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Few things prove the validity of the old adage about an ounce of prevention better than a swimming pool. How you maintain a pool and prepare it for winter will save a great deal of aggravation next spring, and unnecessary expense. That’s where Baron Services comes in as pools, from construction to maintenance, are our specialty.

Let’s start by discussing the complexity of closing a pool for the winter. Obviously there are difference to the procedures dependent on if it is an above ground or in ground pool. About a week before shutting down, the chemical balance of the water needs to be adjusted. A chlorine level that is to high will break down both algaecides and even pool covers. Proper addition of algaecide is equally as important.

All ladders should be cleaned and if portable, removed. Likewise the skimmer, fittings, and skimmer baskets. Hoses should be drained and flushed. You might event consider dry storage for these items while the pool is closed.

A thorough cleaning is next. First is skimming, brushing, and vacuuming the pool. You might be surprised by how much silt and debris flows from the waste line, even in a pool that seems clean. Skim, vacuum and brush the swimming pool. A professional such as Baron Services will no the difference between a push-pull type filter or cartridge filter, and bypass them to prevent clogging. Then the pool will usually be run 24-hours before covering to ensure the cleanest water possible. Next by either using the filter pump or a portable submersible pump, the water level should be lowered to about 12″-18″ below the skimmer for mesh covers. The level will be different for solid floating covers. If a pool has a separate main drain, the skimmers will need to be closed.

Pumps, filter, heater and chlorinators often have drain plugs that will allow fro complete drainage. This isn’t much of a problem in the Colorado River Valley, but in Kingman temperatures are colder. And it is better to be safe than sorry. Drainage will prevent equipment from freezing and cracking. A professional service will often blow out the lines to ensure they are clear.

A budget pool cover may save money in the short run but remember, the adage about an ounce of prevention. A properly fitted pool cover is essential, another reason to seek professional assistance for winterizing a swimming pool. A cover should never have holes or gaps that allows leaves, debris, and sand to enter the pool. And if you have young children, a safety cover will provide protection as well as peace of mind. A solid pool cover is not as protective as you might think. It will not prevent people, or pets, from falling into the water, and rain water will accumulate on top.

With the pool winterized and covered, you can relax and enjoy the season. You can also be dreaming of a fast, and trouble free opening of the pool next season.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America