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Pools in Ottawa are, unfortunately, sometimes at the mercy of erratic weather. Here's how you can prepare for an early freeze.

Tips to Protect Pools in Ottawa from the Damage of an Early Freeze

Although the recommended pool closing time is Thanksgiving weekend, fall weather in Ottawa can be very unpredictable. It could be warm and sunny in October, or snowing before Halloween. In the event that winter comes earlier than expected and you haven’t properly closed your pool yet, it’s important to make sure your pool is safe from potential winter damage. Here are some tips to protect pools in Ottawa from an early winter freeze.

Keep the Equipment Running

If you plan to keep your pool open until October, keep the equipment running when the temperature drops to make sure the equipment and pipes won’t freeze. One of the essential parts of a pool closing is draining the pipes so they won’t freeze over the winter. But if you haven’t done this yet, keep the water pumping to avoid the costly damage of frozen, cracked pipes.

Prevent Ice Sheets from Forming

If the temperature starts to dip below zero and you haven’t closed your pool yet, use an air pillow or an ice equalizer to prevent ice from freezing solid and expanding. A homemade option is to fill milk or water jugs halfway with antifreeze or pebbles and to let the jugs float around in your pool. These will prevent any ice sheets from building and solidifying in your pool. Ice sheets are especially known to damage vinyl liners.

The expansion of solidifying ice will put pressure on your pool walls, eventually causing structural damage. Ice will also cause serious damage if it forms in the skimmer and equipment. Use skimmer covers to keep these parts of your pool safe if you haven’t lowered the water level yet.

Lower the Water Level Before A Deep Freeze

To further prevent damage to your skimmer, equipment, lines, and liner, lower the water level below the skimmer, but do not empty the pool. An empty pool can actually pop out of the ground during the winter due to hydrostatic pressure. Lowering the water is one of the many important steps of closing your pool before winter arrives.

Close your pool by Thanksgiving at the latest to avoid the potential damage from an early winter freeze. Even if you want to extend your pool season for a bit longer, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to keeping your pool in good condition. The last thing you want is to have costly pool repairs come spring, delaying the time you have to enjoy your pool next summer. And if winter comes early this year, you won’t be able to enjoy your pool anyway. So, as a precaution, keep pools in Ottawa protected from an early winter freeze.