The majority of pool owners resorts to winterizing their pools over the winter. It makes sense, since keeping a pool open if you’re not using it is just a waste of money and can be pretty tedious, as you would still need to keep your water quality.
However, now that the worst of the winter is behind us, at least in California, pool owners may begin to wonder when the optimal time to de-winterize their pools is, and how to go about doing it.
Temperature Is Key
The short answer is ‘it depends’. A slightly longer answer is that there are several factors which can influence the time when your pool is ready to be de-winterized and used once again. The most important of these factors is the temperature of water. Experts suggest that you should not reopen your pool if the water temperature is lower than 60 degrees.
Similarly, you shouldn’t go through with the winterization if the temperature of the water is over 60 degrees, but at this point, it is a bit too late for that.
Start with the Basics
Even if you’re not ready to actually start using your pool, it may be time to start preparing it for reopening. The best way to ensure that the water in your pool doesn’t get contaminated is to put a pool cover on it when you winterize it. Not only will that protect it from debris, it will also make your pool safer if you have young children or pets in the back yard during the winter. Now it is time to uncover it, since there are no more leaves and other debris which could find their way into your pool. You should probably turn on the filtration system as well and balance your water’s chemistry as a preparation for the swimming season.
Do I Need to Chlorinate the Water?
If you have removed the pool cover, your pool water is now exposed to the elements. That means that you will need to start chlorinating your water regularly and turn on your water pump briefly every day. Some people consider this tedious and unnecessary, but the alternative is a green pool which is very difficult to recover and may end up requiring draining the pool and a detail cleaning of all parts.
Needless to say, this procedure would be significantly more expensive and time consuming than doing a few simple maintenance steps every day.
What If Temperature Drops Below Freezing?
A lot of people are reluctant to reopen their pools this early because they fear that the temperature may drop below freezing and they believe that it would somehow damage their pools. However, the truth is a bit different.
The first reason why this is unlikely is that the water inside the pool is fairly warm and tends to keep that temperature even when the air temperature drops. In essence, your pool itself is protecting itself from freezing. Be warned, however, that the ability of your pool to protect itself from freezing is short lived.
There are other things which can help your pool withstand a short period of below freezing temperatures. A vast majority of pools have a freeze protection option in their automation systems. This will automatically start protecting your pool from freezing over. However, even if you don’t have this option, you can simply turn on the water pump to keep the water moving which makes it harder to freeze over.
Some pool owners want to be self-sufficient and perform all maintenance and upkeep jobs themselves. However, if you don’t want to deal with this mundane task, or you feel like you’re not up to the task, you can always hire pool maintenance professionals to do the job for you. You can relax in the knowledge that the job will be done quickly and skilfully.