When summer’s done

Published 8:45 pm Saturday, September 12, 2009

As the weather turns colder and children are in school more than the pool, it could be time to think about shutting down your pool for the winter.

However, you shouldn’t put the cover on until it’s cold enough that the water temperature is below 65 degrees consistently, said the pool experts at Oliver’s Pools on Godwin Boulevard.

“Let the temperature drop below 65,” Randy Worrell, who works at Oliver’s Pools, said. The water is less likely to form algae if it is cooled off before it is covered.

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The task of shutting down both above- and below-ground pools is daunting, Worrell said. Oliver’s Pools offers its customers a two-page list of steps owners can take to make sure their pool is in tip-top shape when May rolls around.

About 24 hours before closing, owners should brush walls, vacuum and balance the water, as well as add winterizing chemicals, which are sold at pool supply stores. The pool should not be completely drained, Jenice Reveal, who works at Oliver’s Pools, said. Instead, owners should drain the pool only to the bottom of the skimmer.

At the time of closing, owners should do the following steps:

While water is draining, remove the return jet fittings and automatic cleaner fittings.

Once the water reaches desired level, turn off the pump and disengage pump timer.

Clean pool with a pool vacuum, sold at pool supply stores.

Remove all plugs from pump and filter.

Remove ladder, handrails and diving board, storing diving board on its side to prevent warping.

Some other steps may be necessary based on what type of pool you have. A pool supply store can provide more information on what to do with your specific type of pool.

After completing all the above steps, place the cover on the pool, following the instructions provided with the cover and making sure it is tight.

Once the cover is placed on the pool, shut off all breakers leading to any pool accessories, such as pumps and lights.

Owners should monitor their pool throughout the winter, Reveal said. The water level should be monitored, and any problems noticed should be corrected before springtime. No more than ¼ an inch of water should be allowed to sit on the cover. This prevents damage to the cover as well as preventing dumping dirty water into the pool when removing the cover in the springtime, Reveal said.

During all times of the year, owners should make sure their pool is gated and locked when not supervised.

For more information on winterizing your pool, call Oliver’s Pools at 255-4550.