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How To Winterize A Pool Heater

The joy of having a pool heater is enjoying a swim even as the days start to turn a bit colder. But eventually you will have to close up for winter. Give your heater some special consideration while you winterize your pool. Improperly winterizing your heater can lead to damages. But, with proper care some heaters will last for a decade or more. Follow these tips and you can help keep your pool heater in optimal condition.

Protecting Your Pool Heater During Light Freezes

With Canada’s unpredictable weather we bet you have closed your pool before, only to have perfect swimming weather within the next few days. While this may be frustrating, it’s worth the risk - you need to be careful not to freeze your pipes by waiting too long to close your pool, even if you have a pool heater.

Winterizing Your Heater

When it comes time to close your pool, make sure you take the time to properly winterize your pool heater with these simple steps:

  • 1) Turn the gas off - And double check that it’s off! You should have two gas valves: one inside the heater and another on the gas line feeding the heater. There are two so that if one fails or leaks then the other will not lead to a build-up of gas. Which could lead to an explosion.
  • 2) Turn off the heater - Not all heaters require this step, but turn off the electrical breaker if your heater is connected to one.
  • 3) Open the pressure switch - There are two nuts that connect to the top of the pressure switch. Loosen these, but you do not need to remove the pressure switch entirely.
  • 4) Open the drain plugs - Remove all of these plugs and put them in a safe location. Keeping track of the drain plugs before you re-open your pool in spring is very important. Plastic drain plugs can be removed and do not need to be reinstalled until you re-open your pool. Removing brass drain plugs is more challenging (especially if the metal breaks) but keep track of these plugs too as they will need to be reinstalled once you’ve finished winterizing the heater.
  • 5) Blow out the heater - This final step removes the standing water from the heater. A shop vacuum and a leaf blower are both tools you can use for this task. Unions on the inlet and outlet ports of the heater are the best options for blowing through, otherwise you can open the system in the closest place to the heater (make sure you don’t blow through the filter). Most of the water will blow out immediately, but continue to blow for five minutes to make sure you have removed all the water. Then, blow from the opposite side for five minutes. Once you have finished, reconnect whatever you needed to disconnect for access.

At the end of the day, winterizing your pool heater is a simple yet essential process. It must be attended to meticulously so your pool equipment remains in good condition and lasts as long as intended to!

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