FALL AND WINTER POOL MAINTENANCE
There are some very important steps to take in order to have a relatively relaxed fall and winter with your pool. In the first section of this article, we will be talking about Fall in particular and the amount of leaves that will be falling into your pool. The second part will discuss the winter months maintenance geared mainly to the people that have to close their pool for the winter.
Fall Pool Maintenance:
In reality, Fall Pool Maintenance is really no different than any other DIY pool maintenance routine throughout the year. There are some things that are important to pay attention to during the fall, especially if you have heavy foliage or trees near the pool. As the temperature changes, the leaves will begin to fall. I am going to list a few best practice for the Fall season
Check and empty your skimmer baskets at least 2 times per week. This is important because a full skimmer basket can restrict the flow to the pump, and potentially causing both pump issues and algae build up from lack of flow.
Remove all heavy leaf and debris from the bottom of the pool as soon as possible. It may be necessary to use a leaf net to remove the heavy debris more than once a week. Removing the heavy leaf debris from the bottom of the pool often limit the likelihood that you will have organic stains at the bottom of your pool.
If you remove a heavy amount of leaf debris from your pool and you see a small amount of organic stain, immediately add some additional chlorine. Adding shock – diluted in a bucket and concentrated over the area will remove the stains and you can move forward quickly. If you leave these organic stains in the pool, without immediate treatment, you will need to do a Pool Stain Treat treatment on your pool.
Winter Pool Maintenance:
If you are in an area that doesn’t require closing your pool, then routine pool maintenance should be continued. Check your chemicals and brush weekly. If you have to close your pool, then the following information will make your life a little easier.
If you are preparing to close your pool, it is important to test your water chemistry. You will want to make sure that your pH and total alkalinity are within the proper range before lowering your water level.
It is time to lower your water level. The water level should be lowered to a few inches below your returns, this will allow all the water from the pipes to flow back to the pool.
Now that the water level is lowered below the returns we must remove the plugs from the equipment. Most pumps will have 1 maybe 2 threaded plugs underneath the pump basket that will have to be removed. This will allow the water to flow out of the pump basket. If you have a booster pump, there is typically a plug at the bottom of the front of the pump that will need to be removed.
BEST PRACTICE – open the pump basket and place the plugs that you have removed into the pump basket, with the lid laying loosely over the top. If you have a heater, there will be a plug where the in and out flow is from the filter. The filter would be the last one I would drain. Open the air release valve and then remove the drain plug on the bottom of the filter. Place the drain plug in the pump basket as well.
Once all the plugs have been removed, remember to turn off the power to your pool equipment. Some pool equipment sets have freeze guard protections that will turn on the equipment when the temperature dips below 35 degrees. We do not want this to happen, as it could damage your equipment.
It’s time to add additional chemicals to your pool. I recommend a bottle of No Mor Problems, an excellent algae preventative with 2lbs of shock or 2 gallons of liquid chlorine per 10,000 gallons of pool water – this is when normally filled. As an example: if you have a 20,000 gallon pool, add 1 bottle of No Mor Problems and 4lbs of shock or 4 gallons of liquid chlorine. I understand that the water is not circulating and also below the returns. We are trying to limit the amount of algae that your pool may have when you open in spring. Once you’ve added the chemicals, it is important to brush the pool completely. When you brush completely it will serve 2 purposes, the first is to circulate the pool water and second to further dilute the chlorine so that it is not sitting on the bottom of the pool.
Cover the pool.
If the water doesn’t completely freeze during the winter, it is a best practice to brush the pool once a week if possible and easily accessible and add some additional chlorine.
Following these steps will help you maintain a clean and manageable pool through the fall and winter.