HAMILTON, N.J. –All good things must come to an end. For swimming pool owners in the Northeastern U.S., the onset of cool, autumn air signals the end of summer splashing. It’s also time to begin preparing a pool to weather winter’s cold –so that, next summer, the fun can begin again.
RETURN TO RECENT PRESS RELEASES
Proper winterizing means more than just covering the pool. The pool must be cleaned, winter chemicals must be added, water chemistry must be balanced, and the water level should be lowered. Most importantly, winterizing is about freeze protection, and taking steps to protect the pool equipment and lines from being split apart by freezing water. According to Ann Janowicz, general manager of Kasper’s Pool Supplies and Spas in Easton, Pa., “Any water left in the lines or equipment will freeze when the temperature dips below 32°F. As the water freezes, it expands and breaks the equipment. The smaller the line and the more exposed the line is to the air, the more susceptible it is to freeze damage.”
To prevent freeze damage, water must be drained or blown out of all pumping, filtering, heating and chlorinating equipment and other pool plumbing. This is not always a “do‐it‐yourself” project. Every pool is different, and each will require specific procedures and equipment to implement those procedures. Janowicz, a certified pool operator (CPO) and a director of the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA) notes that, “If you don’t know the exact procedure or if you do not have the equipment to winterize correctly, you should call a professional. A pool is a big investment. Winterizing the right way can protect that investment, and assure that when the pool is opened in the spring, it is ready to provide another summer of enjoyment.”
The right time to winterize varies by climate and individual preference. Many pool owners opt to close in late August or early September before leaves begin to fall. Others heat their water and enjoy swimming into the early autumn season. In general, pool closing and winterizing should be done before the first hard freeze in your area.
For information about pool winterizing, or to find a professional who can close your pool properly, visit the NESPA website at www.nespapool.org. The site also includes safety checklists and recommendations, photos of award‐winning pool and spa designs, and a wealth of information on how to build, operate and maintain a safe pool or spa.