As the temperatures begin to drop, the realization that the end of the summer season is approaching sets in. While the colder weather looms in the near distance, our to-do lists grow significantly as we scramble to get all of our summer equipment stored away before it gets too cold. Since most residential, commercial outdoor pools and splash pads close after Labour Day weekend in Canada, closing the pool usually tops the list for pool owners and operators.
For residential pools especially, did you know that it is best to keep your pool open until the water temperature is consistently below 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit)? This allows the water to be a consistently lower temperature which creates a better environment for closing chemicals, ensuring they last until spring.
For commercial pools and splash pads it’s a completely different world. Most large commercial pools are required to be fully drained in order to winterize all of the main drains and plumbing lines to ensure all of the mechanical systems are completely drained for the below freezing temperatures we embrace annually residing in Canada.
Use the checklist below as a guideline for closing your outdoor pool.
Remove deck equipment, hardware, and non-permanent objects such as ladders, rails, tot slides, guard chairs, starting blocks, drinking fountains, accessibility lifts, portable ramps, clocks, weirs, and safety equipment to prevent vandalism. Store in a clearly marked, identifiable, weather- protected location. Cap all exposed deck sockets.
- Remove the diving boards and store them indoors (upside down and flat to prevent warping).
- Follow your manufactures directions for the winterization of any toys and water features in your facility. Some smaller units can be removed, while others, like dumping buckets, remain and have specific procedures to follow for winterizing.
- Completely drain the pool and remove all white goods and skimmer baskets and store in a marked container. Residential Pools only need to be drained down to 1 ½’ below the returns and discharge the lines.
- Drain all of the pool equipment including pumps, strainers, heater, UV systems, filters, surge tanks and holding tanks.
- Store all probes from chemical controllers in water in a warm environment for the winter months. Do not allow the water to freeze.
- Using an air compressor and correct connections, discharge the main drains, skimmer/gutter lines, returns and jets from the mechanical room to the pool.
- Plug all of the lines on the pool side with the proper sized fitting or test plugs. Consult your pool specialist for assistance if you need to replace any threaded or test plugs.
- Fill your pumps or strainers with pool grade antifreeze to keep the mechanical seals lubricated for the winter. This will ensure a smooth start up in the spring.
- Fill the pool for the winter to your recommended depth based on your specific pools requirements. If you're unsure about your facility's requirements, contact your pool consultant or design engineer.
- Shock the pool with liquid chlorine and Install the pool cover, if applicable.
Here are some extra closing tips for closing commercial pool facilities.
- Turn off the water supply and restroom showers, sinks, and toilets.
- Drain all of the pipes to ensure all of the lines are free of water. Remove shower heads and drinking fountain handles.
- Open hose bibs and fill spouts.
- Have your phone service provider disconnect the pool telephone and discontinue service for the winter season.
- Confirm the security of the facility to present unauthorized access.
Ensuring you have winterized properly can be a worrisome, but with the right preparation beforehand and ensuring you have the proper tools, you will be ready. Before you know it, Spring will be upon us and it will be time to open again!