Houston is famous for its hot Summers and Warm-ish Winters (compared to other states) though, as a rule of thumbs, we will always have one or two freezing days that will break havoc on all our home plumbing and pool pumps. With that said, there are several steps to follow to winterize your in-ground pool.
Items you need to order ahead are: rubber plugs for each of your return valves and skimmer(s), a winter chemical kit, a pool cover, a set of water tubes, and a leaf net.
Tools you will need include a loops wrench, a 5 gallon bucket, screwdrivers (flat and phillips)
Measure your pool to determine the proper size winter cover and leaf net for the pool. For standard rectangular pools, only the width and length are required.
After measuring your pool’s length and width, determine how many water tubes you may need for your installation. make certain the number of tubes is enough to completely ring the circumference of your pool. Water Tubes 8′ 10 pack part #: NW1022, 10′ 10 pack part #: NW1222
After receiving the cover and leaf net, lay out and measure the items to be certain you have received the correct size. If the cover size is incorrect, immediately contact the dealer your purchase item from for instructions.
Remove all floats and toys from the pool.
Clean any debris from the skimmer, pump basket and also skim your pool one last time before placing on the cover. Skimming the pool before installation will prevent any lingering debris from settling at the bottom of your pool for months. This will help you prevent a more tedious start up process when you open your pool in the spring.
Any obstructions (i.e. railings, ladders or diving board) should be removed at this time. In this pool model we have a non-removable ladder and railing which we must accommodate. If the cover does not fit over these points then you may have to make points of entry as we have. Keep in mind this action of altering the cover in such a manner WILL void the warranty.
This is the point of the pool closing where you will chemically treat your pool. This will fortify your water during its dormant season. Pool Shock item#: P12001DE-12, Halt Algaecide item #: NY136, Rust and Scale Remover item #: NY180
It may not prevent all growth of imbalances it will drastically help in opening your pool. Before adding Pool Shock to your pool, fill a bucket about 3/4 of the way full with water and stir it in.
When properly mixed, pour the bucket’s contents out as your walk around the pool to evenly disperse. Tip: for every 10,000 gallons of water you will need 1 pound of shock.
Any scale remover or algaecide can be poured directly into the pool without premixing.
With your chemical winterizing complete, now we can move onto installing the cover. Keep in mind we recommend that this is at least a two person job.
Lay out the length of your cover at poolside. With a person on opposite sides of the cover, grip the cover’s edge and walk it over the surface of the pool. Be sure to minimize the amount of water on top of the cover when completing this step. Water could weigh down the cover and cause it to sink to the bottom.
We recommend completely securing your winter cover with a complete set of water tubes. This will provide a strong base for the cover while we install the net and prevent any wind from catching the cover.
Slide an empty water tube through the loops of the winter cover. Each bag should fit through two to three of these loops, fill with water. Once full, slide the winter cover under the water tubes to prevent sliding or jostling of the winter cover.
Now that we have the winter cover in place, the leaf net can now be placed on top of the cover. A leaf net would be necessary for any pool closing that has a fair amount of trees in the area. The leaf net can be removed after the majority of the leaves have fallen. This prevents the leaves from deteriorating on top of your winter cover which may cause undue decay to the material.
To apply the leaf net, we will complete the same operation as the winter cover. Lay out the length of the leaf net at pool side. With a person on each side of the leaf net/pool, pull the net over the surface of the pool and winter cover.
You may need to do some readjustments of the leaf net to ensure it is evenly distributed over the surface of the pool.
With net and cover in place – take a lap around the circumference of the pool. Tie an extra knot in each of the loop to make up the slack. Check that both net and cover are tucked under the tubes.
If your pool has any obstructions (i.e. ladders or rails) that could not be removed you may have to alter your leaf net in a fashion to accommodate. This can be done by using bungee cord or rope to secure it to a loop on the cover
Complete an all-points inspection of your winter cover installation. Check the cover to be sure it is evenly covering the pool surface. Inspect and adjust water tubes so that they are tied to and sitting on top of both covers. Also if you have any obstructions that were non-removable and the net and/or cover is being secured with cord or rope, double check to make sure the knot is tight.