Do I need to winterize my pool?
The answer to this question may depend on where you live, because of the mild climate in southern states, many homeowners don’t close their pool at all during the winter. However, those who don’t winterize may face some harsh and costly consequences for not going through the process. Read on to learn more and how the professionals at Pool Works Pools & Spas can help.
If you’ve ever put a glass or cup in the freezer only to have it crack because of the cold, then you already understand what can happen to equipment in winter. Some of the parts of your pool that are prone to freeze damage are filter tanks, heater headers, and pool pump housings. They can all crack and require costly repairs.
Pipes are another type of equipment that can be subject to freeze damage. As mentioned in the example, when water freezes in a container it expands to the point where the container can no longer hold its contents. This happens to pipes causing them to burst. The extent of damage largely depends on where the burst occurs. Above ground, the damage can be repaired for a minimal cost but below ground, the work is more intensive, and repairs can range from $600 to $1400 or thousands more depending on the type of damage.
This type of damage occurs when the water from underground pipes begin to drain your pool and deposit the water in the area surrounding it. This can cause cracks in your deck and pool walls. Above-ground pools are especially at risk for structural damage. Freeze damage can ruin the vinyl liner and destroy the pool walls.
Stains and Scale
Oftentimes homeowners opt to close their pool, but they do so improperly, leaving debris in the pool or forgetting to check the pool’s water balance. Either of these mistakes can mean hours spent scrubbing scaly build-up off pool surfaces when summer arrives. It can also cause issues when you go to reconnect your equipment so not only is it important to winterize/close your pool but to also do so properly.
We usually associate winter with the time all plant life dies so it may be tough to imagine algae blooming happily in your pool, but it can happen. Once again if a pool has been improperly winterized in warmer climates, algae can and will bloom. The best bet is to check the sanitizer levels each month and in warmer climates test your winterized pool often. Adding algaecide when closing the pool and keeping the floating sanitizer dispense full can help fight off algae. It is also a good idea to use non-chlorine shock to keep the available chlorine at optimal levels.
If you live in an area where the temperatures rarely dip below 60 degrees leaving the pool open is an option for you, however, even regions far south have been known to experience freak snowstorms and surprise winter weather. Homeowners who leave their pools open should always be ready to enact emergency winterizing procedures and do whatever it takes to secure their pools before severe weather hits.
For everyone else, closing your pool each winter should be a standard procedure, whether the pool is in-ground or above ground. This entails pool cleaning and balancing, disconnecting, and draining all pool equipment, and purging the lines before putting the pool cover in place. This should address and hopefully prevent all the issues mentioned above. We here at Pool Works are always here to answer any questions and take care of all of your pool service needs.
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