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Winterizing your pool

Ever thought of winterizing your pool as an unnecessary and daunting task? Well, just like weather stripping your home or adding antifreeze to your car, your pool requires the same TLC as all the other little joys in life. In order to save a great deal of time, avoidable frustration, equipment damage, and lots of money, winterizing is essential.

Not winterizing your pool can lead to a host of problems including cracked equipment (pumps, skimmers, etc.) lifted and cracked cement, frozen underground pipes, and freeze-thaw damage. Here are some common questions about the winterizing process.

Ah! Winter is coming. Do I need to drain my pool?

A common misconception amongst new pool owners is that you must drain all the water from the pool to prepare for winter. Doing that would be the equivalent of offering Superman a kryptonite-flavored lollipop! Just don’t do it!

Suffice it to say you should never drain your pool. This should be a job for a licensed, experienced and insured professional. Don’t believe us? We’ve heard of cases where the owner drained a pool and the concrete or fiberglass shell actually floated out of the ground like a huge boat…and other stories about the liner in a vinyl pool shrinking within hours of the water being drained.

In other words, completely draining a swimming pool is a big no-no.

Do I need to add any chemicals to my pool to prepare for the winter?

Although ‘no’ would probably be the easiest answer, ‘yes’ is the correct one: You do need to add a mixture of chemicals to your pool to keep it clean for the winter. No one wants to remove the pool cover in the spring and see the Swamp Thing! But have no fear–there are winterizing kits that have everything included– all you have to do is follow the directions.

Should I clean my pool before winter?

Yes you should, but a light cleaning will do. Make sure that dirt, leaves, toys or UFOs (unidentified floating objects) are all removed from the water. This step should be done before adding chemicals. A good time to clean is when the seasons begin to change, but before trees start to lose their leaves. Avoid liner stains by getting debris out, rather than letting it soak for several months.

I have an above ground pool–does it need winterizing too?

Yes! Above ground pools need the same amount of attention as in-ground pools. Unless you’re talking about a kiddy pool, above ground pools have filters, pumps, and an intricate construction that needs to be taken care of. The list of tips below is general—follow your manufacturer’s instructions for specifics.

  • Empty some of the water (must follow manufacturer’s guidelines for this step!)
  • Change the pump, filter and hose settings
  • Store the ladder
  • Remove the skimmer basket
  • Clean the vinyl liner
  • Add appropriate chemicals

As we said…for more specific details, dig out your owner’s manual, dust if off and you should find all the information you need.

Do I really need to cover my pool? I like looking out and seeing an ice-skating rink in my back yard.

Yes, you do need to cover your pool for many reasons–not covering would mean that all your hard work up to this point would be a total waste. First of all, many pool accidents occur when a pool isn’t even being used.

Depending on your needs, one pool cover may be better than another. If you simply want to protect the pool from the elements, but don’t need to safeguard the pool, a standard winter pool cover will suffice. But if you have children and animals around, you’ll most likely want a safety cover that works almost like a fence, by completely covering and safeguarding the pool from mishaps.

One dilemma that pool owners have run into over the years is that mesh covers, although useful, allow dirt and debris to enter the pool, and also allow sunlight into the pool which in turn leads to algae. For this reason, we suggest placing a leaf net cover over a solid cover, which keeps major debris on top, letting it bake in the sun and get nice and dry so it’s easy to remove.  How wonderful!

Ok, so how do I cover my pool? Can I use tarp? And what’s with people using floats and noodles under the pool cover?

Covering your pool isn’t difficult. It may take a few people to do it, but it is probably the easiest part of winterizing. Using a tarp is not a good idea. It won’t protect against children or animals falling in—not to mention the fact that tarps aren’t very sturdy.

Before you apply your pool cover, you should apply some sort of flotation device in the center of the pool. It is true that some people use pool noodles, but there are other and probably more effective devices that you can use. Consider using a car or truck inner-tube or a air pillow sold for this very purpose.

The float has two functions. First, it balances the rainwater and ice that forms on the pool’s cover during winter. Secondly, the area around the float won’t freeze and will allow the ice to push inward toward the float, rather than outward towards the pool wall. This will ease the tension on the pool walls, a condition that can lead to serious support issues in the future.

