Owning a swimming pool is one of the best ways for you, as well as your family and friends, to enjoy the outdoors right in your own backyard. However this wonderful leisure does come with responsibilities in the winter and other off-season months. Harsh Minnesota weather can be hazardous to pools if proper care isn’t taken. Your pool is also susceptible to being a germ-creating machine during the downtime.
A vast majority of pool owners prefer to have a professional help care for their pool during the downtime in order to ensure a seamless opening once it warms up outside. However, it is possible for some of these steps to be done by the pool owners themselves. Plan Pool & Patio is here to help you with some common Do’s and Don’ts for pool owners.
DO’S For Swimming Pools During Winter
DO Regularly Check Your Systems – Whenever the temperature outside is set to drop below freezing, you need to go over the ‘behind the scenes’ parts of your pool. Check all of your pipes and any motorized parts. Water should be drained from the pump, filter, and any pool heaters. Excess water left in any pipes or equipment can freeze as the temperature drops. This can result in broken equipment and cracked pipes.
DO Take Care of the Winter/Safety Covers – Simply covering your pool up isn’t enough for the winter and off-season months. A pool cover is never just a ‘set it and forget it’ option.
- Make sure the cover fits properly to avoid dirt and debris sneaking into the pool.
- Keep the top of the cover clear of dirt, sticks, leaves, etc… These foreign objects can make their way into the pool. Dirt and stagnant water do not mix well.
- If your cover has an air pillow, keep an eye on it to ensure it isn’t deflating or going flat.
DO Know Many Pools Require Chemicals Year-Round – Again, just because you’re not swimming that doesn’t mean you need to ignore the pool.
- Algaecide – On the final day of the season, add an algaecide and let it circulate with the pump on for 24 hours. You can also do this mid-winter to ensure the green gunk stays away.
- Chlorine – Chlorine can also be added during the off-season to help with a quick and clean opening when it’s warm outside. Do not add too much chlorine or you may risk bleaching your pool liner.
- Off-season Enzymes – These enzyme cleaners will help to break down non-living organic compounds. Some common examples include animal waste and pollen.
DON’TS For Swimming Pools During Winter
DON’T Turn Filters Off For Too Long – Many pool owners make the mistake of turning their filter off before winterizing the pool. They believe that since nobody is swimming, the filter doesn’t need to be running. Your pool filter needs to be running until you’ve had a professional come out to check the pH and properly winterize your pool.
DON’T Fully Drain Your Pool – Different types of pools need varying levels of draining done in the winter months. The amount your pool needs to be drained varies greatly depending on the type of pool you have.
DON’T Ignore The Weather – A heavy bout of precipitation may find its way into your pool. This can dilute your winterization chemicals and possibly render them ineffective. This is especially true if you use a mesh pool cover.
DON’T Wait Too Long To Open The Pool – Algae loves warm water. During the off-season your pool is just standing water as the pumps and filters aren’t doing anything during the downtime. Waiting for it to get warm outside is inviting algae to bloom in the stagnant water. Open your pool up weeks before it gets warm outside. Check the pH, and get those pumps and filters running early!
Ask For Help From A Professional!
Many of the tips above can be hazardous to an untrained professional. Do not attempt anything mentioned before unless you’re absolutely sure you know the proper way to execute the steps involved. Plan Pool & Patio, LLC are experts at what we do. If you need a professional to come out and help, Contact Us today at 952-994-6032!