Your Guide to Winter Pool Feature Care
It comes every year. Winter – the season where we put the swimming pool to bed. Actually, prepping the pool for winter—or winterizing—can vary a lot depending on the climate where you live. Some parts of the country essentially keep the pool open year round, even if the water gets a little chilly. Other areas can get away with just shutting down and covering, while deep freeze zones may need to drain part of the water out to prevent damage.
Regardless, the pool must be cared for. But what about winterizing things besides the obvious like the pump, skimmer and plumbing? Specialty feature products may provide a unique challenge in winter, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. Here are some quick tips on winterizing the “other” items around the pool.
A waterfall is normally above water level, naturally, so it already has some advantages. If you are dropping the water level a lot of the water will drain back naturally, but there are a couple extra steps you can take.
— Blow out the waterfall to clean out any water inside the fixture.
— If you saved the lip protector that came with your waterfall, put it back in place to plug and protect from the elements and debris.
— For LED waterfalls, consider shutting all power at the panel to cut off all electricity to the waterfall, reducing the chance of electrical damage during winter.
Deck Jets, Fountains, Bubblers
Unlike waterfalls, fountains and jets may be closer to water level and on the deck where water can stand or gather. Or in the case of the bubbler actually underwater. These may take just a little more care.
— Do your best to blow all water out of these systems and plug or winter
— Since bubblers are usually installed in shallow water, it may be easy to drop the water level below the bubbler.
— Shut off any valves leading to these features.
— Hopefully you have good drainage around the fountains, but be sure to prevent standing water during winter as this could freeze and cause damage.
LED lights come in a couple flavors. For a traditional large light, no real special consideration is needed as long as the pool at large is winterized. But newer compact nicheless lights may require a couple extra steps.
— If the pipe is “flooded” with the light installed, remove the light and let the line drain out.
— With CMP lights, you can remove and store the light using the quick disconnect.
— If CMP lights are removed, use a CMP cap for the exposed end of the light cord and plug the pipe for winter.
Water Bowls and Fire Features
One of the newer features growing in popularity include upgrades like water bowls, fire pots and fire tables. These sit above water level like waterfalls so you are already a step ahead. But there are still a few things to consider.
— For a water or combo feature, make sure the bowl drains out when you lower the water level in the pool. Otherwise pump out water using a shop vac.
— Cover any open pots during winter to prevent water, snow and ice accumulation.
— For any fire features, cover the burners to prevent damage or water intrusion. If you plan on using the fire feature during winter, keep covered when not in use.
— If you are shutting down for winter, cut off the main gas line to the feature and keep covered.
⭐️ Tip! Spring is a great time to do regular safety checks. Get your system checked for leaks, and check ignition systems, etc.
Winterizing specialty features doesn’t have to be hard. It just might take a couple extra steps and consideration to protect the investment. Pools can easily survive winter. All we have to do is give them a little TLC.