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Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Importance of Winterizing your Gunite Swimming Pool Correctly

The winters in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area can vary from mild to severe, thus making it necessary to winterize residential swimming pools to prevent the freezing of plumbing lines and expensive pool equipment.  We do have a few die hard swimmers that keep their pools open year round, but that is another topic on pool maintenance and care.

At Town & Country Pools, Inc. we take the closing of our residential swimming pools very seriously not only to keep your pool safe from damage in the winter, but also to make the opening of your pool the next season as quick and easy as possible, allowing you to swim in clean water shortly after the spring opening.

What you DON’T want your pool to look like!


First let’s start with your winter cover –

With a Loop-Loc cover your pool has a safety cover during the winter that is not only functional, but looks clean and streamlined.

Your winter cover will be the last thing put on after the winterization of your pool is complete.  It is very important not only for the proper closing of a pool but also to keep your family, pets and wildlife critters safe during the months that your pool is closed.  A mesh cover allows any melting snow or rain from collecting on your cover. Collected water presents a drowning hazard; remember pets and children can drown in only inches of water. The proper winter cover will also prevent any person or animal from falling into the cold water over the winter months, thus functioning as a safety cover.  Town & Country Pools, Inc. recommends Loop-Loc Winter Covers to all pool customers.  Loop-Loc set the standard for winter covers and we feel very strongly that every pool should have a cover in the winter that prevents any accidents from occurring.  Loop-Loc covers exceed the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard for safety swimming pool covers and have earned the UL seal of approval for safety swimming pool cover. I, for one, do not have a “Bubbles the Elephant” to walk across my Loop-Loc, but I have four dogs that have accidentally ended up on the cover a time or two.  The only problem we have had is the dogs getting static electricity –

Bubbles on a Loop-Loc winter safety cover

Bella on the Loop-Loc winter safety cover











This is a Coverstar automatic cover used during the swim season to keep your pool safe and clean.

We have been asked to service and close pools built by other contractors that claim that the pool owner can use their retractable pool cover as their winter cover.  This is not recommended and can cause extensive damage to your cover and void your warranty on the automatic cover.   We strongly encourage all pool owners to use a Loop-Loc cover on their pool during the winter. When choosing your winter cover, make sure you know what to look for.  To learn more about Loop-Loc covers go to their website.

The same pool with a Loop-Loc winter safety cover.

The proper winterization of your pool can save you money in the long run.  Improper winterization can result in the need to drain and clean the pool in the spring, which is a costly service that can be prevented by a professional winterization at closing of your pool and winter watches while your pool is closed for the season. To begin, you typically want to lower the water level approximately 18” below the deck elevation.  You never would completely drain the pool for the winter.  As a note, when a pool is drained for any reason, it should be done by a pool professional because a pool can “float” or pop out of the ground.  If a pool is ever drained ALL of the hydrostat plugs must be pulled.

Proper chemicals and chemical doses are essential for keeping the closed and stagnant pool water clear during the time it is closed.  Chemical kits can be pre-dosed for the specific water volume of your pool.

At the time of winterization, the filter components are drained of water, necessary internal parts are cleaned and drainage plugs are removed and stored.  The above and below ground plumbing lines are cleared of water by use of winterization equipment and the lines are plugged poolside.

During the winter months it is also important to conduct “winter watches” which include –

  • Checking the water level in the pool. Do not let it get up to the tile line
  • Check the clarity of the pool water and actually perform your typical chemical test
    • Keeping it acidic (pH at 7.2) helps with scale prevention
    • Make adjustments to your water chemistry when needed
    • Keep pool covers free of leaves & debris

Remember, the more preparation taken during the winterization will result in a relatively smooth opening in the spring.  These added procedures not only save time, but also save money.

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7540 Fullerton Ct. Springfield, Virginia 22153