So, the cold weather will soon be upon us, its almost that time of year to put the cover on the pool perform the pool closing and forget about it until the Spring right? WRONG!!! Truth be told, your pool requires year round attention- no matter what the season. So, what should you do and when should you do it? Let me answer that with a few helpful hints.
When the 1st signs of the warmer weather show themselves in New Jersey, it will soon be time to perform the pool opening. This is the ideal time to trim back some trees, shrubs and other foliage that has become overgrown this off season. This is also the time to uncover your patio furniture and clean it. Cleaning off any dirt and debris from your furniture and deck now makes sense so it will be ready when the time comes to use it…and in New Jersey that day can happen anytime!
Now, that it’s about time to have the pool opening done, there are a few things that need to be done in preparation. First, you should clear the cover of any access water, dirt and debris. Once the cover is clean, it may be removed from the pool. Once it has been taken of the pool, it may be thoroughly cleaned and dried before being stored away. A well maintained cover will last as well as look better longer. This is also the best time to inspect your pool cover, as if there are any repairs that are needed, or if you need a new cover, you don’t want to wait until the day of the pool closing to install a new one. Especially a custom safety cover!
Now is also a great time to inspect the fencing around your yard. Are the gates all self closing? Does any area need repair? Is there a fence protecting my friends, family, children and pets whom are already in my backyard protected? It may be time to consider installing a Pool Safety Fence.
Once your pool has been opened for the Summer, it must be maintained properly. First is the water chemistry. Yes I said Chemistry and no you don’t need to be a scientist. Within 48 hours of opening your pool, a water test should be performed in order to properly balance the water’s chemistry. A test should be performed weekly to ensure that the water is in balance for bather comfort as well as proper water balance directly effects pool appearance and equipment function. Once the pool water has been balanced, you will want to keep your pool clean with a weekly maintenance schedule. For safety purposes it is important to also have the pool deck clean and free of debris.
In New Jersey, we can usually keep our pools opened until the leaves begin to fall, sometimes even into October. Keep ever vigilant to the falling leaves and other debris and keeping your pool, skimmer baskets and pump baskets clear. Although the sun may not be as hot as Summer, therefore not evaporating the water and chemicals as before, you still need to maintain the water, the chemicals and the cleanliness of the pool. It is now that you will want to schedule the pool closing if you haven’t already done so. Remember prior to the closing of your pool, the water should be balanced, the pool walls brushed, pool vacuumed and if you have a DE Filter, have the filter cleaned. If you are closing your pool yourself, make sure all winter plugs, gizmos, cover are in good condition and ENSURE you have properly drained water from the all the lines.
If over the Winter, you were under the impression that all you had to do was plug in an automatic cover pump and forget you have a pool, well I have some news for you. That is incorrect. You want to check the water level in the pool over the winter, especially after a heavy rain. If there is excess water and somehow gets into the piping, it can freeze and crack a pipe. You should have your pool drained at least 4-6″ below skimmer in a vinyl liner pool and 1′ below tile line in a concrete pool. You’ll want to make sure your cover is secure periodically. With a water bag cover, I have seen people whose bags have just leaked due to age, seen bricks and other heavy objects used and when access water or ice has formed on the cover these items may slip along with the cover into the pool. If you have a cover pump, be careful not to accidentally drain the pool when the cover gets access water on it (and yes a safety cover can sink if too much weight placed on it, example ice and snow will weigh a cover down, I have seen them almost at the bottom of pool due to this) and you start the pump working. The best place to have the cover pump is in the center of deep end of pool cover. NEVER try to melt ice or snow that may accumulate, but try to keep as clear as possible.
Swimming pools are not just a Summer task, and by properly maintaining year round, your pool will be at it’s best!