Proper Chemicals Make a Difference
First, I’ll state that this blog is not about the step-by-step process of swimming pool winterization and safely closing your pool. For our above ground owners, that information is on our website. Click: http://sparcomanual.com/dealers/eastgate/eastgate_manual_017.htm. In-ground pools generally require some specialty equipment to clear plumbing lines. Most pool owners don’t have what is needed, and as this step is highly important, I recommend a professional service. If you are an Eastgate Pools customer, you may schedule a ‘full closing, or a ‘blow-lines’ service at 513-528-8878. That’s the direct line to our Service Department.
Now, on with the swimming pool winterization chemical discussion. I’ll start by stating unequivocally that you shouldn’t be using liquid shock.
Chlorine is an oxidizer.
Chlorine sounds like a great choice—right? After all, you’ve used it all year to fight algae and bacteria. Why not now? Well, that was then; this is now. Your pool was open and in use during the summer. The water could breathe. You could add chlorine and the gas-off went straight into the air, assuming you weren’t using a solar blanket. Which, by the way, should have been removed from the pool for at least 24 hours after shocking. Those chlorine vapors trapped under the cover are oxidizers and will eat away at the solar blanket. The same is true of winter covers. Seams weaken and can result in the cover failing, dropping everything trapped on top into the pool water. Spring opening just became a major headache.
I’ve also seen people attempt to maintain a chlorine level by putting chlorine floaters under the cover. Again, there’s a gas-off problem, compounded by the fact that freezing water could tip or crack the floater. Now you have solid chlorine that will end up on the bottom, bleaching and damaging the liner. And if you are an in-ground owner with a mesh safety cover, please don’t pour liquid straight through the cover. But if you insist doing so, rinse it off with fresh water. While the vapors are not as trapped, the direct chlorine contact will bleach or weaken the cover.
In short, chlorine is just a bad idea for wintering your pool.
A Safer Alternative
Use a product made exclusively for swimming pool winterization. For most of our pool owners, we recommend Maintain Winter Chemical Kits. This is a three-part specialty product that includes everything needed to keep your water clear when you remove the cover. Of course, that also requires water looking great when you cover it. If you have algae, address it before closing. But make sure to let the chlorine level drop to a minimum level before covering. Again, you don’t want gasses building up under the cover.
The kit includes Winter Oxi Plus a non-chlorine shock that oxidizes organic contaminants. It also has a Dry Granulated Winterizer that is a time-release algaecide. Lastly, it has a Sequestering Compound that will lock up harmful metals that could stain your liner. All three are extremely easy to add, won’t harm your liner or winter cover, and provide proper protection. One kit treats up to 12,000 gallons, so some pools will require two kits—maybe even three for humongous pools.
Simple Salt Above Ground Owners
We recommend you use Shield. This is a specialty winterizer formulated for Simple Salt above-ground pools. Conveniently, everything you need comes in one container and will not affect Simple Salt levels in the water. Plus, there is nothing in the bucket that will harm the liner or winter cover.
So, Ditch the Chlorine
Chlorine is a great summer product but is best left for the months when the pool is actively in-use. Winter is a whole different animal. Protect your investment in fun the safe, proper way with the right winterization chemicals. If you have questions or need professional guidance, call Eastgate Pools at 513-528-4141. We’re open year-round and ready to help when needed.