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Pool technicians gear up for winterizing

By Marcelle Dibrell 

With the official end of summer this September came the official end of the swim season for most of the U.S. For pool maintenance firms, that end marks one last burst of business before winter settles in and service techs get a slight reprieve until it is time to re-open the pools in spring. 

That is because for locations that experience any type of appreciable winter season, it is time to close those pools to protect surfaces and equipment from damage
due to freezing conditions. 

And depending on the region, that might mean quite a lot of work before the winter break. 

At a minimum, the process starts with balancing the water to protect the pools surfaces from the corrosive conditions that occur once the water temperature starts to drop. It involves some type shocking to kill algae and bacteria and to remove the organic contaminants left from swimmer waste. 

It certainly involves removing leaves and debris that could stain the surfaces if left there to settle over the winter months. And it also involves installing a pool cover to prevent the accumulation of more leaves and debris.

For those who live in regions that experience relatively mild winters, that is normally all there is to it. But in places that experience prolonged freezing conditions, a lot more is involved. Not adequately protecting plumbing and equipment from a prolonged winter freeze will mean burst pipes and destroyed motors. It could mean cracked filters and deck damage. In other words, it could spell financial disaster. 

That is why, every fall in much of the country, pool owners are willing to spend a few hundred dollars to protect their investments. Closing a pool for the winter can involve hours of work. The time is spent lowering the water level, blowing out plumbing lines, draining and storing equipment, plugging up returns, installing winter covers, and more. 

It is a task that a lot of pool owners would rather leave to the professionals, and it is the topic of this special issue of Service Industry News. The American Pool and Spa Professionals have assembled a comprehensive discussion of winterizing tasks included here. 

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