The cold, freezing winter is off season for your pool, but that sure is no excuse to leave your pool to the elements. Lack of swimming pool maintenance during winter can result in freezing water cracking the tiles, damaging the structure, and bursting the pipes; repairing these damages, understandably, can be quite expensive. Below are three things that you can do if you are looking to keep your pool on top shape during winter.
Monitor and Maintain Your Pool Cover
One of the most important parts of pool care during winter is deploying a pool cover. This prevents litter from getting into the pool, thereby saving you time removing various debris off the water come spring. Snow and various debris can quickly accumulate on your pool cover, however, and you will need to regularly clear them out using long implements like the pool maintenance rod and brush. The cover may collapse under the weight of snow and other debris should you neglect to take this into account.
If you are using a tarp-and-waterbag system, be sure to regularly clear it of sharp debris such as pointy twigs. Do check the waterbag for holes as well as this is very prone to breaking. As such, you will need to keep water bags on hand of the existing one needs replacement. Do not fill the replacement waterbag completely, though; only fill it halfway through or ⅔ of the way to give the water room to expand during freezing.
In certain cases, though, you will need to open your pool cover. This is especially true during heavy snowfall so as to prevent damage as the cover buckles from the snow's weight.
Maintain the Water Chemistry of Your Pool
Algae and other unwanted growth can thrive in warm, dark areas like a covered pool. Opening your pool cover during warm weather can help prevent algal growth, but a more effective way to keep algae out of your pool is to maintain the water's chemistry to ideal, balanced levels. Make sure that the pH, calcium hardness, and alkalinity are at a balance before closing your pool, and then add sanitizers like chlorine to kill off these unwanted organisms.
When doing pool maintenance during winter, be sure to test your water weekly. PST Pool Supplies sells the best swimming pool test kits.
The pH level should be somewhere between 7.4 and 7.6, and you can use pH increaser or decreaser to keep the pH within this range. The alkalinity, meanwhile, must be between 100 ppm and 150 ppm, 125 ppm being the ideal level; this can shoot up, and to rectify this, you will need to add muriatic acid to lower the alkalinity to ideal levels.
Calcium hardness should be in the 200 ppm to 400 ppm range. Very low calcium hardness can result in corrosion and scaling, while on the higher extremes, this can cause cloudiness in the water. Shocking the pool is a popular way to correct this. Alternatively, you can also add a pool clarifier or flocculant, among other methods.
Monitor and Maintain Your Pool Water Level
As we all know, winter is not all about snow and frost; it can rain water in
this season and it can get warm enough at times that snow ends up melting. This
can lead to the pool water level rising, and it should concern you if the water
reaches the valves. This is not something that you should solve on your own and
risk damaging your pool and revoking its warranty; you will have to turn to
professional help if your pool needs draining.
Proper pool maintenance during winter will save you time and money. A little bit of effort put into pool care on this season will save you a lot of springtime work and can spare your pool and equipment the potential damages that winter can bring.