VivoAquatics Updates

How to Winterize Your Commercial Pool

September 9, 2022

Learn everything you need to know about pool winterizing for your commercial pool facility.

It’s that time of year again. It’s time to start thinking about how to winterize your commercial pool.

The top goals in winterizing commercial pools are preserving the water quality, protecting pool surfaces, and securing equipment. Proper closing and pool winterizing helps you avoid costly damages and issues such as broken equipment, algae stains, freeze-damage, and more. Pools that aren't closed effectively can lead to a frustrating and costly opening.

As the weather gets colder, you'll need to take some steps to winterize your commercial pool. This will help ensure that your pool is ready to use come springtime. Winterizing your pool for the winter may seem daunting.

Remember, a successful pool closing means a successful pool opening! It’s imperative to correctly and properly winterize commercial pools to save money, increase efficiency, and help you nail the opening season!

This article is going to walk you through everything you need to do in order to winterize your commercial pool. We'll cover how to close the pool, how to prepare the pool for winter, and what chemicals you'll need to use. By the end of this article, you'll be an expert on how to winterize a commercial pool!

Secure the Pool Properly

By far, one of the most important parts of winterizing your commercial pool is securing it properly. As you know, your commercial swimming pool can be a healthy activity, and a fun way for adults and children alike to enjoy recreation. However, swimming pools become a major safety issue if they are not properly secured. This is particularly true in the colder winter months when the pool is closed. When commercial pools are closed, it’s imperative to secure them against all types of public access.

Tips to Securing and Winterizing Commercial Pool

  • Check all perimeter fencing
  • Make sure gates and latches are up to code
  • Wading pools require self-latching gates
  • The front gate should always be locked, even if  you’re performing maintenance on site.
  • Any possible entryway to the pool should be closely examined
  • Security checks should be regularly performed during the off-season.

Securing your pool properly will help prevent safety accidents from occuring, reduce liability, and give you peace of mind throughout the entirety of the off season.

Lower the Water Level

When you’re preparing for the winter, it’s imperative to lower the water level. You’ll also want to make sure that you drain the equipment and the lines. How much water you want to remove depends, but it should at least be enough so that the water level is below the skimmer. This is because when water freezes, it also expands.

To ensure that water doesn’t freeze, either remove all water from the lines or add antifreeze. You should use the appropriate winterizing chemicals, making sure to use a non-toxic form of antifreeze that is appropriate for commercial pool use.

How to Remove Water

  • Consider using a shop vac. This helps to blow water from the lines, making sure that they are safe while allowing you to efficiently and effectively winterize the commercial pool.
  • Plug the lines. Once your lines are drained, it can be helpful to plug them to make sure that the pipes do not explode or crack over the course of winter. This is particularly helpful and relevant in colder climates that have harsh weather conditions.
  • Make sure that there are no open valves. You don’t want valves that can leak water into the filter, which can cause irreparable damage to your expensive pool equipment

Things to Keep in Mind

  • We don’t recommend you completely drain your commercial in ground pool. This can cause high amounts of hydrostatic pressure from groundwater. This means that groundwater can create high amounts of pressure on your pool. It can crack the shell, or even ruin the structure of your commercial pool by pushing it out of the ground!
  • Pools that are lined with vinyl wrinkle if drained, and can be very expensive to repair.
  • Water out for heavy snowfall or rain. This can cause water to collect and rise over the recommended level for your pool, tile line, cover, or equipment. This can be costly and problematic.

Cover the Pool

When pool winterizing, it’s incredibly important to cover the pool. Covering the pool can help reduce the amount of debris, leaves, and dirt that enters the pool. Additionally, keeping the pool water covered helps to reduce the potential for algae and makes opening the pool back up a much easier task.

If your commercial pool has a solid cover, you should use a siphon to remove debris and water that can accumulate on top of the commercial pool cover during the offseason. Using mesh covers allow rainwater through and provide additional filtration.

