Tips for Pool Maintenance

Tips for Pool Maintenance
  • Add shock treatments during winter to avoid green water in Spring
  • Open pools ‘early’ in Spring to make sure pools are in good condition
  • Have your pool water tested by pool professional prior to opening and closings
  • Check your pool during winter
  • Keep the recommended water level in pool
  • Shock your pool at night
  • Use your cleaners at night
"Do It Yourself" Pool Opening and Closing Recommendations

Spring Opening by Owner

The easiest way to open your swimming pool is to call your local pool professional.   However, if you would like to attempt opening your own pool, here are a few general steps you may take.  There are many types of pools and each may have unique situations.

Step 1 - Remove Cover and adjust water level
The first thing is to remove the cover.  If there are leaves or other debris on the cover, remove with your leaf net.  If you have a solid cover, pump off any water standing on the cover.  Beware that if your solid cover has a hole in it, you will be pumping water out of the pool.  This will drain your pool, so keep an eye on this.  After removing the cover, be sure to clean it and store away for season.

Step 2 - Remove all gizzmos, plugs from inside the pool
You will need to remove all items plugged for winter, such as skimmer and return fittings.  Add water to the middle of the skimmer.

Step 3 - Start up Filter Equipment
Re-install the plugs for the filter, pumps and heaters.  Install the baskets in the pumps and skimmers.   Open the skimmer, main drain and return valves.  Put the multiport valve in the ‘waste’ position to clean out the lines, then put it back in the filter position.  Note: Always have pump off when moving the multiport valve position.   You may need to prime your pump by adding water into the pump basket.  This may take several times to get all the air out of the plumbing.  Start up pump. 

Step 4 - Re-install all deck equipment
Inspect diving board, ladders, handrails etc. for wear and damage.  Do not install a diving board if there are any visible cracks.  Stainless steel should be cleaned with car wax to help protect them from corrosion.  Note:  Salt pools may create extra corrosion  which will need to be watched and maintained throughout the season.

Step 5 - Test Water
After starting up your pool equipment, let it run for 24 hours before taking a water sample.  Be sure that you take a sample from at least 1 foot below the surface.  Test the water or take it to your local pool professional. 

Step 6 - Vacuum
Brush and vacuum your pool manually or with your automatic vacuum. 

If you had a green pool this Spring, you may want to add chemical through the winter months to avoid this problem again.  You can lift your cover up and pour liquid chlorine (if on chlorine products or salt) throughout the season.

Fall Closing by Owner

If you want to close your own pool, here are a few general steps below.  All pools are unique and may have special situations that need individual attentions, such as valve pits, controllers, generators, indoor filter rooms, and specialty features inside the pools.  Vinyl pools are winterized differently than gunite (concrete) pools.  You may want to call National Pools or your builder to discuss your individual situation.

General Instructions for Winterizing Swimming Pools
Ongrade Applications

  1. Balance the pool water (Ph, Total Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness)
  2. Vacuum the pool, brush, and net, if needed.
  3. Winterize all equipment and check for any low spots in the plumbing.
  4. Most of your valves will be left in the open position.
  5. Generally there are two plugs in the pump, 1 on the filter, chlorinator, plugs or petcocks on heater exchanger.
  6. Remove any salt generator and sensor.
  7. Be especially careful with any heater petcocks or plugs.
  8. Put all plugs in pump housing in the basket.
  9. Check for any pressure switches in the heater. If present, please disconnect switch.
  10. Put multiport in between positions or on winterize.
  11. Remember to use gizzmos in skimmer housings.
  12. Add chemicals to the pool.  Dosages depend on volume of water.  Please remember your algaecide.
  13. Turn all anchors up.  Replace any anchors that are uneasy to turn up or down.
  14. Remove all ladders and handrails.
  15. Cover the pool.  Typically the cover is folded towards the largest side of the pool deck.
  16. Use the cover bag to store any accessories such as skimmer baskets, salt generators, thermometers, and turtle valves etc.
  17. Recheck your chemicals after a couple of weeks and balance as needed.  Once the water temperature stays below 50 degrees, algae usually does not grow. 
  18. Start checking water for algae at the end of March and add chemicals as needed.

Winterizing a Below Grade System

Call your pool contractor for advice and recommendations.

Winterizing a Vinyl/Fiberglass Pool

Basically like above, however, most vinyl and fiberglass contractors recommend lowering the water level and blowing out the return and skimmer lines.  They also recommend putting antifreeze in lines as best you can.  After blowing the water out of all the lines use Teflon on all return plugs and gizzmos.  Install all plugs and gizzmos firmly.

Winterizing an Aboveground Pool

Similar to the above instructions except lower water level below return fitting.  Disconnect hoses from pool.  Use return and skimmer as overflow. (For Doughboy pools, you can use a winter skimmer plate and leave water level high but need to plug return fitting also).