It is surprising how many people think that looking after their pool just involves flicking the filter pump on once a week, sweeping the leaves out before you get in, and throwing a bit chlorine in occasionally.
Even those that are quite pedantic about daily monitoring of their pools Ph levels and ensuring that their robot cleaner is working effectively often miss quite important aspects of their pool cleaning, repair and maintenance.
Empty, Maintain or Grow Frogs? Should You Winterize Your Pool?
California is pretty temperate, and if you don’t mind a brisk wake up, many people do continue to swim in the pools in the middle of winter – more so if they have a pool heater.
However, if you’re not going to use your pool over the late fall and winter months you will need to consider what you are going to do with it and whether you need to call in the experts for help or advice.
While people in cooler climates will winterize their pool for several months, Californians may only be without pleasant swimming conditions for a few months, which may change what you want to do with your large body of water.
Yes, just leaving it is an option, although not a particularly brilliant one, with people who fall into this category opting for one of two methods: drain it completely or leave it to go green. Both options will require you to clean your pool, pump and filters thoroughly before you will be able to go swimming in crystal clear water again.
You will of course also need to refill your pool with water… and that is a lot of water wastage coming into potential drought season.
If you go this route, you may be saving yourself the cost of maintenance over the winter period, but you will likely spend that in pump repairs and in the time and energy you’ll spend getting yourself set up for spring swimming season.
However, if you are going to be swimming, just not as often you may simply want to adjust your maintenance routine. This is something that will need to be customized based on your area, foliage in the vicinity and how often you are wanting to go swimming, as increasing the level of chemicals you add to avoid using the filters as often is unadvisable (see here).
This is a prime example of when you should call in the professionals as there are quite a few variables and they will be able to offer solutions that will ensure you are able to keep swimming right through winter.
Generally, the major issue for maintenance in fall is going to be falling leaves and debris which cause algae growth, so if you have an easy to use leaf net that can be in place on the days that you’re not swimming this might be a good long term investment.
What Is Winterizing A Swimming Pool?
If you are not going to be swimming at all over the colder months, then your best option is usually going to be to ‘winterize’ your pool. You can do this yourself, or you can call in the professionals who will make sure it is done exceptionally well.
Although there will be variations, generally all you are looking at is ensuring that you have first thoroughly cleaned your pool of any debris. You should have spotless surfaces. Any debris left in the water or stuck to the bottom is going to decay over the winter period, and this is going to cause problems when you want to reopen your pool in summer.
Your next step will involve adding a high dose of chemical treatment to the water and ensure that this is mixed in well. This will help to kill any bugs that are already starting to enjoy their winter swim, and make sure that none grow.
You will also need to look after your filtration and pump system, following the manufacturers advice on how best to winterize your system.
Your final step will be to place a full cover that is able to go across your entire pool and over the sides. There should be no way for dirt or debris to slip under your cover. In addition to a cover you might like to think about using a leaf net if you have a lot of trees nearby, this can be pulled off at the start of winter taking all the leaves that fell during fall, leaving you with a clean cover that isn’t going to decay due to rotting leaf material.