Making sure that all of your anchors and springs that secure the cover are in tact, functioning correctly, and are in place. Additionally, you should check on this during the course of the offseason since snow and/or rain can raise the levels of water accumulated or even cause the cover to sink due to accumulation. If this happens, you can easily take corrective action before the problem gets worse and difficult to repair.

Advantages of Using a Pool Cover

  • Using a cover helps you save on draining water and refilling costs, electricity, chemicals, and more.
  • Pool covers look great to prospective guests, members, tenants, or patrons.
  • Using a high quality pool cover can help extend the life of your pool
  • The right pool cover delays costly maintenance like a full pool replaster.

Prevent Pool Cover Accidents

An uncovered, partially drained pool is a fall hazard and leaves your property vulnerable to many accidents. Protect yourself against things like children climbing into the pool area, a pet digging under the fence, and more. Keep in mind that a pool cover that is old and/or is not properly maintained can be just as dangerous as a pool that isn’t covered at all.

Store Chemicals Properly

When the weather gets colder and you have to close down your pool for the season, it's important to properly store all of your chemicals so that they don't go bad or become dangerous. With a little bit of planning, you can easily store your pool chemicals until next season.

One of the most important things to remember when storing pool chemicals is to keep them away from heat and direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures can cause pool chemicals to break down and become less effective, so it's important to store them in a cool, dark place. A locked storage shed or garage is usually the best spot.

It's  also important to make sure that your pool chemicals are securely sealed in their original containers. If you need to transfer them to another container, be sure to use one that is clearly labeled and made of a material that won't react with the chemicals. Once everything is sealed up tight, be sure to store the containers in a safe place where they won't be accidentally knocked over or stepped on.

It is best to discard test strips as well as any partially used containers of pool chemicals. These can easily become contaminated and may cause problems when you go to use them next season.

With a little bit of planning, you can easily store your pool chemicals until next season. By keeping them in a cool, dark place and making sure they are securely sealed, you can help to ensure that your pool is ready for another fun summer.

Take Care of Equipment

When it comes time to close up your commercial pool for the season, you'll need to remove all of the equipment. This includes the filter, pump, and any other devices that are attached to the pool. Depending on the type of pool you have, there may be other pieces of equipment that need to be removed as well. Remove any ladders or steps that are in the pool. If you have a diving board, this should be removed as well. Any handrails or other objects that are in the pool should be taken out.

Make sure to turn off all pool lights, even if they are LED energy-efficient lights. Pool lights are significantly cooled by water. If they are exposed to air, they may burst after becoming too hot. Alternatively, contact with cold water also can cause these lights to crack. An ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure, so you should make sure that the water level covers pool lights in case they are accidently turned on during maintenance.

Prevent Expansion

The commercial pool area should be sealed to prevent water from collecting underground. Depending on when and how your commercial pool was built, there may be air pockets in the ground under your pool.

These air pockets can actually wreak havoc on your commercial pool. These air pockets can easily fill with water, which can freeze in colder weather. This freezing puts pressure on the pool that supports your pool. As the water expands, so does the pressure. This creates shifting and channeling of the deck, and coping can occur.

This disastrous issue is highly preventable. To ensure that water doesn’t collect underground, make sure that there are no cracks on the surface, that all joins on the pool and deck perimeter are caulked, and there are no gaps around fittings. Doing this will prevent expansion.

Balance the Water in Your Commercial Pool

Unbalanced water, on a chemical level, is quite greedy. It takes whatever it wants from anything that it touches. If your water is not balanced, there are two issues that can arise. You either get a build up of algae or calcium crystals, or you might see corrosion, which can be highly aggressive. The damage can be even more extreme when the filtration system is off, as it is in the winter. This can cause a great deal of damage, resulting in a difficult pool opening, as well as the cost of expensive repairs that could have been prevented.

A commercial aquatics operations software can help you properly balance your water. With features like the integrated dosing calculator, you can receive recommendations on the quantity and type of chemicals that are needed for your commercial pool to get and stay balanced.

