The winter months are cold in Utah, which means your outdoor pool is probably going to be closed for the season. To prevent the need for extensive maintenance come spring and summer next year, though, you will want to follow some best practices for fall and winter pool care. Taking care of it early and maintaining it throughout the winter months can ensure that your pool is ready as soon as the weather is.
Cold temperatures in the water will reduce the rate of reproduction for microorganisms in the pool, but that doesn’t mean it will stop altogether. Since you won’t be circulating water during the winter months, the chlorine will eventually degrade to the point that it won’t be doing much. If you cover the pool without treating it, you may find a big surprise (and a dirty pool) come spring. Use winterizing chemicals with biocidal properties such as algaecides to keep pH levels as close to normal as possible. Add these things about 24 to 48 hours before closing the pool and run the pump for a couple of days to circulate it throughout.
Including chlorine in the water prior to closing the pool will help prevent bacteria, but it’s important not to go overboard when adding it. If you’re thinking more is better because you won’t be able to add it for a while, keep in mind that excess chlorine can bleach the pool liner. When you open the pool again come spring, you may need to add chlorine and wait a few hours or even a couple of days so it can clear up green water.
Extremely cold weather is not good for pipes or equipment that contain water because water expands when it freezes. Drain all the water out of the pipes and pool equipment (filter, pump, and heater) before the weather turns cold—even if your equipment is in a heated area, keep in mind that the pipes that go out to the pool are exposed to the cold. You should also reduce the volume of water in the pool so it doesn’t get into the skimmer where it might freeze.
Adding a pool cover can keep dirt, debris, leaves, and more out of the pool, plus make it safer for kids and animals—if your pool is not completely frozen, but it’s covered by a layer of snow or ice, animals or kids might try walking on it and fall in. Keep it clean by hosing it off before the cold weather comes.
Many Utah pool owners think they need to wait until the weather is warm enough for swimming before they open the pool, but the sooner you can get it open, test the water, add chemicals, and wait for the water to clear, the sooner your pool will be “open for business”. If you wait until warm weather to do all of this, you’ve given bacteria and algae more time to grow, and now you’ll have to give up a few precious days of warm weather to get it clean.
If you have questions about how to care for your pool or need some help getting it ready for winter, call the Utah pool experts at Dolphin Pools today.