Most people consider winter the offseason, but that only applies to swimming, not pool maintenance. You must maintain your pool maintenance year-round if you want to have the best swimming and maximize your investment in summertime fun. Otherwise, what happens when your pool heats up in the spring may surprise you.
What Could Happen if You Miss Winter Maintenance
As temperatures increase, so too does your pool water. This will encourage the growth of bacteria and algae that previously could not grow because of the cold. If you have not maintained your pool well over the winter, then warm temperatures could cause an explosion of bacteria and algae. This could force you to spend a fortune reacclimating your pool, or it may even force you to completely drain your pool. This is environmentally wasteful and it can cost a lot of money.
In spring, we see anywhere from 30 to 60 pools that need serious turnaround work, and it can get expensive. A little maintenance can help save you money on those turnaround costs. So, what winter pool maintenance items should you be keeping up with?
Chemical Balance: As a pool owner, you should regularly check the chemical balance of your pool. If you do not maintain pool chemistry, then you could find yourself in a tough spot. You cannot solve every chemical imbalance by simply adding chemicals.
Draining or diluting is sometimes the only option to get rid of mineral build up that could lead to a green water situation. When objects such as leaves, grass and branches land in the water of your pool and break down, they add to the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in your pool. TDS contributes to the mineral content of your pool, so not clearing biomaterial from your pool regularly can also contribute to a chemical imbalance.
Remember, pool size, last draining, mineral content and other factors play a role in the chemical balance of your pool. So, before you try to take on the challenge of keeping your pool balanced on your own, contact your Austin area pool specialist first.
Brush Your Pool: Dirt and sediment can blow into your pool over the winter. Unless you have been brushing and vacuuming your pool regularly, this sediment can collect at the bottom of the pool and on its walls. The more that is in your pool, the more food there is for undesirable microbes. Brush the walls and floor of your pool. Stir this dirt up so your pool filter will have a chance to catch it.
Getting your lawn ready for the warm weather too? If fertilizer blows from your lawn into your pool water, call one of our Central Texas pool technicians immediately. Not only can these fertilizers stain your pool, they can throw off your pool’s chemistry. This can not only make your pool unpleasant to swim in, but it may also spark algae and bacterial growth.
Run Your Pool Equipment: First of all, your pool equipment should always be running. You may want to change the intervals of when it runs based on the time of year, but you should never just turn your equipment off. In Central Texas winter, pool equipment should run six hours each day. In the summertime, you should shoot for 10 hours each day minimum, usually during daylight hours when debris is more likely to blow into the pool.
As we mentioned above, your pool filter will pick up any dirt you stir up. However, running your pool equipment will also circulate any chemicals you used to rebalance the chemistry of your pool. You will also want to backwash your filter regularly to make sure it is working at an optimal level. The type of filter you have will determine how you clean it out. You should backwash your filters once per month. Storms and debris from wind can make your pool dirtier than normal, so it may be necessary to clean your filter more often. Check the PSI in your system, and if the pressure increases by 10 PSI over what it normally is after cleaning, go ahead and backwash the filter.
If you have cartridge filters, then you will need to take them apart and service them once every three months. This process can take two to three hours when you do it yourself, but our trained technicians can service your cartridge filters in about an hour.
Our Austin Pool Care Specialists Are Always Ready to Help
If you have not been keeping up with your winter pool maintenance, do not expect an easy fix. Our best advice for you is to never stop maintaining your pool, no matter what the season. At Reliable Pool Care LLC, we want you to get the most out of your pool. However, if you have problems with your equipment, give us a call at (512) 829-0546. We can help you keep your pool in shape, so you can enjoy the swimming season here in Central Texas.