With the start of fall just behind us and winter just around the corner, now is a perfect time to start getting your pool equipment ready for the winter. For many pool owners, just shutting off the switch and covering the pool is not enough. For those who want to take a little extra care with their pool equipment, this post is for you – and your pool.
Cold temperatures, snowfall, and the potential for flooding can all damage your equipment. If you can move it indoors for the winter that would be best, but for most inground pool systems, this is just not possible. Here’s what you can do to minimize weathering of your pool equipment.
Pool Electrical Box
- Shut off breakers to pump, and turn timeclock to off.
- Remove timeclock “dogs” or “trippers” to prevent accidents.
- Close box tightly, and wrap top of box with a plastic grocery bag.
- Remove all drain plugs from pump and filter. Don’t pour antifreeze into your pump.
- Rake away any mulch from near your pump motor, and protect from flooding.
- Remove the pump strainer basket, clean out any debris. This basket is perfect for storing all these small drain plugs, gauges, and sight glass.
- Remove any pressure gauges or sight glasses from filter. Store these with your drain plugs.
- If you wish to cover your equipment, an old wool blanket will allow for good air circulation.
- A small tarp can be bungie corded over the equipment, but take care not to wrap motors or heaters tightly.
- For DE or Cartridge filters, clean with a Filter Cleaner, to remove rust, scale and oils.
- Open the drain plugs on both sides of the header.
- Disconnect the pressure switch, and let the water drain out of the tube.
- Turn off the gas valve inside the heater and on the line outside heater.
- Place a few moth balls or a rodent deterrent inside of the heater.
- Cover the heater with one of our easy to use heater covers.
- Lower your water level to just below the skimmer, drain or blow out the pipe to the pump.
- Remove the basket and install a Skimmer Guard (aka ‘Gizmo’) after draining or blowing out the pipes. If you don’t use a Gizmo, fill a clean and empty quart bottle 1/3 full with antifreeze or pea gravel. This will absorb the expansion of any ice inside the skimmer during the winter.
- If desired, install skimmer closure like the Skim-Saver, Skimmer Plug, or the Aquador. This will prevent water from entering the skimmer. Also, this eliminates the need to lower your water.
- Placing a sheet of heavy plastic under the skimmer lid can help keep the lid secure and keep water out of the skimmer.
- Remove any drain plugs. If your salt cell is removable, remove for storage.
- Inspect the cell for any scale buildup by shining a flashlight in between the plates.
- If deposits are visible, follow manufacturer’s recommendations for salt cell cleaning.
- Clean your salt cell with Acid Magic – a safer alternative to Muriatic Acid.
Solar Blankets and Reels
- Your solar blanket should be clean and dry on both sides before folding.
- Wrap up the blanket and reel in a tarp and bungie cords, or use a specially designed Solar Cover cover.
- Debbie wrote a blog post on how to store your solar blanket for winter.
- Slides can be cleaned with a spray cleanser and a soft towel.
- Fiberglass slides can be treated with car wax to protect the gelcoat.
- Inspect the bolts on slide legs and steps for tightness.
- Shut off the water to the slide feed and add pool antifreeze or drain out the line.
- Apply lube to bolts to prevent rust.
- Inspect your board for cracks, and check the tightness on the bolts.
- Wrap your board in our Heavy Duty diving board cover to keep out ‘ol man winter.
All of the equipment is now ready for winter. Finish winterizing your pool and cover it for the dormant months ahead. The freezing and thawing of water can wreak havoc on improperly winterized equipment. Take care of your pool equipment during winter and you’ll have fewer surprises come spring!
SPP Pool Expert