders to keep them safe from the elements. The motor should be removed and stored in a warm, dry place as well. Now we were finally ready to secure the cover over the pool to keep sunlight and debris out of the water. This year, we did all of this in a record-breaking six hours, compared to our days of clean up in the past. Next year we are shooting for four hours, so let’s keep our fingers crossed! Although there’s a little extra work involved, house designs with a pool are completely worth it when summer arrives!Pin It