At the end of summer, you may be wondering how to care for your above-ground pool. It's possible to leave your above-ground pool up all winter with the water in it, since draining it completely may cause it to collapse. However, several steps and precautions are necessary to keep your pool safe through the winter.
Removing the Accessories and Cleaning
All of your pool's accessories, such as the vacuum, hand skimmer, ladder and any other plastic items, require storage throughout the winter. Remove them from the pool and store them in a dry area. Rain, wind and freezing temperatures cause damage to pool accessories left outside during the winter. Also, brushing down the sides of the pool and vacuuming it to remove the debris help prevent staining.
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Adjusting the chemical levels in your above-ground pool helps balance the water and protects your pool from scale buildup and corrosion. The desired pH is between 7.2 and 7.6 and the alkalinity should be between 80 and 120 parts per million, or ppm. The calcium should measure between 175 and 250 ppm and the chlorine level should read between one and three ppm on a test strip.
Filter and Pump
Drain the filter and pump connected to your pool. Removing and storing the filter, pump and any hoses connected to your above-ground pool is also necessary. This prevents damage from freezing. If your pool is hard-plumbed, follow the procedure suggested by the manufacturer for forcing the water out of the system, using the blower on a shop vacuum or an air compressor.
An ice compensator float placed in your pool keeps the water from freezing. Covering the above-ground pool with a winter pool cover helps prevent foreign material from settling in the pool. After threading the cable through the loops on the cover, tighten it with the winch provided to ensure the wind does not tear it or blow it off. Placing an air pillow prevents the cover from sinking into the pool.