As summer comes to an end in Minnesota, it’s time to prepare your swimming pool for the colder months. Proper pool closing is essential to protect your investment and ensure a smooth opening next season. However, there are common mistakes that pool owners in Minnesota often make. Learn how to avoid them to keep your pool in top shape.
1. Waiting Too Long
One of the most common mistakes is waiting until the last minute to close your pool. As the temperatures drop, you may be tempted to delay the pool closing process. However, it’s crucial to close the pool before the first freeze. Freezing water can cause significant damage to your pool’s plumbing and equipment, leading to costly repairs.
2. Not Properly Balancing the Water
Properly balancing the water chemistry is essential before closing the pool. Failing to do so can result in scaling, corrosion, and even algae growth during the winter months. Test the water and adjust the pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels according to your pool manufacturer’s recommendations.
3. Inadequate Cleaning
Leaving debris and dirt in the pool can lead to water quality issues over the winter. Make sure to thoroughly clean the pool, including skimming the surface, vacuuming the bottom, and brushing the walls. Removing all leaves and debris prevents them from decomposing and causing problems in the water.
4. Neglecting the Pool Equipment
Properly winterizing your pool’s equipment at the time of your pool closing is crucial. Many pool owners forget to drain the pool equipment, such as the pump, filter, and heater. Water left inside these components can freeze and cause damage. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for winterizing your specific equipment.
5. Not Using a Pool Cover
A sturdy and properly fitting pool cover is essential for protecting your pool during the winter. Make sure to use a cover designed for your pool’s size and shape. A good cover keeps debris out, prevents water evaporation, and helps maintain the water’s chemistry.
6. Ignoring the Water Level
It’s essential to pay attention to the water level when closing your pool. If the water level is too high, it can lead to freeze damage to the skimmer and other pool components. On the other hand, if the water level is too low, it may not adequately support the cover, and you risk damaging the pool structure.
7. Not Winterizing Plumbing Lines
In cold climates, freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on pool plumbing. Failing to properly winterize the plumbing lines can result in frozen and cracked pipes, leading to costly repairs come spring. Ensure that you blow out the lines or use pool antifreeze to protect the plumbing system.
8. Not Draining Pool Equipment
While we mentioned this briefly before, it’s crucial to emphasize the importance of draining pool equipment thoroughly. This includes not only the pump and filter but also any additional accessories like pool heaters, chlorinators, and automatic cleaners. Water left inside these components can expand when frozen, causing significant damage.
9. Skipping Cover Inspections
Even after you’ve properly covered the pool, it’s essential to periodically inspect the cover throughout the winter. Heavy snow loads, ice, and strong winds can put stress on the cover. Make sure the cover is secure and free of debris. If you notice any damage or pooling water, address it promptly to prevent further issues.
10. Not Consulting a Professional
Pool closing can be complex, especially in cold climates with the potential for severe winter weather. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the pool closing process, it’s a wise idea to consult a professional. Pool service companies or experienced pool owners can provide valuable guidance and ensure you’re taking the right steps to protect your pool over the winter.
By avoiding these common pool closing mistakes in Minnesota, you can ensure that your pool remains in excellent condition throughout the winter and is ready for a hassle-free opening next summer. Properly balancing the water, cleaning the pool, winterizing the equipment, and using a quality pool cover are essential steps to take. Remember to close your pool before the first freeze to prevent damage and costly repairs. A little effort now will save you time, money, and stress in the long run.