It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, and the temperatures are dropping, and you’re probably thinking about how to protect your pool. Will your pool survive winter? With a little preparation, your pool can make it through the cold months and be ready for swimming when spring arrives. But what preparation is needed? And how can you be sure your pool will survive the winter? The answer to those questions depends on where you live in the country. If you live in a warmer climate, you may not have to do anything at all to prep the pool, just keep it properly cleaned and balanced throughout winter.
Do you need to close the pool?
If you’re in a colder climate, it’s probably time to start thinking about closing the pool for the season. But if you live in a warmer climate, you might be able to keep the pool open a little longer. Here are some things to consider when making your decision.
Average days below freezing for your area
Consecutive hours your area may be below freezing
Do you have a electricity backup in case you lose power
Warm weather climate or cold weather climate
I am in Texas, a warm weather climate. We may only have few instances where we drop below mid 20 degrees. And some of those times it is only for a few hours, so the water doesn’t have time to freeze. Of course there are exceptions to everything. February 2021 our area had temperatures in the single digits for about 4 days straight and people lost electricity during this time which caused a lot of issues. But this is the exception, and not the norm.
If your area’s norm is similar to the exception I just described, you are likely in a cold weather climate. You will have to use your best judgement on how to proceed.
Warm weather climate
Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are a few of the states that would be considered a warm weather climate. For these areas, winterizing a pool is not something that is normally done. It is business as usual for these areas.
Why you need to clean your pool in winter?
When the weather outside is frightful, the last thing you want to do is clean your pool. But if you don’t, you may be in for a nasty surprise come springtime. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to clean your pool in winter:
Algae and bacteria can grow in colder water temperatures
Leaves and other debris can fall into your pool and contaminate the water
Your pool cover can collect dirt and debris over the winter months
Leaves can stain your plaster if just left there all winter
Taking the time to clean your pool in winter will pay off come springtime when you can enjoy a refreshing dip in crystal-clear water. In my area, the kids start swimming around mid March during spring break. Of course, that is only the kids, adults generally prefer the warmer water in June.
Maintaining water quality: chemicals and filtration
During winter swim season is over, but it’s still important to make sure your pool is properly maintained. This means ensuring the right chemicals are used and the water is filtered properly.
Chlorine is one of the most important chemicals for keeping your pool clean. It helps to kill bacteria and other contaminants that can make you sick. However, too much chlorine can also be harmful. That’s why it’s important to test the chlorine levels regularly and adjust as needed.
Filtration is also key to maintaining water quality. Be sure to clean your filter regularly to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants. This will help keep your pool water clean and clear all season long.
Freezing temperatures and your pool
Most all pool control systems have freeze protection. You may be thinking what is freeze protection? Well, the system has a thermometer and once the temperature reaches a certain point the pool equipment is turned on.
That is freeze protection, the moving water in the pipes will not freeze. Not likely, at least. At some point, depending on temperature and speed water is moving, even moving water can freeze, but I’ll leave that to the physics people. Depending on which pool control system you have there are options for temperature settings and speed settings. Check your owners guide for more info, or leave a comment at the bottom of this article.
Cold weather climate
New York, Michigan, and Iowa are a few of the states that would be considered cold weather climates. For these area, winterizing your pool is suggested.
How to winterize your pool
The overall goal here is to remove water from places where if it were to freeze, it could cause expensive repairs.
Drain the filter, open the air relief valve.
Drain the pumps, remove the drain plugs and lid.
Empty the pool below the skimmers.
Blow the pipes out to clear all the water in them.
Cover the pool with a cover that fits well and prevents any debris from getting into the pool.
Are above ground pools more susceptible to winter damage?
Yes. Because the water is above the ground it is exposed to the much colder air temperatures. For both warm and cold weather climates, I would suggest draining it completely. That way to provide peace of mind, even though it may withstand a warm weather winter without incidence.
Your exact preparation is unique to you and your area. Use this as a guide to help you decide your preferred method of preparation. To recap, for warm weather climates is very little or non-existent. For cold weather climates, preparation can be a process of fully winterizing your pool. Follow this guide and you set yourself help for a quick pain free start to next year’s pool season.
Rann Parsons is the owner of Parsons Pool Service. An award winning pool service company in Weatherford, Texas that provides weekly pool cleaning and maintenance for both residential and commercial pools.