Winterizing

This time of the year is a sad time for many pool customers in our area. With winter around the corner and the kids back to school, many are looking to close their pool down for the season. Sometimes a heat pump can extend the swim season in this area, but with no heater, the water temperature drops quickly this time of the year. There is no perfect time to close the pool. Keep an eye on the weather in your area. Indian summers are a possibility in this area. To avoid any issues when opening, close later then you think you may need to. Add liquid Chlorine or Algaecide again if you see the weather is hot after you close the pool down for the season.

There are many different ways to close down a swimming pool for the year chemically. What we have found works best is balancing the water chemistry, a dose of a natural enzyme, shock, Scale & Stain control, as well as an Algaecide. Some of these chemicals can die quickly due to high chlorine levels in the water. It is best to have your chlorine level brought up to an acceptable range so that you can shock with a non chlorine shock, allowing the enzymes and Algaecide to work to their full potential. Generic closing kits typically contain a non chlorine shock and a low percentage Algaecide.

Pillows, water tubes, plugs, pool covers and cover clips… Pool pillows are meant to go under Above Ground pool covers to produce a trough around the pool to allow for easy removal of water on the cover itself. Some find them to be a nuisance, if you prefer no pillow, you may just have to drain the water off the cover more often. It is extremely important to drain the water off of the pool cover, not just for the life of the pool walls, but also for the life of your winter cover. There are instances where if the water isn’t drained off the cover, the weight from the water on the cover will push the water inside your pool up and over the pool wall causing most customers to think they have a leak in their pool over the winter.

Water tubes are typically for customers who have In Ground Pools. They are used to secure the cover to the deck surrounding the pool. Above Ground pools could also use these if they have decks around their pool. Do not fill the water tubes all the way, water expands when it freezes and will cause the water tube to burst over the winter. It is important to use the proper plugs to close your pool properly. Your closest pool professional should be able to assist with this, there are different sized plugs for different openings. Pool Covers are usually 3-5 feet larger than the pool size, this is to ensure there is room for draping. Cover clips are used on Above Ground pools to connect the cover to the coping. If you are doing this all the way around the pool then typically a cable and winch is not needed. This stops too much wind from getting up underneath the cover. Cover Clips are ideal for those in windy areas.

Be sure to adjust your Alkalinity and Ph; Leaving the water too acidic can wreak havoc on your pool surface over the winter.

Salt Water Swimming Pools

 Just think about being on the beach, walking along the sand…then looking up at all the houses that are being pounded by the salt water. Think about winter storms and the importance of cleaning your car after the salt adheres to the finish.  While most people want Salt Systems AKA Chlorine generators attached to their pool, they do not realize the future damage being done to the surface and the underlining of the pool, which is caused by the 100’s of pounds of salt being added to the water. Most Above Ground pools actually void the warranty if the home owner attaches a chlorine generator.

     If you are thinking about salt, ask yourself why? Do you think it is non chlorine? Because it’s not. Do you think it is better for the environment? It’s not, some states actually prohibit pool owners from draining their salt pools because they are afraid of salt getting into the streams, rivers, and creeks. Do you think it’s maintenance free? Because it’s not. Do you like the way the water “feels”? There are other products that can give you that same feel, without spending thousands of dollars on a salt system. A chlorine level still needs to be maintained and typically a higher one than just straight Chlorine. Battling PH is also another issue salt customers run into due to the High PH of the liquid Chlorine the generator is making. Concrete/ Gunite customers, not only will you be fighting a high PH with a concrete pool, but now you will also be fighting PH fluctuations due to the Chlorine you are generating. You also need to stay away from Calcium Hypo shocks which can cause scaling on the generator. Scaling can also be caused by high PH levels and phosphates! Even fiberglass pools can be affected by Salt pools, scaling can end up covering the fiberglass shell if proper levels are not maintained. The cells need to be cleaned and a monthly maintenance product should be used as well to help prevent any scaling. The pool will still need to be shocked with either a liquid chlorine or a non chlorine shock when organics start building up in the water. Just be sure you are aware of all the options as well as the pro’s and con’s before making a decision. 

     There are so many different options for chemically maintaining a pool that do not involve the maintenance and corrosiveness of salt/chlorine generators. 

  1. UV/Ozone systems, you treat your drinking water with UV/Ozone, why not your pool water?
  2. Pristine Blue, which is a liquid copper based product added every other week and a non chlorine shock is also used weekly.
  3. The Frog Mineral system, which allows you to use less Chlorine than public drinking water to sanitize the water along with a non Chlorine shock.
  4. Baquacil, which is a soap based sanitizer and a Hydrogen Peroxide shock. 
  5. Bromine, which is slightly less harsh than straight Chlorine.
  6. Good old fashioned Chlorine tablets! 

     Regardless of what you choose to sanitize your water, it is always important to also oxidize/shock your pool every 7-10 days, after heavy bather loads, and heavy rainfall. Outside contaminants get into the water and will eventually build up over time causing some people to wish they never owned a pool. Even if the water is clear, SHOCK. A non chlorine shock can be used, this will still oxidize the water without raising your chlorine level. 

   Below are a few examples of the damage Salt can cause to a pool surface. 

First blog post

We as a pool store wanted to do something different. As a home owner it is hard to know you are getting the best information out there when it comes to maintaining your pool that you and your family swim in summer after summer. We proudly have employees who have been with this company for many years and who have a plethora of knowledge, some that was learned through experience, and some that was obtained through experimenting and research. We hope that through this blog, consumers can be given unbiased advice by pool professionals!