Ah, September. It’s one of our favorite months of the year, the air a crisp reminder that fall is surely on the way. The kids go back to school, the leaves begin to change, and those sweltering days of summer are but a figment of the imagination, the sticky heat and bright sunshine just a memory. That is, until you remember that you still have to deal with closing the pool, and all the steps that come with it. Before you truck on over to the big box store to stock up on notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils, before you begin to brainstorm what the kids will bring for lunch every Monday-Friday, you’ve got to put a cap on summer, and with it, your swimming pool
The first step to getting the pool area ready for fall and winter is to clean it up. That means all the pool noodles, floats, goggles and toys need to be packed up and placed back in the pool area, where they’ll stay until the temperatures soar back into the eighties again. Then, it’s time to deal with the pool itself. First and foremost, you’ve got to get the chemistry right. Making sure that the pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness are all in balance before you put a cover on the pool protects it from corrosion or buildup that can occur beneath the surface of the cover over the winter months. You’ll also want to shock the water with a hefty dose of chlorine. This will ensure that any bacteria currently living in your pool is killed off. Note that this shock treatment should be a stronger dose of what you generally use day to day (many chlorine products are light enough that people can swim in them right away – but this lighter version is not strong enough for winterizing). You’ll also want to add some algaecide, which, just like it sounds, kills any existing algae and prevents new algae from blooming. Trust us when we say you’ll want to make sure you complete this step. Algae can cause your pool to become discolored – and it won’t smell too pretty either.
Now, you’re on to the cleanup portion of winterizing. You’ll want to remove literally everything that’s not water. If you’ve followed the steps above, you’ve already rid the area of all of your pool toys and floats. Next come the ladders, baskets, filters, pumps, and any other decorative pieces. All that should be left is the water itself. Rinse all of your equipment and lay it out in the pool area to dry, then store it in your garage, shed, or pool house for the winter.
Think you’re done? Not just yet! It’s now time to clean the water itself. Use a pool skimmer or cleaning robot to get all the dirt, grime, leaves and insects out of the water. Ideally, you want the pool water to be as pristine as possible before you close it up. The best way to achieve this is to do your final cleaning on the same day you shut the pool down. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to drain the water. How much you lower the water depends on what kind of cover you’re using. If you’re using a mesh cover, you’ll want to lower the water about 12-18 inches below the skimmer. If you’re using a solid cover, 3-6 inches should suffice. Make sure you also drain all of your pool equipment as well – pumps, filters, chlorinators all need to be drained. The last thing you want is for these to freeze over the winter and burst. What a nightmare that would be!
Now that you’ve got the pool itself all set, it’s time to address the pool area. It’s likely that you’ve got a few outlets around the pool area. Maybe they’re on the side of the pool house; maybe they’re built into the ground. Regardless of where they occur, you’ll want to ensure that these too are as protected as the rest of your pool supplies. Leviton has got a full line of raintight, weather-resistant covers that are specifically constructed to keep moisture, debris, and insects out, while providing easy access to your outlets. Want to use power tools in the pool area? No problem. Our covers make working around your power outlets a cinch. Sprinkler systems, pumps, trimmers and more – all a-okay if you’ve got your outlets covered. Needless to say, they’ll also make sure that everyone stays safe in the pool area, even when your outlets come into contact with the elements. No need to fear a big rainstorm, or a huge blizzard come winter. With weather-resistant covers, you’re good to go.
Products covered: Weather-Resistant Covers