Proper winterizing means more than just covering the pool. The pool must be cleaned, winter chemicals must be added, water chemistry must be balanced, and the water level should be lowered. Most importantly, winterizing is about freeze protection, and taking steps to protect the pool equipment and lines from being split apart by freezing water. According to Ann Janowicz, general manager of Kasper’s Pool Supplies and Spas in Easton, Pa., “Any water left in the lines or equipment will freeze when the temperature dips below 32°F. As the water freezes, it expands and breaks the equipment. The smaller the line and the more exposed the line is to the air, the more susceptible it is to freeze damage.”
To prevent freeze damage, water must be drained or blown out of all pumping, filtering, heating and chlorinating equipment and other pool plumbing. This is not always a “do-it-yourself”
The right time to winterize varies by climate and individual preference. Many pool owners opt to close in late August or early September before leaves begin to fall. Others heat their water and enjoy swimming into the early autumn season. In general, pool closing and winterizing should be done before the first hard freeze in your area.
For information about pool winterizing, or to find a professional who can close your pool properly, visit the NESPA website at www.nespapool.org. The site also includes safety checklists and recommendations, photos of award-winning pool and spa designs, and a wealth of information on how to build, operate and maintain a safe pool or spa.
The Northeast Spa & Pool Association (NESPA) is the Northeast affiliate of the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). Founded in 1958, the non-profit association represents the pool and spa industry in the Northeast and serves members through extensive training programs, safety promotions, design competitions and compliance education. www.nespapool.org.