Closing the pool is such a bummer. And paying for pool closing chemicals and other winterization supplies is not as fun as paying for pool opening expenses! I'm here today to tell you how to get the most out of your pool winterizing chemicals. Whether you use a winter kit, or create your own mix of closing chemicals, here's how to not overspend on an inground pool closing.
Start Early: Order your pool closing chemicals ahead of time, so that you make sure that you have it all ready to go come pool closing day. Secondly, balancing the pool chemistry a week or so before closing, will give you a chance to make sure it's correct come closing time. I usually test and balance the pool water, and then shock the pool, on the weekend before I plan to close the pool. Then, a few days before closing, I remove the timer dogs from the timeclock - and run the filter 24 hours a day, so that it's good and over-filtered.
Pool Winter Kits:
I used to make my own mix (described below) of winter pool chemicals to add during the pool closing. But, since I've been here at SPP (which is many years), I've been using our winter pool kits. Knowing your pool gallonage is required, so that you buy the correct size kit (or two smaller kits). If you aren't sure of your pool size, in gallons, try Pentair's handy Pool Volume Calculator.
Since I have my employee discount, I stepped up a few years back to the Ultimate closing kit, which has some great Natural Chemistry chemicals. Because I use a mesh safety cover, and wait until June 1 to open the pool, the Pool Magic has been, well, magic!
And, it's saved me money every year that I've used it, since I do not need the huge amounts of pool shock in the spring to revive green pool water.
My Winter Kit Tip is this - buy your closing kit a little oversized, or go for the Ultimate Pool Closing Kit. It's good for 35,000 gallons, so it covers just about every inground pool size, and if you have a small pool of 10-15,000 gallons, you could use the Ultimate pool closing kit for two pool closings!
Pool Closing Chemicals:
I promised you earlier that I'd divulge my recipe for a winter pool chemical package, a la carte. Winter kits tend to be cheaper, and will save you money over buying the items separately, but there are some ways to save money in this area as well.
- A few days before closing, shock the pool, after balancing your chemistry, with 1 lb shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Allow the water to filter until pool closing day.
- After lowering your pool water level for winterization, walk a quart of winter algaecide around the edge of the pool. Use one quart per 20,000 gallons of pool water.
- Fill a sturdy chlorine floater with chlorine tablets, and tie a very long piece of twine through the floater, so you can tie it off on both sides of the pool, and keep it from floating around, where it may get stuck on the ladder, step, or tip over. Our winter kits have a non-chlorine sanitizer floater, so no worries, but if you are using chlorine tablets, be careful!
- Add a dosage of Metal Free if your water contains metals like iron or copper. This will keep the metals (and other stuff) from staining your pool during the winter.
- For pools with a mesh cover, or if (like me) you tend to open later, after the trees have shed their spring debris, you should add another bottle of algaecide several weeks before opening, or (like me), use Pool Magic Spring & Fall.
And that's all there is to it. Winter pool chemicals are not complicated, but just as it's possible to not use enough pool chemicals, it's possible to overspend in that area as well. Choose your winter pool kit or winter pool chemicals carefully, based on pool size, type of cover and whether you open early or late, and you'll have no problems (or big chemical expenses) when you open next spring.
SPP Pool Expert