Most people assume that with Central Florida’s mild winters, swimming pool owners don’t need to do much during the fall and winter months. Nothing could be further from the truth. Cold water is much more corrosive than warm water. Therefore, proper chemical balancing is just as important, if not more so, in the winter months as in the summer.
Most Floridians consider it too cold to enjoy a dip when temperatures dip to around 70-degrees Fahrenheit. However, some measures are necessary to prepare your pool for the off-season to ensure it’s ready to go as soon as temperatures warm back up in the spring! Here is a simple list of things you can do to prepare your pool for cooler temperatures.
1. Clean the pool thoroughly
If you are an existing customer, you don't have to worry about most of these steps! You can move on to step 4! Yay!
Whether opened or closed, cleaning the pool thoroughly to prevent algae buildup, stains and clogged pumps is important in the off-season. Old leaves can stain the pool sides, clog the drains and promote algae, which increases your labor and chemical costs when reopening the pool later. Use a leaf skimmer to remove leaves and debris from the surface, and clean up sunken debris with a pool vacuum.
2. Balance the chemicals
Maintain the pool’s chemicals in the winter as you would in the summer. At the very least, balance the chemicals at least one week before you plan to close the pool. On average, calcium hardness levels should stay within a range of 250-500 PPM and alkaline levels between 80 and 120 PPM depending on your pool. You don’t have to lower the water or drain the pipes if you keep the pool open, as the Central Florida weather rarely drops below freezing in the winter.
3. Run the pump
In the rare case that the temperature drops near or below freezing, keep the pump running throughout the day and night. Failure to run the pump could increase the risk of plumbing damage. Another reason to run the pump is the additional circulation also helps if you need to add chlorine at any time. Using a floating chlorinator without the pump running can also damage the pool’s surface without proper circulation.
4. Remove pool accessories
Remove any pool toys from the water, and detach the ladders and handrails if you plan to use a pool cover. Take out anything that could collect rainwater, such as inflatable loungers and other pool floats. These items not only get in the way of a pool cover but also create breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other bugs into October.
If you are an existing customer, all you have to worry about during fall and winter months is keeping your pool deck and environment free of debris that could be detrimental to your pool and maintaining water levels.
For example, if you decide to have your screen enclosure re-screened, please make certain all nails and screws are immediately retrieved from pool to prevent rust.
You are responsible for maintaining water levels in your pool as well. We get less rain in winter months than summer months. Pool levels must be maintained to properly care for your equipment.
Otherwise, easy-breezy! Kick back, relax, and look forward to warmer months ahead! They will be here before we know it!