How to winterize your above ground pool in California

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Above-ground pools tend to be relatively inexpensive, can be located practically anywhere and are loads of fun. However, they, just like any other pool, must be cared for properly. Winter is especially tough on some pools, so certain precautions must be taken to get your pool through the cooler months.

Climate Makes a Difference

Here in the Golden State, we have a wide range of climatic conditions. Near the coast in the southern section, leaving your pool filled and operating (while following a few precautions) should not be a problem. Temperatures at or below freezing in Southern California are rare. Even when they occur, 32 degree cold snaps don’t last very long here. In other parts of the state you can see a plunge in temperatures that can last for a few days or even longer. In this article, we will discuss the best practices when winterizing your above ground pool in both climate scenarios.
What you will need:

  • (4) 1 lb bags of shock
  • 1 – 2 quarts of 3 month algaecide
  • 3” chlorine tablets
  • 1 chlorine floater
  • Winter cover and air pillows

Mild Climate Winterizing

Even though the southern part of the state may see occasional cold temperatures. The infrequent occurrence of this should not be a concern for most pool owners. Taking the proper steps to protect the pool will keep everything in optimal condition and save a great deal of work for the owner when warmer weather returns. Preparing the pool for the off season consists of the following steps:

Step 1) Remove any debris from the surface of the water and brush loose any algae that may be adhering to the sides or bottom of the pool. Leaving debris in the pool over the winter will stain your liner.

Step 2) With the pump running, empty all 4 bags of shock into the skimmer. Be sure to do this slowly to avoid clogging the filtration equipment.

Step 3) Pour Algaecide directly into the pool evenly throughout. Follow the guidelines on the bottle to determine how much algaecide to use.

Step 4) Fill the floater with tablets and put it into the pool.

Step 5) Run your pump continuously for 24 hours.

Step 6) Let the pool settle and turn off the equipment for 24 hours.

Step 7) Vacuum your pool and thoroughly clean your filter grids or cartridge.

Step 8) Reduce your filtration time to 1 hour a day. Setting a timer is the best way to ensure regular filtration.

Step 9) Place the air pillows (or large beach balls) into your pool and install the winter cover. This will prevent water from pooling on top of the cover during the rainy season. Frequently checking the cover to ensure it is tightly secured to the pool will help your cover last.

  • It is very important that you check your floater at least once a month and add tablets as needed. Not doing so can result in an algae filled pool upon opening in the spring. Additionally, if you plan on winterizing your pool for more than three months, we suggest that at the end of the third month you add another bottle of algaecide to your pool.

 

Cold and Freezing Climate Winterizing

 In the colder parts of the region winterizing your pool essentially means putting it into hibernation. Steps need to be taken to prevent freezing water from damaging fittings, plumbing, equipment and the pool itself. Following these steps should prove to make reopening your pool in springtime a breeze.

Step 1) Remove any debris from the surface of the water and brush loose any algae that may be adhering to the sides of bottom of the pool. Leaving debris in the pool over the winter will stain your liner.

Step 2) With the pump running, empty all 4 bags of shock into the skimmer. Be sure to do this slowly to avoid clogging the filtration equipment.

Step 3) Pour Algaecide directly into the pool evenly throughout.

Step 4) Fill floater with tablets and put into pool.

Step 5) Run your pump for 24 hours.

Step 6) Let the pool settle and turn off the equipment for 24 hours.

Step 7) Vacuum your pool and thoroughly clean your filter grids or cartridge.

Step 8) Shut off the gate valves on your pool or cap the lines from inside and drain your pool below the skimmer and return. Empty the water from your pump, filter & hoses and store away for the winter. Also remove any ladders, toys or accessories.

Step 9) Place the air pillows (or large beach balls) into your pool and install the winter cover. This will prevent water from pooling on top of the cover during the rainy season. Frequently checking the cover to ensure it is tightly secured to the pool will help your cover last.

  • It is very important that you check your floater at least once a month and add tablets as needed. Not doing so can result in an algae filled pool upon opening in the spring. Additionally, if you plan on winterizing your pool for more than three months, we suggest that at the end of the third month you add another bottle of algaecide to your pool.

Be sure and visit your local Secard Pools & Spas for all of your winterizing supplies or for advice on the procedures for your area.

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