Before you shut down your pool, you need to test the chemical levels of your pool using a chemical testing kit. You are going to want to test the calcium hardness, alkalinity and pH levels.
If the chlorine levels in your pool are too high, it could mess up the results of your pH and alkalinity tests, so be sure to add some chlorine neutralizer to your pool. Add the neutralizer the night before you test the chemicals; this will allow time for the neutralizer to circulate in your pool before you run your tests.
Testing the chemical levels in your pool will allow you to determine what type of chemicals you need to add to your pool during the winterization process. Ideally, you want the pH to be between 7.4- 7.6, alkalinity between 80-120 ppm and calcium hardness between 180 -220 ppm.
Next, clean the inside of your pool. Purchase a biodegradable pool cleaner to clean the inside of your pool. Use it to scrub along the waterline.
Clean the pool filter and make sure that it is free of all debris. You may want to install a new filter for the winter.
Once your pool is clean and you have re-filled your pool with water, it is time to add winter chemicals to your pool. Winter chemical pool kits include chlorine as well as a special algaecide. Algaecide is designed to kill off algae already in your pool and prevent future growth.
Remember to put the chlorine shock and algaecide in at different times. If you put them in at the same time, the chlorine will break down the algaecide and prevent it from working correctly.
With the warm days slowly starting to slip away, it is time to start thinking about winterizing your pool, especially if you live somewhere where it gets below freezing. Winterizing your pool will protect your pool equipment and make it easier for you to get your pool ready again next spring.