Lay the cover across the pool and over the float, secure it and tighten the wire around the perimeter. If you leave the cover unsecured, it may fly off in high winds or droop during heavy rains or snowfall.

Posted in Algeacides, chemicals, liners, pH Balance, pool filter, Pool Ladders, pool pump, Sanitizers, Shock, winter covers, Winterizing | Leave a comment

Above Ground Winter Pool Cover Buyer’s Guide

Above Ground Winter Pool Covers

ARCTIC ARMOR WINTER POOL COVERS.  Keep your above ground pool spotless inside and out, all winter long! Our Arctic Armor Winter Pool Cover’s protection is two-fold: a tightly-woven polyethylene fabric helps retard algae growth on the pool cover’s underside, while a premium Ultra-Violet (UV) outer-coating helps protect the pool cover from the elements. We carry only the very best Arctic Armor winter pool covers.  Arctic Armor winter pool covers come with either an 8, 12, 15 or 20 year Manufacturer Warranty.
Expert Advice email customerservice@pcpools.com
Above Ground Winter Pool Cover
Above Ground Winter
Pool Cover
Winter Pool Cover
Actual Size
Shape
12′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 16′ Winter Pool Cover Round
15′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 19′ Winter Pool Cover Round
18′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 22′ Winter Pool Cover Round
21′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 25′ Winter Pool Cover Round
24′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 28′ Winter Pool Cover Round
28′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 32′ Winter Pool Cover Round
30′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 34′ Winter Pool Cover Round
33′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 37′ Winter Pool Cover Round
36′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 40′ Winter Pool Cover Round
12′ x 17′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 16′ x 21′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
10′ x 20′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 14′ x 24′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
12′ x 20′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 16′ x 24′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
12′ x 24′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 16′ x 28′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
12′ x 28′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 16′ x 32′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
15′ x 26′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 19′ x 30′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
15′ x 30′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 19′ x 34′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
16′ x 25′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 20′ x 29′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
16′ x 28′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 20′ x 32′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
16′ x 32′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 20′ x 36′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
16′ x 40′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 20′ x 44′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
18′ x 30′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 22′ x 34′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
18′ x 34′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 22′ x 38′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
18′ x 38′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 22′ x 42′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
18′ x 40′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 22′ x 44′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
21′ x 41′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 25′ x 45′ Winter Pool Cover Oval
21′ x 43′ Above Ground Winter Pool Cover 25′ x 47′ Winter Pool Cover Oval

 

Posted in Above Ground Pool, above ground swimming pools, aboveground pool, Pool, winter covers, Winterizing | Leave a comment

In Ground Winter Pool Cover Buyer’s Guide

Our high quality inground winter pool covers are made with a premium UV coating to protect and shield our winter pool covers from the damaging effects of sunlight. Our in ground winter pool covers have a five foot overlap and rugged poly loops every four feet to hold water bags firmly in place. PcPools is an authorized dealer of Arctic Armor Winter Pool Covers.

Arctic Armor In Ground Winter Pool Cover
In Ground Winter Pool Cover Winter Pool Cover Pool Cover Actual Size Shape 8′ Water Tubes Needed
12′ x 20′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 17′ x 25′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 10
12′ x 24′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 17′ x 29′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 10
14′ x 28′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 19′ x 33′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 12
16′ x 24′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 21′ x 29′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 12
16′ x 32′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 21′ x 37′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 12
16′ x 36′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 21′ x 41′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 14
18′ x 36′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 23′ x 41′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 16
20′ x 40′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 25′ x 45′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 16
20′ x 44′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 25′ x 49′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 18
24′ x 40′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 29′ x 45′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 18
25′ x 45′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 30′ x 50′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 18
25′ x 50′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 30′ x 55′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 20
30′ x 50′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 35′ x 55′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 22
30′ x 60′ In Ground Winter Pool Cover 35′ x 65′ Winter Pool Cover Rectangle 24
Posted in In ground pool, Pool | Leave a comment

Above Ground Pool Closing Checklist

Above Ground Closing Check list

VACUUM pool & remove all debris.

