When you live in a warm-weather climate as we do, you don’t have to necessarily close your pool for the winter season. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be enjoying impromptu dips in the pool during the day, but it does mean that you don’t have to go through the trouble of completely emptying your pool and shutting it down. In this post, we’ll talk about winter pool maintenance for an inground swimming pool, providing that you don’t shut it down for the season.
Pumps and Motors
Pumps and motors installed in your pool are designed to run continuously. While there are timers that may be installed to give the pumps and motors a break from time to time, a shut off for an extended period of time creates an opportunity for the bearings to lock and the equipment to need servicing when it’s time to turn everything back on. So, rest assured that you can leave the pumps and motors running throughout the winter. Typically, you’ll only need to run them about half as much as you do in the summer.
The reason why you keep the pumps going during the winter is to prevent the water from freezing. If this happens, the frozen water can cause the pumps to crack and burst. Also, the chemical levels will be much easier to maintain when the pumps run continuously. To keep levels consistent, be sure to treat the pool once a month. In order to control algae growth, you may need to add additional chemicals, as the winter rainfall and sunlight can create growth.
If you follow the above suggestions, it’s best to use a mesh cover that will keep large debris out but still allow you access to the water for chemical treatments. You may also choose a retractable safety cover if you plan to operate the pool continuously. Although more expensive than a mesh cover, it has the benefit of retaining heat.
A solid safety cover, on the other hand, is best for pools that are being closed for the winter. In this instance, you will need to shut off the pump and motor, winterize the plumbing and skimmers, plug and blow out all lines, balance the water and chemically treat the water. With our climate, you should only close your pool if you don’t want the trouble of maintaining it throughout winter.