All good things must come to an end…including summer pool season. As you squeeze out the last few dips in your inground pool, it’s time to start thinking about getting it ready for the long hibernation ahead. A little preparation goes a long way to ensuring your backyard oasis is ready to provide countless hours of fun and relaxation next spring.

As a general rule, you should close your pool before it gets below 30°F at night.

Follow these steps for a proper, relatively hassle-free pool closing.

  1. Clean Out the Pool

Cleaning your pool now helps prevent algae and will make next season’s opening even easier. Remove all leaves, dirt, insects, or other debris and don’t forget to vacuum the pool and brush the walls using a non-abrasive cleaner specifically formulated for vinyl or tile. Or skip the manual labor and use an automatic pool cleaner to do the job for you.

  1. Balance the Water

Balanced water protects your pool and equipment from corrosion. Use a test kit to measure the water’s chemistry and once the water has been balanced, shock and chlorinate your pool to kill stubborn bacteria. If you’re unsure what chemicals to use, contact your local pool retailer for advice.

  1. Remove Pool Equipment

Remove any pool toys, floats, skimmer baskets, hoses, cleaners, ladders, and rails. Clean and dry them before storing them in a dry space. Take this opportunity to also store any poolside furniture and accessories to prevent weathering.

  1. Lower the Water Level

Lower the water level to protect your pool from frostbite once temperatures dip. Plaster pools should be below the tile line and vinyl-lined pools should be 4-6 inches below the skimmer.

  1. Drain the Pump and Heater

Be sure to drain all the water from the pump and filters before disconnecting them. Even a tiny amount of trapped water can turn to ice, expand, and damage you system.

  1. Protect the Pipes

Prevent pipes from freezing by clearing any water. Unscrew and loosen any quick-disconnect fittings at the pump and filter system, then carefully blow out the pipes using a wet-dry shop vacuum or air compressor. Wrap any exposed pipes with an insulating material for an added layer of protection.

  1. Maintain Pool Lighting

If your pool is not drained completely, lower the water level below the LED pool light and make sure that all water is drained from the wall fitting and conduit. This is also a great time to consider a pool lighting upgrade. If your pool is more than 20 years old, it is most likely equipped with outdated fiber optic lighting that fades over time.

  1. Cover the Pool

A pool cover is important for both the pool and the safety of people and pets around it. A winter cover should be stronger than a summer cover to withstand the weight of snow and ice, and to protect people or pets from accidentally falling through the cover into frigid water. Select a cover that best fits your pool and can survive Chicago winters.

For routine pool safety inspections and new installations alike, Excel Electrical Technologies is here to make sure your pump, filters, heaters, and lighting are wired correctly and efficiently. Contact us today to schedule your end-of-season inspection or for any electrical need.