Use a Blue Wave WINTERIZING POOL CHEMICAL KIT to add the correct chemicals for the winter for your pool size.

Drain Filter tank of all water. Bring pump/motor indoors. Remove return eyeballs and install WINTERIZING PLUGS.

Winterize skimmer with POOL SKIMMER PLUG.

Put on cover, SOLID WINTER POOL COVERS should float on top of water. If using an AIR PILLOW, inflate 2/3 full. For MESH WINTER POOL COVERS, do not drain pool lower than bottom of skimmer.

Fill WALL BAGS and fasten to covers cable every 2-3 feet. Tighten CABLE securely around pool cover. Position wall bags on top of pool cover.

Use POOL COVER CLIPS or premium COVER LOCK JR’S to secure cover. Fully protect your winter cover from high winds with COVER SEAL

Posted in Above Ground Pool, Automatic pool cleaner, chemicals, Pool, pool filter, pool pump | Leave a comment

In Ground Winter Closing Checklist

In Ground Closing Check list

VACUUM pool & remove all debris.

Use a Blue Wave WINTERIZING POOL CHEMICAL KIT to add the correct chemicals for the winter for your pool size.

Drain Filter tank of all water. Bring pump/motor indoors. Remove return eyeballs and install WINTERIZING PLUGS.

Thoroughly blow out water from underground lines. Install SKIMMER PLUGS to protect skimmer. Add NON-TOXIC POOL ANTI-FREEZE to pool’s plumbing.

Put on cover, SAFETY POOL COVERS should be anchored down. Solid WINTER POOL COVERS should float on top of the water, For MESH WINTER POOL COVERS, do not drain pool lower than bottom of skimmer.

Lay out LEAF NET over to catch leaves this fall. (Remember to move before the first snow fall!) Fill heavy duty WATER TUBESor leakproof AQUA BLOKSand position around pool’s edge.

Posted in Automatic pool cleaner, chemicals, In ground pool, Pool, pool filter, pool pump, safety covers, winter covers, Winterizing | Leave a comment

Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Posted in Above Ground Pool, above ground swimming pools, aboveground pool, Pool, safety, Water Quality | Leave a comment

Why purchase a custom safety cover vs standard

Q: We get a great deal of calls at www.pcpools.com where customers have been told using a standard size winter safety cover on a non-standard size swimming pool is okay. What are your thoughts about this practice?

A: Attempting to put a stock safety cover on a custom shaped or sized pool brings several factors into play. The safety cover overlap may not be sufficient in certain areas to maintain the standards, and in other areas, an improperly sized safety cover may overlap too much into grassy areas or flower beds where it cannot be properly anchored.

This practice has been going for some time and especially for consumers with a tight budget. While they may save money up front buying a standard safety cover for a custom type swimming pool is not a good practice. For example if a customer had 16′ x 32′ kidney shaped swimming pool and purchased a standard rectangle safety cover. At first, when installed properly, the safety cover would look great. As soon as the weather of fall and winter sets in the deterioration of the safety cover has already begun. Here’s what happens. The safety cover strapping of an Arctic Armor safety cover is made with a very dense polymer, called strap wear guards, these wear guards are sewn directly into the the bottom of each cover strap to protect the strapping that comes in contact with the pool deck. Without the wear guards lining up properly in relationship to the pool size and surrounding decking, as in our pool’s example, the cover will fail within 3 years. The normal buffeting of the safety cover that occurs on a non-wear guarded cover strap will snap the strap right in half and the safety cover has failed. Continuing along with our pool example, the customer will assume the safety cover comes with a 12 or 15 year warranty so they call the cover manufacturer to inquire about there warranty. They send the safety cover back to the manufacturer for inspection. The factory then lays the failed cover out on the factory floor. Low and behold they see the outline of a kidney shaped swimming pool on standard rectangle safety cover. The safety covers warranty is null and void. Unfortunately, it’s like when an elephant sits on your fence!

