Winter is Coming ... So How Should You Winterize Your Pool?

Posted by Blue Haven Pools on 11/11/2019

below-ground pool covered over with snow to showcase pool winterization tips

As a pool owner living in a region with cold winters, the decision about whether to winterize your pool is not one to be taken lightly. While we at Blue Haven don’t recommend one or the other, we can give you some advice and tips on winterizing your pool — should you decide it’s best for you.

So, what’s the best approach for winterizing your pool in Oklahoma? Your main priority should be keeping the pool clean and circulated, along with maintaining the proper water chemistry balance just as you would during the warmer seasons.

Below, we’ve compiled a number of simple pool winterization tips that will help minimize the risk of experiencing any freeze damage.

Tips for Before Winter Hits

  • Do not leave automatic pool cleaners in the pool with freezing temperatures, and drain the water out of them upon removal from the pool.
  • Perform planned maintenance (such as cleaning the filters) prior to cold weather, not the evening before.
  • Check the pressure gauge on your filter, and resolve any high or low pressure situations before cold weather sets in.
  • Ensure that freeze protection is enabled in high speed for all pumps in your system. Also be sure to remove all low speed programming.
  • Turn chlorinator dials up in order to get maximum flow through them. Remove tablets if necessary and add chlorine through the floater method.

Don’t forget about your water features! You’ll need to winterize these if possible. Ice can build up on exterior water features, but not inside your underground pipes. While it won’t guarantee against freeze damage, it will certainly lower your risk.

below-ground pool covered over with snow to showcase pool winterization tips

Things to Watch Out for During Winter

  • Check your water level daily — the high winds can blow water out of the pool and speed up evaporation.
  • If you use a controller and heater, check for error codes on a regular basis. Call the service department immediately if you have an error code.
  • Ensure proper water flow by emptying leaves and debris from skimmer baskets daily. This is incredibly important! Don’t slack on cleaning just because it’s winter.
  • Check your pool equipment daily to be proactive in solving potential problems.
  • Keep leaves off the pool bottom and off the main drain.
  • Direction all pool returns upward and in a clockwise fashion, circulating the top of the water to help prevent a layer of ice from forming.
  • Keep all valves open with as much circulation as possible.
  • If you do not have automation, place return valves open to both the spa, pool, and any water features so they all have water moving through them.

Dealing with Ice and Snow

  • If ice is beginning to form on the top of the pool, there’s a simple hack you can use to stop it. Fill empty milk jugs or soda bottles one-third the way up with swimming pool antifreeze (DO NOT USE car antifreeze), and then let several float on the surface of the water. Ice will compact the milk jugs rather than placing pressure outward on the plaster and tiling.
  • Avoid letting snow accumulate on the equipment, and blow or brush built-up snow off in a gentle way. Also, DO NOT USE heat tape on the PVC pipes or any pool equipment.
  • Do not let ice build up on sun tanning ledges.

below-ground pool covered over with snow to showcase pool winterization tips

Some Closing Tips ...

  • Heaters are not meant to be used as freeze protection since condensation can build up inside the heater and cause premature heater failure.
  • Prepare for possible power failures! Oklahoma gets the occasional ice storm or winter storm that can knock out your power, so you should plan for it.

Should you lose electricity, you must take emergency winterizing procedures. Make sure you have a digital version saved of all equipment manuals, and familiarize yourself with the proper winterizing procedures that are found in each piece of equipment’s operating manual. You can usually find these manuals on their respective websites. You should also familiarize yourself with the location of drain plugs in your equipment.

We at Blue Haven wish you a safe and happy winter season! Should you decide that winterizing your pool is too much to handle on your own, keep in mind that we offer professional winterizing services through our service department. Also, if you ever find yourself in need of pool supplies, or require any work on your pool, please send us a message, give us a call at 405-844-7500, or drop by and see us at our Blue Haven location in Edmond.

Our experienced team would love to provide you with the expertise and products needed to ensure your pool remains in prime condition during the winter, and fully ready when the warmer weather returns!