The cold winter months are no excuse to let up on pool maintenance. Even if you extend the season with a pool heater, you need to make sure you keep the proper chemical balance. If you don't, it will cost you more in products and time in the spring, and could lead to staining or damage to your equipment or finish.
Inground Pool Winter Tips and Guidelines
Mesh Safety Cover – If you have a mesh safety cover and a chlorine pool, you'll want to add 2 gallons of liquid chlorine to your pool water every 2 weeks starting 3-4 weeks after we close your pool and until outside temperatures get consistently colder.
In the winter, stagnant, untreated water can lead to bacteria growth and algae, causing a need to double the maintenance before opening your pool in the spring. Taking the time to shock your pool with a mid-winter shock can help make opening back up in the warmer months easier.
Several days before closing, shock the pool with a chlorine shock or non-chlorine shock, using at least 2 lbs per 10,000 gallons (follow package directions). Allow the chlorine level to return to 1.0-3.0 ppm before adding any winter algaecide or your pool cover.
When closing and winterizing your pool, it is important to remember to balance your pool water's chemistry prior to closing and don't forget the algaecide. Algaecide is simple and effective, with one quart of winter algaecide typically enough to treat 20,000 gallons of water all winter long.
It's a good idea to shock the water a couple of days later and then add winter algaecide the day of or day before closing and let it circulate. It's recommended that your chlorinator, filter, pump, and heater are all properly drained in climates that reach freezing temperatures during the winter months.
One critical component of pool closing: chlorine level. Chlorine prevents algae, breaks down bacteria, and keeps your pool clean and fresh. Before you shut things down for the season, it's a good idea to hit your pool with an extra-powerful punch of chlorine in the form of a shock treatment.
Does baking soda kill algae in pools? Only algaecides can "kill" algae in pool water. However, baking soda can help clear up algae. Use both so you can restore sparkly, clean water!
Algae is the stuff of nightmares for pool owners, and in the warmer months it's a constant threat. Unfortunately, even though warm weather helps this slimy stuff to flourish, it doesn't take a break in the winter months- it just blooms more slowly.
Typically, algae is the source of green pool water, and it's certainly possible that it took over quickly, even overnight. This is especially likely if it is very warm outside, since algae blooms more rapidly in warmer temperatures.
While shocking and adding algaecide is effective in getting rid of algae, it should not be done together. This is because when you mix chlorine and algaecide together, it renders both of them useless. Hence, you should first shock the pool and wait for the chlorine levels to fall below 5 PPM.
Algaecide should be used after each shock treatment, so it has a better chance to support your chlorine as it works its magic. Be sure to shock your pool first, then when the chlorine levels of your pool return to normal, add the correct amount of algaecide to several places around your pool while your pump is running.
“We recommend shocking the pool water by adding a high dose of chlorine powder or liquid, brushing the pool surfaces then adding an algaecide,” Sergiou says. “Algae grows in layers and needs to be brushed to be suspended in the water to be eliminated. Follow with a clarifier and run the pool filter overnight to clear.”
When temperatures reach below 40°F algae growth is stopped, but it can still survive and become dormant over the winter. Pool algae will come back to life weeks before you decide to open your pool.
What algaecide should I use to close my pool? We recommend using a copper-free algaecide to avoid staining. Look for a 60% Polyquat Algaecide, since its concentration is powerful enough to kill algae all winter long.
Unusually warm winter days can give a window for algae to grow. Having algaecide in your pool can prevent that window from opening by killing algae even while they're at their dormant phase.
The night before you close the pool, triple shock it with granular chlorine. Follow the instructions on the package for how much to add, but generally most bags suggest adding 1 lb. of shock per 10,000 gallons of pool water. So a triple shock would be 3 lbs.
Running the pool pump during the winter
That depends on your pump capacity and pool size, as a good rule of thumb, 4 to 6 hours a day should be enough to filter your pool water and circulate all of the chemicals during the winter months.
Never lower the water level more than 18″, doing so can increase stress on your safety cover and cause the cover to rip or pull the anchors out of your deck. If you are using a solid winter pool cover, lower the water level 3–4″ below the bottom of the skimmer opening, unless you're using a skimmer plug.
It's often recommended to shock your pool once a week. If you don't do it every week, you should at least do it every other week. This is necessary to maintain your pool's water chemistry. If you have a lot of people over in your pool or have a party, you may want to shock your pool more frequently.
Between these organics and the living contaminants like algae, warm water has a higher chlorine demand than cold water. Chemical reactions generally work faster at higher temperatures. Water chemistry is no different. So chlorine will work better and faster, and as a result, chlorine will also get reduced faster.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline, with a pH of 8. When you add baking soda to your pool water, you will raise both the pH and the alkalinity, improving stability and clarity.