You may be feeling pretty smug about getting your swimming pool successfully closed for the winter season. The lovely hours spent in the sunshine by the pool seem like they happened ages ago. It will be months before you have to deal with anything having to do with your pool, right? Don’t get too cozy in front of the fire just yet. Has the question “Do I need to test my pool water in winter?” ever occurred to you? Let’s take a moment and examine it. What do you think is going on under that pool cover? A few extra steps taken during the winter could make a big difference when you re-open your pool in the spring.
The Importance of Proper Pool Closing
If you took the time to close your pool properly in October, you are ahead of the game. First, you will have thoroughly cleaned your pool and adjusted your water level to just below your skimmer. Next, you will have balanced your water chemistry and given it one last shock treatment. If you used a winterizing pool kit, you should be in great shape. Many of these winter kits also contain a stable algaecide that keeps working throughout the winter. Finally, you will have covered the pool with its winter cover to prevent debris from contaminating the water. But wait, there might be more…
What About the Weather?
Here’s the thing. If the weather has been above freezing (32°), you will want to periodically peel back a corner of the pool cover and test the water. Warm weather can cause an algae bloom, which will make spring pool opening a challenge to deal with. If the weather has been below freezing, but then there has been a thaw, you will want to check that water balance. Then, about six weeks to eight weeks before you plan to open your pool, definitely test again and make necessary adjustments.
Keep an Eye on Your Pool Cover
Proper water balance is essential, but there is one additional winter pool maintenance task. A very important consideration of winter pool maintenance is to frequently check your pool cover. Primarily, you will want to keep debris off of your pool cover. That would be leaves and branches, for sure, but accumulated snow and melted water should also be removed. The last thing you want is to have any damage occur to your cover. Remove branches and leaves with a broom, not a shovel or any sort of sharp implement. The same goes for snow. Gently brush it off with a broom. Get it off as soon as possible, as the weight of snow and ice is very heavy and can cause a lot of damage. If snow has melted on the pool cover, use a siphon or a pool cover pump to remove it.
So now when you ask yourself “Do I need to test my pool water in winter?”, you know the answer. Probably at some point you will need to test your water. But don’t fret — it isn’t difficult or complicated. If you put that pool to bed properly in the fall you have a head start. However, if the weather has been warm, test the water. Has there been a thaw? Test the water. Six or eight weeks before you plan to re-open your pool, test the water. And keep an eye on your pool cover to make sure it is clear of debris and accumulated snow or water.
Fronheiser Pools has been serving our clients’ pool needs since 1965, and we are available to answer all your winter pool care questions. Call us anytime this winter at (610) 845-2221 for expert assistance on all your pool needs.