by Rob Cox, January 16, 2011
Sunbelt Pool Winter Pool Maintenance
With so much snow covering the US this week, it's likely that your sunbelt pool may look like this one pictured. Snow covered southern states last week, bringing a chilly start to the new year.
Last week, for a short time there was some snow in all 50 states. Unusual yes, but aside from keeping the pumps running, what other tips are good to know to maintain a sunbelt pool during the winter?
Even though your pool may get little use during these winter months, it is important to maintain some degree of pool maintenance, to avoid costly repairs or chemical treatments.
In the north, and for pools even as far south as Dallas, it is common for pool owners to winterize their swimming pools. This involves lowering the water, chemically treating the water, covering the pool, and blowing all of the water out of the pipes and the pumping / filtration equipment. To keep it from freezing, you see. Alternatively, pool owners that rarely see the outside temperatures dip below freezing need to make sure that the pump(s) are running and that water is moving through all of the equipment.
If you choose not to winterize - follow these steps to ensure your pool stays protected.
1. Clean the pool regularly. Debris laying on the floor can permanently stain plaster or vinyl pool surfaces.
2. Check your pH regularly. Low or High pH conditions can harm your pool surfaces, and render your sanitizer impotent.
3. Install a freeze protection sensor, to turn on the pump automatically when temps dip below 35. Alternatively, mount an outside air thermometer alert device where you can be alerted to temperatures falling - and run outside in your bathrobe to switch on the pump!
4. Run the filter at least 4 hours per day, and keep an eye on the filter pressure. You will still need to backwash at times.
5. Keep a chlorine residual in the water. Most forms of algae will not grow in water that is less than 60 degrees, but there are strains that can! Also strains exist that lay dormant in such temps, but may catch you by surprise when the water warms up slightly.
6. Clean up the backyard, removing piles of leaves that will blow into the pool. Winter storms are common, and it's no fun to clean the pool during cold weather.
7. Partially winterize your pool by using a winter pool cover, or a leaf net to keep debris out of the pool.
If you have other tips on how to maintain your sunbelt pool during the winter, or things you have done to deal with the cold snap of 2011, please share with us below!
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