Closing your pool properly is the best way to ensure a trouble-free start to you pool season next year. With that in mind, here are our top 6 pool closing tips to help you open your pool clear, and have a trouble free pool season!
1) Don’t Close The Pool Unless It Is Clear
While this probably goes without saying, you can’t open your pool clear unless you close it clear. Not taking care of water problems like algae, scale buildup or staining only makes those problems worse. These problems can even begin to cause permanent damage to the equipment or finish of the pool!
Along with making sure the pool is algae free, you should also make sure that there is no dirt and debris in the pool before closing it. Any organic matter left in the pool can quickly begin eating away at the chlorine in the water. For this reason, make sure that you give the pool one final brush and vacuum before closing it up for the season.
2) Balance The Pool Water Before Closing
Testing and balancing your pool water is one the best ways to ensure clear water and a long life from your pool equipment. Pool closing time is no different. In fact, making sure that your water is properly balanced is even more important when closing your pool.
Most pools in Ottawa are closed for at least 7 months of the year. This means that if your water isn’t properly balanced when you close your pool, it will stay that way for the majority of the year. Water that is out of balance for that period of time can cause a ton of problems for your pool including:
- Permanent wrinkles in the liner.
- Scale build up on the walls and in the plumbing.
- Metal components rusting and leaving stains on the surface of the pool.
To make sure that your water is properly balanced, be sure to get your pool water tested around a week before you plan on closing the pool. Add the necessary balancing chemicals to the water and allow them to circulate for at least 1 full day before you start closing the pool.
3) Keep Your Pool Running Until It Is Closed
In the interest of saving money, some pool owners will shut off their pump as soon as the colder weather starts to come and the pool isn’t being used as often. While this will lower your Hydro bill, it can end up costing you money in the long term.
This is because algae grows much quicker in still water than it does in water that is moving. If your pool water isn’t circulating it’s also not being chlorinated, making this problem even worse. To remove the algae and clear the pool before closing now requires a lot of added time and expense.
This isn’t to say that you need to keep your pump running 24hrs a day right until the pool is closed though. To make sure that the pool stays clear you should run the pump for at least 8-10 hours day while also maintaining a proper chlorine level.
4) Close As Late As Possible
Even though your pool will likely not see a lot of use once September comes around, you should still keep it open for as long as possible. Algae can easily grow in water that is above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you shut down your pool in the middle of September, by the start of October all the chlorine you added during the closing process will be gone. Once that happens, algae will quickly start to form.
Waiting an extra couple weeks and closing the pool after the water is consistently below 65 degrees greatly increases your chances of opening up a clear pool in the spring. The added costs of running your pool pump for those weeks will be nothing compared to the time, effort and cost that comes with clearing an algae filled pool!
5) Add Closing Chemicals The Day Before You Close The Pool
Pool closing kits usually consist of a chlorine shock and an algaecide. For these chemicals to properly work, they need to be evenly distributed in the water. Adding them 24-48 hours before you close the pool allows your pool’s filtration system to evenly treat the water, and lessens the chances of algae growth over the winter.
Note: The City Of Ottawa doesn’t allow pool water to be discharged into sewers unless it has been fully dechlorinated and doesn’t contain any algaecide. You can however, still discharge pool water onto your lawn as chlorine is not known to have any harmful effects on grass. In fact, there is plenty of chlorine in city water anyway, meaning that every time you water the garden or grass with your hose, you’re doing so with chlorinated water.
6) Water Bags
If your pool has a water bag style winter cover, ensuring that the water bags are installed properly is one of the most important steps in the pool closing process. When installing your water bags, make sure:
- That they are only 1/2-3/4 full. Water bags that are completely full have a tendency to roll, taking them off the cover and even into the pool. There is also a good chance that they will break when they freeze since there is no room for expansion.
- That there are no gaps between them. This will prevent wind from getting under the cover and causing problems while also keeping dirt, debris, and small animals out of the pool.
You should also avoid using sharp objects such as bricks and cinder blocks to hold down your cover as they have a tendency to tear the cover. If they fall into the pool, these objects can also cause serious damage to the vinyl liner of the pool.
Properly closing your pool not only keep it safe from freezing damage, it also helps keep the water nice and clear, saving you a ton of work and expense in the spring!
We hope this guide gave you a few helpful tips for closing your pool. If you still have any questions about how to close your pool, you can contact us anytime. If you think it might be a good idea to get some professional help, please fill out one of our pool closing request forms.