Winterizing the Pool and Installing the Safety Cover
Well, our pool time was over as fast as it came this year but we were glad to get a couple swims in after it was built. The kids didn't have a problem swimming when it was 60 degrees outside, but it became pretty clear we were going to be spending a lot of money heating it for not a lot of payoff. I was hoping for a second summer but fall arrived and brought with it some near freezing temps at night, so we decided to shut it down a coupe weeks ago. It was quite the process!
Preparing the Deck for the Winter Cover
While we have an auto cover and some people use that for their winter cover in our climate, we did quite a bit of research and decided that it would be better to install a mesh winter cover instead to extend the life of our auto cover. The winter cover is installed with anchors in the concrete, so we had to install those for this first season. To get ready, we removed the handrails.
Then the guys rolled out the winter cover to start measuring for where to install the anchors that the cover straps attach to.
They drilled holes into the concrete (60 of them!) to install the anchors.
The anchors will stay there moving forward, and will be screwed in flush to the ground for summer when the winter cover is not in use. Once the deck was prepped, they moved the cover off, rolled up the auto cover and started in on the pool itself.
Winterizing the Pool
Since the pool was built so late in the season, we were managing the water with chlorine and chemicals just to let us swim a bit. We're going to be installing a different salt based chlorination system in the spring so I'm not sure if this will be the same winterization process, but here's how it looked this year. First, we pumped out enough water to lower it down below the pipe line.
Then we worked on draining all the pool equipment near the house, removing the filters and then starting the process to blow the air and water out of all of the lines.
They even blew out the returns which was fun to watch.
Once everything was blown out, they poured RV antifreeze down each pipe until it started spraying out and capped each of the jets to keep it in. This should hopefully help protect the pipes from freezing and cracking.
Installing the Winter Safety Cover
When the pool was ready to go, they got all the anchors put in and started installing the cover by stretching the straps over the anchors and then tightening them. This was pretty tricky but Zach joined in and helped the guys get it done.
The winter cover is made out of a dense mesh, so unlike the auto cover, water and snow can sit on top without needing pumped off. It melts through the mesh and into the pool.
This was nearly a full day's job. But now that the anchors are in, the winterization process moving forward will only take a couple hours.
After so much energy and focus being poured into the backyard for the last couple months, it's feeling awfully neglected out there. The joys of living in Iowa! We're glad to have it done so we can enjoy and figure out what we're actually doing with this thing next summer!
Need a fix? Here's what we used: