You do not have to look at a calendar to know that winter is nearly here. The days are growing shorter, the temperatures have dropped from sizzling to merely warm, and your pool water is heading towards being chilly again! Of course, as we move further into the season, the pool becomes more decorative as the cooler nights lower the water temperature even further. Before long, your swimsuits will be washed and tucked away in the back of your closet and Christmas celebrations will replace pool parties, but if you want to keep your pool in prime condition for next year, there is a little more you will need to do. We at New Image Landscape and Pools are here to help. This guide to getting your pool ready for the winter season will ensure your pool will be ready for that first dip of the 2021 pool season!
First Winter with Your New Pool?
Pools are pretty low maintenance in the winter, as we dirty humans are not spoiling the crystal clear waters with oils and dirt and the sun does not burn off the chlorine as quickly as it does in the summer, but there are still some things you will need to do to keep it looking as gorgeous as it does today. It’s time to reduce the filter pump run time, which will benefit your wallet as well! Who does not enjoy smaller electric bills? If you are curious as to why, the answer is simple: Cooler waters create a less friendly host to bacteria and algae, so there is no need to expend any extra energy!
Like a Teeter Totter
In the winter months you will discover that your chlorine demand lowers, but the pH demand rises (like a teeter totter), requiring you to keep an eye on the levels. Adding muriatic acid will keep the pH levels in check. In the summer, chlorine demand rises and pH and alkalinity lowers, as to be expected. In any case, the recommended levels run between 7.4 and 7.6. When adding muriatic acid to adjust pH, try not to add more than two cups of acid to the pool in a 24-hour period. Remember, however, these chemicals can be dangerous when mishandled, so be mindful of wet and cold days when adding the acid. The chemical can react with the moisture in the air, creating a mist that is extremely dangerous when inhaled, so wait until the weather becomes sunny and dry again to ensure safety when correcting the pH levels. Another helpful winterizing tip involves getting your alkalinity healthy before summer starts, helping you maintain a more consistent pH level. This is achieved by adding sodium bicarbonate, a substance which you may recognize by its more common name of baking soda. In doing so, you will prevent your alkalinity levels from being thrown out of whack.
Servicing Your System
We are human, and as we go into our backyards less, we tend to forget that maybe our pool might need some extra care. Out of sight and out of mind, they often get neglected, but you can lessen the damage by thoroughly servicing your system before winter begins! Flushing out your filter is the first step, followed by cleaning out your pump and skimmer baskets, and finishing up the service by balancing the chemicals to proper winter levels is a simple way to keep it clean, clear, and issue-free the entire season. The best levels will be as follows: Chlorine should 1.5 parts per million, pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6, and the alkalinity should be as close to 80 parts per million as possible.
Put It on Your Calendar
If you follow these tips, your pool should be nearly maintenance-free during the winter months, but that does not mean you can completely ignore it. Although we do not have them often in the desert, storms can blow debris into the pool, clogging baskets and your automatic pool cleaner and messing with the chemical levels. To avoid unwelcome surprises on that first warm day of the year, you can add pool check to your Google calendar, setting the timer to go off at a time when you know you will be home from work!
Keep Your Yard in Shape All year
Although these next steps involve winterizing your yard more than the pool, it does not hurt to check them off your winter to-do list as well. This is the perfect season to clean and cover your furniture, paint the trim on your gazebo, and do any necessary repairs to pool equipment or even the pool deck. Give us a call today and let’s work together on the process of winterizing your pool!