With the fickle winter weather of North Texas, it is anyone’s guess whether you or your neighbors have chosen to winterize your pool or keep it open for the season. Many choose to keep the full system running even if they don’t plan to use it until next spring. Keeping Your Pool Open Through the Winter has some great tips on how to do so successfully.
Whether your pool is open or closed, we have some great tips for you on how to keep everything in good shape during the cooler months.
Check Your System
Excess water in your pipes and filter can lead to damage if they freeze. Remember, water expands when it freezes, which creates pressure against the inner walls of any water-filled container.
Even a brief frost can stress your pumps, pipes, and other motorized components. If you aren’t leaving the filter on regularly so the circulation prevents the water from freezing, you will save yourself costly repairs by draining excess water in the system.
You also want to check your filter gauge and your skimmers to be sure they aren’t collecting a buildup of debris. Organic matter that is left to sit all winter long can be harder to clean up, and can can promote the growth of unwanted microbes (yes, even in the cold!)
One Final Shock
Open or closed, your pool will thank you next spring if you add a final dose of chemicals to keep the water balanced. A balanced pH in your water doesn’t just give you a leg-up for spring cleaning; it’s also important for protecting your pool’s inner walls, pumps, etc.
In addition to quality algaecide, you really do need to check all the other levels before closing up shop. Too much or too little chlorine, acid, alkaline, or calcium can cause damage- especially if left untended to all winter long.
Leaving your pumps on, at least periodically, is ideal for optimal balance and circulation. However, if that isn’t a feasible option, you should let the system run for about 24 hours after your final shock treatment.
Check Your Pool Cover
Whether your pool is above ground or inground, it’s critical to be sure you’ve fully sealed the pool cover after your final bout of cleaning and skimming. Depending on the type of pool and style of cover you’ve chosen, there are several different tools and tricks to keep it in place.
Your main objective is to be sure it’s airtight to avoid debris sneaking in, and that it doesn’t droop or slip off. Snow, rain, and fallen leaves and branches can not only weigh down your cover, they can create a stewing bog of rotting organic matter if left to sit for weeks on end.
Use a spray nozzle on your hose to remove buildup of any sort, and be sure the ropes, ties, etc. you’ve used to secure the cover are still in place. Some recommend lifting a portion of the cover every now and again, just to be sure no leaves or twigs have made their way into the water.
Watch the Weather
If autumn was hotter than usual, and it looks like winter will be mild as well, you may want to check your chemical levels once more. If anything is out of balance due to consistently warm air and water temperatures, one last shock treatment may be beneficial.
Additionally, if you see that a long and hard freeze is on its way, this may be the time to double-check for brittle pumps or excess water. If you’re bracing for heavy precipitation, go ahead and tighten up your pool cover as needed, and be sure any unneeded furniture or equipment have been moved into storage.