You closed your swimming pool for the season, and you are all set to enjoy the slopes this winter, right? Hold on; outdoor swimming pools are not maintenance free during the winter months! Check out our maintenance guide for outdoor swimming pool owners during the winter months below.
First, we always recommend a Certified Service Technician winterize your swimming pool. It is easy to forget the considerable amounts of plumbing located below the surface after a pool is complete. The photo to the side shows one section of a typical swimming pool’s underground piping.
Keep your winter stress and worry free knowing your plumbing, equipment, skimmer(s) and liner or surface will be damage free come spring when a Certified Service Technician closes your swimming pool.
Next, let’s discuss important maintenance swimming pool owners must do during the winter months.
Keep Water and Debris Buildup Off Your Swimming Pool Cover
Heavy snow load or rainfall can "destroy fabric, metal, and/or concrete... most covers are strong enough not to tear, but the track will come off. In extreme cases the cement coping or pool wall may give way," writes the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP). A collapsed cover can cause thousands of dollars in needed repairs as well as a safety hazard for you and your family.
A gallon of water weighs 8.33 pounds, a few inches of rain can quickly become a ton! For help removing water from your cover, we recommend investing in a cover pump.
Once the snow and ice have formed, it is nearly impossible to remove. Pool owners must keep proper water levels to help support the burden that may be on top of the cover.
Pool owners with waterbag-type covers also need to check the waterbags monthly to ensure they are holding and have not moved.
Think about investing in a safety, winter cover. Our safety covers have an advantage over typical waterbag-type covers as they are all self-draining. Made from tough fabrics, our covers will relieve you from time-consuming off-season cleaning. You will also save on costly seasonal maintenance such as painting and plastering, and you will eliminate the need for messy spring clean ups. Call us to chat about safety, winter cover in detail.
Monitor Your Pool's Water Level
Inspect the pool's water level monthly and adjust as needed. Low water level can put extra strain on your pool's cover and also cause it to collapse. Low water can even pull an already loose vinyl liner from its tracking.
Some companies recommend lowering your pools water level to below the skimmer during the closing process. Because of our location, we do not recommend this as it adds tension to your cover. Again, this is why we always suggest a Certified Technician winterize your pool for the season.
Loss of water during this time may indicate a leak in the pool body. Monitor the amount of water loss and report to your technician with Leisure Pool and Spa. Your technician will determine the best repair approach come spring, but it is the pool owners responsibility to nurse the water level until that time.
Ensure your Breaker Stays OFF
A labeled breaker will prevent a family member or service provider from accidentally turning on your pool/spas breaker. For extra safety, homeowners can invest in a breaker lockout device; you can purchase this appliance at any local hardware store.
Store Your Unused Pool/Spa Chemicals Correctly and Safely
You spent money on your pool/spa chemicals and testing reagents, why not ensure they last into the next swimming season? Proper storage also protects you and your family from potential harm. Always refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for best storage practices. For more information on how to safely store your pool/spa chemicals refer to the video below.
Dispose of Partially Used and Spent Chemicals
Some types of pool/spa chemicals are considered hazardous waste and pool owners cannot throw them away. Always read the manufacturers label before disposing of pool/spa chemicals.
NEVER store partly used pool/spa chemicals. Storage of partially used chemicals is dangerous as "wet chlorine, or bromine products can produce toxic and corrosive fumes," says the APSP.
Go to www.earth911.org for the address, phone number and operating hours of a nearby hazardous waste recycling center. Always check the manufacturer's expiration date and inspect for open or unlabeled containers. Use your best judgment to determine if a pool/spa chemical needs to be discarded.
Keep your Safety Fence Secured and Locked
Many state and local regulations require a safety fence six feet in height around the perimeter of your swimming pool in addition to an automatic or safety cover. Even if it is not required by law in your area, we feel like it is a no-brainer and part of your duty of being a good neighbor. Secure fence gates with a latch and lock, keep your family and neighborhood safe by ensuring your swimming pool has proper barriers in place.
Now you know how to maintain your outdoor swimming pool during the winter months. As always, we are here to help and would love to hear from you regarding your specific maintenance needs!