Winter Pool Maintenance
Anyone living in Georgia understands our wild weather. Most of the winters in Georgia are mild, with little to no snow or ice. Many pool owners in our area enjoy leaving their swimming pool open year round. Leaving a pool open means your pool equipment (pump, filter, heater and any other equipment your may have) is operating and allowing the pool to function. As well, that means you do not have a cover over the pool.
Tips For Winter Pool Care
- Once a week you should test your water. You should check your sanitizer, pH, total alkalinity, calcium (cooler weather is a great time to adjust calcium because it will not cloud the water as it does in warm weather), and CYA. Remember, once the water cools, a salt system will stop generating the chlorine and you will need to use regular shock/sticks to sanitize your pool water.
- During the fall months when leaves are falling, it is very important to keep your skimmer baskets emptied. If your pool is surrounded by trees, you may need to empty the baskets several times a week. Do not allow the skimmer baskets to become packed with leaves and organic material that stop the water flow of your pool. Also, you need to keep the leaves and debris skimmed and vacuumed out of your pool. Do not allow leaves to lay on the surface of your pool, as organic material causes staining.
- Monitor your pool equipment. If you have a sand filter, you will still need to backwash your filter like you normally do. Watch you pressure gauge and backwash as it is needed. If you have a cartridge or D.E. filter, you will need to clean those filters as well, with leaves and organic material falling into the pool.
- If you leave your pool open, in the event that temperatures are going to fall below 32 degrees, you need to have your freeze guard set to turn on at 35 degrees, before the temperatures reach freezing. If you do not have a timer with freeze guard, you will manually turn on your equipment and allow it to run till the temperatures rise above 35 degrees. Doing this will protect your pool and equipment from freeze damage, as moving water can't freeze.
- It is very important to monitor your pool water level. In the fall and winter months, many homeowners forget to add water to their pools. If the pool water drops out of the skimmer, you can burn up your pump motor. This is easy to prevent by watching your water level.
- As well, you need to make sure that you brush your pool walls, tile area, steps and ladder to prevent unwanted algae growth. Also, make sure you add your routine maintenance algicide.
- I also recommend that you keep your pool deck area blown off all year, whether your pool is open or the pool has a cover on it. If you have a cover on the pool you want to make sure leaves, debris and water are off the cover to prevent it from falling into the pool.
Keeping your pool open makes your outdoor living space look beautiful. As well, if you have your home on the real estate market, you need to keep it open so future buyers can see the pool works and that it is beautiful, not a closed up eyesore. Finally, it is important to take time to clean your pool and chemically balance it in the off months so you do not open to a green pool in the spring months.