Temperatures are dropping, and leaves are falling. Autumn is here, and that means it’s time to start thinking about closing your pool for the upcoming winter season. You may have a few days this fall that are warm enough to still enjoy a float in the swimming pool, but temperatures may drop fast, and you need to be prepared to ensure your pool will survive the harsh winter months. Here are eight fall pool maintenance tips that will protect your pool this season:
Skim the Water
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you should stop skimming your pool for leaves and debris. Whether you will be taking a dip or not this fall, make sure you remove any debris floating in the water. Fall foliage can encourage algae growth in the water, staining the pool’s sides and bottom. A daily routine of running a skimmer through the pool can prevent this growth of algae.
Time Closing the Pool Right
Closing your pool too early can also cause algae to grow in your pool. To prevent this from happening to you (and making your job of opening the pool again next spring harder), wait to close the pool until the water temperature is consistently lower than 65 degrees.
Give It a Scrub
A good pool cleaning can prevent algae growth and makes your job easier when it’s time to open the pool again for another summer. Make sure you brush the bottom and sides of the pool and then run the vacuum before you cover it for fall and winter.
Test the Water
In addition to having the right temperature before closing the pool for the winter, you’ll also want to ensure the pH levels are in a good range. The pH levels should be between 7.4 and 7.6, and the alkalinity should be around 100 to 150 ppm. It’s best to take a pool water sample to a local pool installation company to ensure the water is ready for closing time.
Add the Chemicals
Now, it’s time to add the winterizing chemicals, which include a pH increaser, chlorine, chlorine shock, and winter algaecide. Because the chlorine will destroy the algaecide, you will want to add the chlorine to the pool five to seven days before you want to close your pool. Then, right before you cover it, you’ll want to add the winter algaecide.
Store the Filter and Pump
Drain the pool pump, then remove the pump and all the hoses. This equipment will last longer if it is stored during the winter season.
At this time, you will want to clean and remove the pool filter. Ideally, it should be stored inside with the pool pump, but if it’s too heavy, this may not be possible.
Lower the Water Level (Possibly)
There is a lot of debate about whether a swimming pool’s water level should be lowered or not during fall pool maintenance. The answer comes down to the type of pool you have installed in your backyard.
For above-ground pools, you do not need to drain the pool as long as you remove the hose from the skimmer and place a cover plate over it.
For in-ground pools, you will not need to drain the pool if you have a pool expert blow out the pipes and place a rubber piece in the skimmer to protect it from the cold. However, if you have tile on the sides of your pool, you will want to lower the water level to about four inches below the tile to protect it from damage.
Cover the Pool
Remove any pool accessories (ladders, floating thermometers, pool floats, toys, etc.), and then inspect your pool cover to ensure there are no holes. Now, secure the pool cover in place.
‘Tis the Season for Closing Your Pool
Proper fall pool care can prevent issues when opening your pool again the following spring. These steps may be a little more involved, but the payoff is worth it.
If you don’t have a swimming pool in your backyard yet, there’s still time! We can transform your backyard into an oasis with our Bucks County, PA, pool installation services. And, yes, we install pools in the fall! We also install cement patios and walkways to create the home you’ve always dreamed of having. For more information about our range of services, reach out to us today.