After a great Okanagan summer in your pool, fall arrives, and it’s now time to prepare your pool for a Canadian winter. Here are some great tips for ensuring your pool is ready for the winter season:
Don’t wait too long. In the Okanagan, warm temperatures can extend well into fall, but nights do get progressively cooler in September, and the first frost typically occurs in early October. It’s important to winterize your pool well before frost becomes an issue. More specifically, once your water temperature is consistently below 16 degrees Celsius, you should begin the winterizing process.
Don’t close the pool too early. You actually need to begin winterizing up to a week before you close your pool so that the pool is clean and the chemical balance of the pool reaches appropriate levels before the close. Also, closing too early can encourage algae growth.
Check the pool and surrounding area for leaks, cracks and other damage. Since cold weather can accelerate these issues, it’s best to address them before cold weather arrives.
Skim, brush and vacuum the pool. This keeps the water as clean as possible and helps discourage the formation of algae. Remember also to clean the skimmer and baskets afterwards.
Adjust your water level to a few inches below your skimmer or tile line.
Using a test kit, balance the chemicals in the pool: The total alkalinity of the water should be 90-130 parts per million (ppm) and the pH level should fall in the range of 7.2 -7.6.
Shock and chlorinate your pool to keep bacteria counts down over the winter.
Backwash the filter to free up debris trapped in the filter.
Drain the pool pump, pool filter and any tubes. Residual water left in these systems can freeze and cause damage. Optionally, you can add antifreeze to these components to protect against freezing.
Cover your pool securely to keep animals and debris out of the pool during the winter.
Continue to check water levels and chemical balance throughout the winter, and regularly inspect your pool cover. For the safety of young children and pets, consider leaving your pool alarm on all year.
Consistently following this winterization routine will help you avoid damage, minimize algae issues, and ensure that your pool is ready for the next great Okanagan summer! Of course, if you’re not comfortable closing down your pool yourself, it’s always best to let a professional close it for you.