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With the beginning of fall comes cooler weather, falling leaves, and you guessed it – closing your pool.  Although you may not be looking forward to closing your pool this season, taking the necessary steps will help you keep a clean, algae-free pool come next spring.  Using this simple 7-step approach, you’ll be on your way to an easy day of maintenance:

Step 1:  Balance Water Chemistry

It’s important to start the process of closing your pool before temperatures reach freezing, so October and November months are ideal.  First off, balance the water chemistry and make sure the pH, alkalinity, and calcium hardness fall within the following ranges:

  • pH: 7.2 – 7.8
  • Alkalinity: 80 – 120 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 180 – 220 ppm

After balancing your pool’s chemicals, it’s a best practice to shock your pool, and then add winter algaecide.  We recommend following the manufacturer’s directions for your specific pool and call an expert if you need additional help.

Step 2:  Deep Clean Pool

Vacuuming and brushing tend to drop off in frequency throughout the summer.  So, make sure to give your in-ground pool a good vacuum and brush before storing it for the winter.  After cleaning your pool, skim the surface for any debris and dirt that has risen to the top.  Even if your pool looks clean, contaminants often go unseen and can make for a messy spring clean-up.

Step 4:  Lower Water Level

Depending on your specific in-ground pool, you may need to lower the water level.  For mesh covers, you can use a pump to lower the water 12 to 18 inches; solid, floating covers only require the water to be drained 3 to 6 inches.  Check your pool’s manual for specific instructions related to lowering the water level.

Step 5:  Drain Pool Equipment

Every year, we get calls about cracked pool equipment.  Ensure this doesn’t happen by properly draining your equipment.  We recommend using drain plugs to drain all the water from your pump, filter, heater, and chlorinator – and then store them indoors, if possible.  This way, your equipment does not face the possibility of freezing and cracking during Michigan winter weather.

Step 6:  Winterize the Plumbing

Similar to the last step, it’s important to winterize the plumbing to reduce the possibility of equipment freezing and cracking.  To do this, blow out the lines from the skimmer through the equipment and back into the pool; then use expansion plugs to plug the lines once complete.  You can also add pool antifreeze into the lines if this is not possible for your specific in-ground pool.

Step 7: Cover & Store Pool Equipment  

Congratulations, you are almost done closing your pool!  The last step includes covering your pool and storing any associated pool equipment.  Remember: a mesh cover requires less maintenance than a solid pool cover, but both types are a necessary investment.  Relax, and enjoy your winter activities before opening your pool next spring.

Need help closing your pool this season?  Blockco Pools offers regular pool cleaning and maintenance, including closing services.  Contact us to get your pool closing date on the calendar before colder weather hits.