When it comes to the end of the summer and the weather starts to cool down, pool owners have to think about winterizing their pools. If you own a 24-foot above-ground pool, you have to take the necessary precautions to protect your pool and filter from the harsh winter weather. Winterizing a pool isn’t as much fun as swimming it is, but doing it properly can add years to the life of your pool.
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Give the pool a good dose of shock. Bring the chlorine levels up to 10 ppm to kill any bacteria that is trying to grow in the pool. After shocking the pool, allow the chlorine levels to drop to an acceptable range of 1.5 to 3.0 ppm before covering the pool. As long as you maintain proper chlorine levels you don't need to use algaecides.
Clean the pool. Before winterizing your above ground pool, spend a little time giving it a thorough cleaning. This includes sweeping all surfaces and vacuuming the pool. Make sure to keep the filter running while cleaning so that any dislodged algae is suspended in the water is filtered out.
Balance the water’s chemistry. Seek to get the pH to the optimal level of between 7.2 and 7.8 and total alkalinity between 150 to 180 ppm. It’s good practice to close the pool when the chemistry levels are in balance.
Blow air into the main drain. If your pool has a center drain, you must push air through the tube to prevent the water from freezing and causing the tube to burst during the winter. You can purchase a plug that has an adapter for pushing air through the tube using a bicycle pump. There is no need to run out and purchase expensive equipment to blow air through the main drain. Once you see bubbles come up through the drain, you know the tube is water-free.
Put the face plate over the skimmer opening and plug the water return opening. Once you seal the openings, you can remove the attached hoses and store them away for the winter.
Drain and disconnect the pool filter. After disconnecting the filter, make sure you give it a thorough cleaning in preparation for next year’s use. Make sure to lubricate the O-ring located in the pump basket cover.
Place an air pillow into the pool. Above-ground pools need inflatable air pillows to help absorb the ice expansion in the pool.
Secure the pool cover over the pool. Make sure to purchase the right size cover. Once you place the cover over the pool secure it tightly. Most pool covers use a cable and winch device, which you can find at a pool supply store.
Periodically drain excess water that accumulates on the pool cover as a result of rain or melted snow. It will make it that much easier to get the pool ready for the next swimming season.