DON'T FORGET ABOUT YOUR POOL THIS WINTER
Well another swim season is coming to an end. Most people won't think about their pools until Spring. The change of seasons and fluctuation of temperature create the most havoc on your pool equipment. There are a few tips and/or things to consider this winter, as well as proactive maintenance you can do over the next few months, in order to hopefully have a trouble free swim season next summer.
Pool Motor Run Times– With the water getting colder, the pool motor doesn't have to run as long. Typically, you can turn your motor down to run maybe 3-5 hours a day during the winter months under full power. This will save you some electricity costs as well. If you have a variable or dual speed motor, you will need to adjust accordingly. In addition, it’s a good idea to run the motor in the early morning hours. We suggest running them between 2am to 8am. If water is moving through the pipes, it will prevent freezing as well as keep the pump seals from freezing and going bad.
Salt Chlorination Generators – For those who have these systems, the colder water means most of these systems will not be producing chlorine. It is recommended that you remove the cell and replace it with a "blank". Most of the manufactures of Salt Chlorination Generator's have these blanks, or if you don’t have one, you can look online for them. Give the cell a good cleaning so it’s ready to re-install for the next swim season. Once the water is in the mid to low 60's, most of the cells become very un-reliable and it is better not to use them. Normally, not a lot of chlorine is needed in the winter months so just adding chlorine via a pool floater for the next few months should be fine and should help extend the life of the cell since it's not trying to produce the chlorine.
Draining and Refilling your Pool – This is the one thing to do in the winter time. Pool water is exactly like engine oil. Most people are told to change their engine oil every 3,000 miles since the oil breaks down. Pool water is no different. It can be deceiving since the water looks clear and sparkling most of the time. Due to the amount of chemicals that are added in over the year, the residuals of these chemicals stay in the water and don't evaporate. The only way to lower the residual levels is to drain water and put new fresh water in. This is one of the leading causes of algae in pools, assuming you are maintaining the pool correctly. If you do have a pool service and they say that you need to drain your pool, give them a break and do it, everyone will be happier in the long run. After all, water is a lot less expensive than chemicals for most people and it's going to be healthier for the swimmers.
Pool Tile Cleaning - This is a good time to think about cleaning that calcium line off the tiles. It is an ongoing issue and one that doesn't go away. Welcome to living in Arizona! If you are thinking about draining your pool, this would be the perfect time to have your tiles cleaned as well. Most tile cleaning companies will drain a majority of the water anyway, since they get in the pool to do the cleaning and the water is cold. So as the saying goes… you can kill two birds with one stone by doing both at the same time.