Winter is coming — time to winterize
By Marcelle Dibrell
Shutting down a pool for winter protects the equipment, the accessories, the pool shell and the water from the damages the elements can impart during the off-season. And because there is so much involved in a total pool closure, service pros say that the key task during the winterizing process is to make sure the job of spring opening is made easier.
They do this through detailed record keeping, making a complete inventory of all equipment and accessory items disconnected and stored, using a checklist for plumbing lines that have been blown and plugged, and full notations of all chemical analyses and additions.
This not only assures that all the necessary tasks in closing down the pool have been performed; it also provides a convenient roadmap for opening crews come spring.
Standard checklists begin with a thorough examination of the pool water chemistry and treatment to bring the water into balance. That ensures the water does not become corrosive when temperatures reach the freezing point.
After chemical treatment is completed, the next task for winter shut-downs is the protection of the pool shell, equipment and accessories from the harsh winter.
The pool should be thoroughly cleaned and the water level lowered to the appropriate height, depending on the pool in question.
The next task is seasonal equipment care, which involves draining and cleaning filters, draining pumps and heaters, and cleaning and storing some of the more delicate equipment such as chlorine generator cells, sensors and UV or ozone generator components.
Care of the plumbing is the next item on the checklist. Winter shut-downs include draining, blowing out lines and refilling those lines with an appropriate, non-toxic antifreeze solution. The list on how to close a pool for the winter is extensive and important. This special issue of Service Industry News contains a comprehensive checklist of what to do to ready pools for another potentially harsh winter.