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Winterize Your Backyard Pool

by Francine Huff, All About Lawns Columnist

Cooler weather means it's time to close up the backyard swimming pool for the winter as part of your lawn care schedule. Whether you take the DIY route or hire a pool company to perform this task, here are three things involved with properly closing a pool.

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Check Local Laws
Make sure you comply with any regulations your local water and sewer agencies may have about draining backyard pools. If you violate any laws you may be hit with a fine. Not all pools need to be completely drained every year so get expert advice if you're not sure whether yours needs it.

Stabilize the Water
The water must be stabilized at least 24 hours before draining a backyard pool. Any debris or algae buildup on the surface or on the liner should be vacuumed before adding any chemicals. After the water is stabilized the water should be drained to so that it's about 4 inches below return lines and skimmers. Be sure to drain all the water so that water lines don't freeze and crack over the winter.

Seal up Drain
You'll want to store any ladders, diving boards, pumps, or water purifiers inside a shed or garage. The power should be turned off and the main drain sealed up with an air lock. Any water still in the drain should be below the frost line. Install a cover over the pool to catch any leaves or other debris.

If pool care isn't part of your DIY fall lawn care schedule, a pool company may charge at least $70 to $150 to drain it. Draining pools with stains and problems could run $150 to $800 depending upon the situation.

With some advanced planning, knowledge of local laws, and some effort, closing down the backyard pool should be a breeze this winter.


About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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