Here is a link to our custom safety cover measuring form . Fill out and fax in to get a free quote.

Posted in Backyard, In ground pool, Patio, safety, safety covers | 8 Comments

Clear-Bottom Swimming Pool Hangs Over Building’s Edge, 40 Stories Aboveground

Giving the new meaning to above ground pool!

Posted in Above Ground Pool, above ground swimming pools, aboveground pool, Pool, Pool Fun | Leave a comment

Swimming Pool Heating Options

Recent advancements in pool heating technology allow pool owners to choose from a vast array of options that vary based on effectiveness, space limitations, and cost. Such technological improvements have produced improved solar pool covers and solar panels that after the initial purchase, do not create any additional operating costs. Conversely, gas and propane pool heaters are still the best way to heat one’s pool quickly and effectively.

A solar pool cover lays on the surface of a swimming pool and attracts and absorbs sunlight. This method produces natural heat that makes the pool water more enjoyable. Similarly, solar panels are devices that do not come into direct contact with the pool’s surface. Instead, the panels are hooked up with PVC tubing that allows the pool water to flow directly through the device. Solar heating panels should be elevated for maximum sun exposure so that the water that flows through them can be heated before being pumped back into the pool. One disadvantage of solar materials is that they tend to take up lots of room. This is especially true with the solar panels, which can often measure up to twenty feet in length. One solution to that limitation is mounting the panels on a rooftop, although that makes the tubing process more complex. Despite the spatial concerns, solar heat is the most cost-effective method to heating your swimming pool.

As previously mentioned, gas and propane pool heaters are the best and quickest way to generate pool heat. There are multiple BTU levels available depending on the given water capacity of your swimming pool. For instance, a large pool measuring 20’ by 40’ would benefit from a high-powered 400,000 BTU pool heater. In contrast, a round 24’ above ground pool typically will not need more than 100,000 BTU. Another advantage to choosing a gas or propane pool heater is the limited amount of space one takes up. Most heaters will require between four and six square feet, with additional space being needed for piping in certain pool setups. This is much less space than any solar panel would require. The only disadvantage to using a gas or propane heater is the significantly higher cost in comparison to solar products. Prices for gas or propane pool heaters often exceed $1,000, and pool owners should also take monthly gas or propane refill costs. The monthly costs will vary depending on frequency of pool heater use, climate, and the BTU output.

When choosing how to heat an in ground or above ground swimming pool, many factors contribute to a final decision. If a pool is in an urban setting that does not get much sun exposure, a solar system is not the best choice. In contrast, rural areas that get eight to ten hours of uninterrupted sunlight are prime candidates for such a solar pool heating system.

Posted in Above Ground Pool, above ground swimming pools, aboveground pool, Heat pump, Heaters, In ground pool, Pool, Solar, solar cover | Leave a comment

Pool Opening Tips

PcPools’ first tip for opening your pool is…DON’T WAIT! Many swimming pool owners procrastinate to avoid the work that goes into the pool opening process. Understandable, yes, but by the time you are motivated enough to open the pool, frequently you and your family have already missed part of the swimming season. Depending on how short the summer swimming season is where you live, that could be a big mistake!

Once you’ve committed yourself to beginning the pool opening process – go ahead and pat yourself on the back – it is likely best to begin with a floc treatment. This will make it much easier for you to remove any existing contaminants from your pool water. Simply add the flocculant, turn on your pool pump for a few hours allowing it to circulate, shut it off so the debris can fall to the bottom, and then vacuum up the coagulated debris.

At this point in the process, you will need to evaluate if it is necessary to add water to your pool, as well as your chlorine demand. Once you’ve shocked the pool and satisfied the chlorine demand, the next step will be to add the Algaecide. Beyond that, make sure you monitor your filter pressure and chlorine levels extra closely for at least the first few days after opening.

Need a Spring Pool Chemical Start-Up Package to assist you with your pool opening? PcPools has you covered.

Posted in Above Ground Pool, above ground swimming pools, aboveground pool, Algeacides, chemicals, In ground pool, pH Balance, Pool, Sanitizers, Shock | Leave a comment