While winterizing a pool in the south is quite different than closing it for the season up north, we still have to take a few necessary steps to ensure our pools stay in great shape through the chilly months.
Remove pool accessories.
Remove floats and pool toys from the water. You can also remove ladders and handrails if you intend to use a pool cover. Also, remove anything that collects water, as it can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Thoroughly clean the pool.
To prevent algae buildup or a clogged pump, be sure to clean your pool thoroughly. Skim debris from the surface, vacuum up sunken leaves and brush the pool. You may also want to backwash your filter. It's crucial to maintain cleaning the pool through the winter months, as dirt and debris can obstruct the pool's filtration system and cause significant damage. Additionally, leaves can stain, and algae develop rapidly. If you have an open pool, consider a leaf net.
Check your chemicals.
You should keep the chemicals balanced as usual and do a weekly maintenance check, adding whatever is needed. Most pool owners use fewer chemicals in the winter since the cooler temperatures preserve the elements. Cut back on chlorine when the water temperatures dip into the sixty-degree range and for pools equipped with chlorine/salt generators, turn down the production percentage.
Run the pump.
You can reduce the long summer pool pump hours, but it still needs to run four-to-six hours a day to keep algae away and your plumbing in good shape. If you do see green, shock your pool and run the pump longer.
In case of a freeze warning, run your pool pump overnight.
Monitor the water level.
During dryer winter months, pool water can evaporate 1-2 inches a week, which can also throw off the chemical balance. If the water level goes too low, it can burn out your pump, so keep an eye on it.
Use a swimming pool cover.
Covering your pool reduces the need for cleaning, chemicals, and filtering.