Radiant pools are some of the most durable, long-lasting swimming pools on the market. However, they require proper winterization to prevent cracks, leaks, and so on. The good news is that the winterizing process is relatively straightforward.
To winter a Radiant pool, remove all of the debris from the water, shock it, and add algaecide to prevent algae growth. Balance the chemistry, then drain the water below the skimmer and plug each inlet and outlet. Cover the pool to prevent chlorine loss and algae growth when you’re done.
In this post, you’ll learn the step-by-step process to clean and winterize your Radiant swimming pool. You’ll also find out common mistakes you should avoid. Enjoy!
Remove All Debris From the Pool
Use a skimmer net to get rid of bugs, leaves, and other natural debris. You should also take the time to scrub the edges and remove as much algae as possible. Contrary to popular belief, algae can grow under a pool cover in the right conditions. Use a stiff bristle brush to remove the surface algae, then continue with your preferred algaecide.
It’s also important to pull out all of your rafts, floaties, and other items from the water. They can be damaged by cold temperatures. Furthermore, they’ll prevent the chlorine and algaecide from doing their jobs in the next step.
Shock the Water & Add an Algaecide
Snyder recommends adding one pound of shock per 5,000 gallons of water in your Radiant swimming pool. This is close to twice the recommended level, but it’s essential for winterizing. Not only are you removing living and dead algae, but you’re also ensuring the pool has enough chlorine for several weeks or months.
Chlorine doesn’t evaporate nearly as quickly when the water is cold. Furthermore, a winter cover will drastically reduce chemical losses.
Once the chlorine levels balance out (between 4ppm to 6ppm), you can add an algaecide. Consider copper-based algaecides since they naturally prevent algae growth for several months.
Balance the Water Chemistry
Pool owners often forget to balance the chemistry before winterizing their Radiant swimming pools. Balancing the chemistry includes checking and adjusting the following:
- Alkalinity and pH (use soda ash to increase and pool acid to decrease)
- Cyanuric acid (partially drain the water to decrease or add conditioner to increase)
- Phosphates (use phosphate removers if they’re above 300ppm)
- Calcium hardness (add pool calcium to increase or drain a foot of water to decrease)
EasyTest 7-Way Pool Test Strips check everything you need to know before winterizing your Radiant pool. Dip a strip into the water, then line it up with the bottle to know what needs to be adjusted. You’ll receive 150 test strips, which is more than enough for a couple of years of pool tests.
Drain the Pool Below the Skimmer
The water should be slightly below the skimmer inlet to prevent it from trickling into the plumbing. If cold, frozen water gets into the plumbing or the pool equipment, it can crack everything. While Radiant Pools offers extensive winter coverage plans, it’s not worth the hassle. This simple step will make a world of difference.
The best way to drain your Radiant pool to winterize it is to use a sub pump. These pumps sit a couple of feet underwater and drain the pool wherever you see fit. You can also use a garden hose to siphon the water out if you don’t have a sub pump.
Plug Each Inlet and Outlet
Radiant Pools recommends plugging every inlet and outlet throughout your pool. This includes adding styrofoam or winter-proof covers over the skimmer hole. You should also remove the skimmer basket and weir gate to prevent them from freezing (especially if you live in an extremely cold climate).
If your pool has removable hoses, store them in a dry, airtight, temperature-controlled container.
Drain the Pool Equipment
Trace amounts of moisture can freeze and crack the equipment. Open the drains at the bottom of the pump, filter, salt cell, and heater. Once all of the water is removed and the equipment is dry, insert the drain plugs to keep moisture out.
Those with hard plumbing (PVC, in most cases) should open the unions and let as much water drain out of the plumbing as possible. Much like the pool equipment, the plumbing can freeze, expand, and break.
Consider Pool Cover Pillows
While pool cover pillows aren’t required, they’re often quite useful. These pillows sit directly on top of the water. They serve the following two purposes:
- They prevent the cover from touching the water, which could freeze the cover and cause it to crack.
- They insulate the top of the water, stopping it from turning into thin ice sheets.
If you get winter pool pillows, place them in a circle near the center for the best level of elevation above the water.
Place a Winter Cover Over the Water
Winter covers are irreplaceable when winterizing any Radiant swimming pool. These covers protect your pool from debris, algae growth, chemical loss, excessive evaporation, and more. They come in numerous custom sizes, so make sure you measure your Radiant pool’s length and width to know which one is best for you.
Quick Tip: If you have a freeform Radiant pool, measure the widest and longest points for your pool cover order. You can lay the cover on top of the pool, then cut it to the correct shape. Keep in mind that you should let the cover extend over the edges to seal the outside of the pool.
If you choose a Radiant pool winter cover, they include drawstrings to fit the beaded liner throughout your pool.
Winterizing a Radiant pool is as easy as it gets. The company is so confident in its swimming pools that they offer a winter damage warranty. Make sure you partially drain, plug, and cover the water to keep it in good condition throughout the season. You can also add liquid chlorine and manually stir it with a skimmer net if you notice algae growth.