During the winter months, the amount of chlorine needed from your salt cell to keep the pool clean is reduced. This is due to the fact that it is difficult for bacteria to grow in cold temperatures.
Ideally, your pool's chemistry should remain as balanced as possible throughout the winter. Keeping everything balanced is easily accomplished by testing the water at least once per week. There's a low chance that you'll need to add chlorine as long as the pool isn't being used and there is no water circulation.
Shocking the pool during the winter months can certainly help to avoid a green swamp-like pool in the spring. It's often recommended. However, poor water balance or improper application can lead to unintended consequences, such as discoloration and damage to pool surfaces.
Skim out floating debris and vacuum the pool thoroughly. Add an algaecide to prevent algae from forming before the water has frozen. Follow your pool manufacturer's directions for lowering your water level. Only a few type of pools need to be completely drained during the winter.
The weather needs to be at or below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7°C) the pool pipes to freeze solid. At 32°F (0°C), water will begin to freeze up and will eventually freeze solid but after some hours or days.
At what temperature does a pool freeze? Chlorinated and non-chlorinated pools freeze at the same temperature. However, salt water pools will freeze at a slightly lower temperature. It should also be noted that above-ground pools will generally freeze at a higher temperature than inground pools.
Keeping your pool warm is the most effective way to avoid freeze damage, period. As long as you can keep your pool water moving, and at a constant temperature above the freezing point of 32 degrees, you're safe.
Even if you have your pool covered, some debris may still get in it during the winter. For this reason, you should consider running your pump on occasion whenever the outdoor temperature is between 35 and 65 degrees. Around four to six hours should be sufficient to remove debris and help promote good circulation.
Without winterizing your pool, the water could turn green with algae. If the chlorine system stops functioning, you'll say adieu to the beautiful blue pool you know and love. Come spring, your pool will be a homely sight and cause a real dent in your wallet. Bacteria that feed on algae could even cause health risks.
Yes! You don't have to close the pool, and you can keep it open year 'round, with or without a pool heater. Or for those in very cold climates, you could also consider a very late closing and early opening, winterizing and closing the pool for just 3 or 4 months, instead of the normal 6 or 7 months.
Do NOT let your pool freeze.
Not only can a thick sheet of ice damage your vinyl pool liner, but the expanding nature of freezing water can wreak havoc on your pumps and even burst your pipes - leading to thousands of dollars in damage to both plumbing and decking.
Will My Saltwater Pool Freeze? Yes, they will! Saltwater pools only have a fraction of the salinity of ocean water, so they will freeze in Ottawa's cold winter temperatures. This is why it's important to drain the water to below the skimmer and blow out any lines when closing the pool for the winter.
Keeping Your Pool Heated
However, since weather can be unpredictable, if you plan to keep your pool open during the colder months, you must keep your water heated well above freezing temperatures. Don't run the risk of ruptured pipes or allowing the cold to cause more expensive damage.
Close the pool for winter – but don't drain it.
In winter, the water in your pool is still your friend. Especially when properly winterized, it helps to protect the pool liner, keep it clean and prevent unnecessary damage from debris, harsh weather and other factors.