Prevent Costly and Ugly Stains with Pool Winterizing Chemicals

It’s important to prevent costly and ugly stains at your commercial pool. It can be difficult to remove stains after a long season of them accumulating, so the best thing is to prevent them in the first place.

During colder weather, dissolved materials are not filtered. Metal treatment, or a sequestering agent, should be applied to the commercial pool water to prevent these metals from staining the surface. Sequestering agents also prevent hard water stains and calcium scale, which can be very costly to remove.

Additionally, each time you need an acid wash, it damages the pool and subtracts an average of an entire year off the lifespan of your plaster. That means you're essentially paying for this mistake twice- once to fix it initially with the acid wash, and once when you have to replace the plaster due to the reduced lifespan.

Prevent Algae Growth in Your Commercial Pool

To prevent algae growth during the off season, it’s necessary to use a winter algaecide. This is imperative, as algae is the number one cause of off season surface staining. Make sure that the pool is circulated before you shut it down. If you live in a warmer climate, you may need to do this during the middle of the winter seasons if the temperature does not actually drop below freezing.

There are a few things you need to do to your pool in order to winterize it. One of them is using the right chemicals. Here are some of the most popular pool winterizing chemicals:

  • Chlorine: This is one of the most important pool winterizing chemicals because it will kill any bacteria or algae that might be present in your pool. It is also important to maintain the right pH level in your pool during winter.
  • Algaecide: This chemical will help prevent algae growth in your pool during winter.
  • Clarifier: This chemical will help keep your pool water clear by removing small particles from the water.
  • pH adjuster: This chemical is important in order to maintain the right pH level in your pool.

Make sure to choose the right chemicals per your pool manufacturer. Using an aquatics operations software like VivoPoint can also help you determine which chemicals are recommended based on ongoing monitoring of your chemical balance.

How Aquatics Operations Software Helps You Winterize Your Pool

High performing pools typically have one thing in common: they use the right commercial aquatics operations software to help them manage all the moving parts of running a commercial pool and spa.

Aquatics operations software can help you winterize your commercial pool so you can have a better closing, which results in a better opening. Winterizing your pool effectively can be a tedious, time consuming job. Furthermore, without the right tools to help you, it can be easy to make mistakes that are costly and difficult to fix.

Task Management

VivoPoint allows you to set up task management for employees. This means you can set clear expectations by creating assignments and task lists. Employees are assigned tasks, which they can then accept and manage with just one tap on their phone. These easy to follow directions help employees know what they have to take care of to winterize the commercial pool, even if they're out and about on the property.

Integrated Dosing Calculator

VivoAquatics has an integrated dosing calculator, you can receive recommendations on the quantity and type of chemicals that are needed for your commercial pool to get and stay balanced.

Detailed Equipment Profile

VivoPoint's detailed equipment profile allows you to easily store all information about your equipment to keep track of what's on site, warranty information installation, and pool winterization notes. This makes it easy to take a comprehensive detailed look at all parts of your commercial pool to make sure you or your employees don't miss anything when winterizing pools.

Digital Pool Log

You can easily log your pool readings online to maintain compliance and keep your pool safe for pool winterization, as well as reduce risk. This tool is accessible wherever you are, as long as you have internet service and a connected device, making it super easy to winterize commercial pools no matter where you are in the world. 

Bottom Line

As a commercial pool owner or operator, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You have a ton of moving parts to manage during the on-season, let alone thinking of pool winterizing!

We know that winterizing a commercial pool can be time consuming, but it is necessary to avoid costly mistakes. Remember, your pool opening is only as successful as your pool closing!

Cleaning the pool properly, securing it from accidents, removing equipment, and balancing the pool are all ways to help you close your pool efficiently. It’s critical to think of both safety and the longevity of your commercial pool or spa. Taking the time to do things right can really add up in the long run, saving you time, money, and headaches.

Improve Your Pool Winterizing with VivoAquatics

Vivo Aquatics is an industry-leading aquatics management software company that's serious about pool safety, profitability, and growth.

Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you:

  • Save money
  • Increase pool safety
  • Empower and train your employees
  • Sky-rocket your revenue
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