I will admit to procrastinating a little bit on writing this blog post, after one of the best pool seasons in recent memory it’s hard to think about closing the pool.
I hope mother nature will grant us a few more weeks of fun in the sun but if not here are some simple tips to closing your in-ground pool this fall.
Proper water balance is always important during the pool season but a lot of pool owners neglect this step when it comes time to close the pool. One of the top priorities when we close our swimming pool is to do everything we can to ensure a clean pool opening come spring.
That is why I highly recommend one final water analysis at your local pool store before you winterize. Having the PH in line between 7.2 and 7.6 will make sure the chlorine you add will work to its full potential and a good Alkalinity reading will help lock in the PH as well. We also want to make sure our hardness levels are in line between 200ppm and 400ppm to prevent any scaling or deposits especially in Gunite pools.
Having your water chemistry balanced along with a good dose of liquid shock and algaecide you are well on your way to a cleaner pool opening.
2.Close your pool clean
This one should be obvious but make sure you close your pool clean of any leaves or debris. Especially if you close your pool later in the fall (which I will recommend below) you don’t want to let the leaves sit in the bottom of your pool all winter. This can cause ugly staining and just increases the likely hood of a messy pool opening.
If you have a diatomaceous earth or cartridge filter this is a great time for a deep cleaning. We recommend and overnight soak in a muriatic acid solution followed by a good pressure wash.
The muriatic acid will break down the really fine organics in the filter pleats, fingers, or grids and help maintain the lifespan of the filter media.
You want to make sure you have a small acid ratio we recommend 1 gallon of muriatic acid to a 30 gallon trash barrel bucket full of water. Soak the filter media over night and then rinse it well the next day preferably with a high pressure hose.
4.When to close the pool?
In New England the traditional pool season is Memorial day to Labor day, the true bookends of the summer. With recent climate changes pool owners who have stuck to those traditional open and close dates have noticed their pools opening a lot greener than in years past.
Over the last few seasons I have been telling my customers to close the pool a little later in the season, closer to the end of September or early October.
Yes you will have to scoop a few more leaves out of the pool before the cover goes on, and yes you have to keep the pump running a little longer but it is well worth the time and money that you will save come spring.
This is especially true for pools with mesh safety covers. The mesh covers let in more sunlight than the solid covers and algae of course needs sunlight to grow. If we limit the amount of time the pool sits still with the cover on it we can limit the algae growth considerably.
5.Supplemental liquid shock for fall and spring
Even when we close the pool late we can still see many mild autumn days in October and November that can cause some algae to form and the chlorine we add upon closing the pool isn’t going to last forever.
This year when you are outside throwing the football around on Thanksgiving take a moment to peal the cover and add a couple gallons of liquid chlorine. This is a safe way to increase the chlorine levels in the pool water without running the pool. I do not recommend granular shock for this as it will just sit at the bottom of the pool and bleach out your liner.
If you local pool store closes for the season just make sure to grab that extra case of 12.5% liquid chlorine when your buying your pool closing supplies.
So lets hope this amazing summer sticks with us a little longer and we can put off our pool closing a few more weeks!
Thanks again for reading and again if you have any questions about your pool closing feel free to leave a comment below.