How to Close Pool for Winter in Canada
Closing your pool down for the winter is essential to protecting it from various hazards and preserving your family’s safety. That’s especially true with the icy cold winters here in Canada.
Here’s how you can do it right:
1. Check and Adjust Your Pool pH Levels
The pH level of your pool water naturally shifts over time due to factors like cleaning chemicals and the weather. The optimal pH before shutting your in-ground pool is between 7.2. and 7.6. If your pH is out of balance, add a pH increasing or reducing chemical and wait one hour.
2. Check and Adjust Your Water Hardness
Water hardness is a measurement of calcium in your water. The ideal measurement is the same for all types of pools: Between 175 and 225 ppm (parts per million.) If the level is too high, drain some water and refill from a source that has lower calcium levels.
3. Test and Correct Your Pool Alkalinity
A pool’s alkalinity is a measure of how well it resists changes in pH level. It should stand at 80-125 ppm for gunite or plaster-type pools and 125-150 ppm for other types. The test figure can be increased with alkalinity increaser or decreased with pH decreaser.
4. Check Your Chlorine Levels
Chlorine is the principal chemical used to kill off bacteria and viruses in pool water. It naturally breaks down over time, so it requires a second chemical to improve stability. This chemical should measure at 30 ppm and your chlorine levels should measure at 1-4 ppm.
5. Clean and Store Your Pool Equipment
- First, remove, clean, and store all your pool accessories.
- Scour the walls and floor of the pool using a pool brush.
- Use a pool skimmer to remove any debris from water.
- Add chemicals for scaling, staining, and metal control.
- Add granular chlorine and allow it to circulate six hours.
- Add anti-algae chemicals if you’ve been advised to do so.
- Clean out the pool filtration system.
6. Finalise Your Pool Closing Preparations
Drain the pool’s water level to beneath the skimmer opening. Remove directional fittings, put in your freeze plugs, and shut off the filter pump. Depending on your winter forecast, add pool anti-freeze. Closure is best performed around 18°C, and antifreeze can be rated to temperatures down to -12°C. It’s essential to use aquatic antifreeze, not the kind for automobiles.