When the temperatures begin to fall, it’s important to make some adjustments for how you care for your pool. If you look after your pool during the fall and winter months, it’s going to reduce the work you have to do in the spring to get things back up and running again. Some tips to use for your offseason swimming pool care can be found here.
Make Sure the Timing is Right
If you close your pool too early in the season, this will actually encourage algae growth, which will make your job more difficult when spring comes again. You can make your life much easier if you wait until late in the summer or even early fall to begin preparing your pool for dormancy.
If you have a heated pool, then you can even wait until October. It’s a good rule to follow to wait until the water is at a constant temperature of 65 degrees or lower before you close it. Also, begin the process of closing the pool about a week before it’s actually closed.
Remove all Leaves and Debris
Be sure you regularly skim the leaves and any other debris off the surface of the water. While this is something you do regularly when the pool is use, you may let it fall by the wayside when temperatures are cooler – but don’t!
If you skip skimming the surface of your pool, it may lead to a murky or even green colored pool because of the increased growth of algae and bacteria in the water. Also, leaves that build up on the bottom of the pool can stain the sides and bottom, which in turn attracts even more algae growth.
Keep Track of the Weather
When the seasons start to change, it’s important to keep track of what’s going on with the weather. With more rainfall (which can be common during the fall months) the chemicals in the pool may become diluted. If you add more chemicals to the water, it’s going to help keep algae growth at a minimum and keep the water cleaner.
Adjust the Pool’s Pump
The falling temperatures will affect how long you should run your pool’s pump. A common rule to follow is to run the pump for approximately one hour for every ten degrees the temperature outside is. For example, if the average temperature for the day is 70 degrees, you need to run your pump for seven hours.
Make Any Needed Repairs
During the months when you are regularly using your pool, it’s challenging to get any type of maintenance or repair work done. After all, you don’t want to shut the pool down when you could be using it. However, during the fall or winter, the pool isn’t used, so this makes it the ideal time to make any repairs that are needed. This will also help and reduce the possibility of a breakdown or malfunction next summer.
Consider Shocking the Pool
This doesn’t refer to going skinny dipping (though that may shock your neighbors if they see you). Instead, it refers to a chemical treatment that will speed up or essentially “shock” the cleaning process of the water. This is particularly beneficial if you have a pool that usually has lower levels of chlorine, algae, or cloudy water.
Is Draining the Pool Necessary?
There is some debate around the topic of whether you should reduce your pools water level or drain it completely during the winter. The issue relates to protecting the skimmer and keeping it from cracking because of freezing temperatures.
If you have an above-ground pool, you should remove the hose off the skimmer and then use a winter skimmer cover plate. This will eliminate the need to drain your pool. In fact, if you do this, leaving it at a normal level will be best.
For inground pools, the needs are somewhat different. The best bet you have is to hire a professional to blow out the pipes. They can use a rubber insert to protect the skimmer from any potential damage when the temperatures are freezing. If this is something that is done, you won’t have to drain your pool.
If there are tiles on the sides of your pool, it’s a good idea to lower the water level to approximately four inches under the tile, which will help prevent damage.
Make sure you also remove any ladders or other pool accessories and store them away during the colder months of the year. By following these tips, you can feel confident your pool will come through the colder months unscathed.