Mid-Winter Pool Check

mid-winter pool check

Just because our swimming pools are closed for the off-season does not give us a reason to neglect them.

To ensure an easy pool opening in the spring, we recommend following these 3 easy tips:

  1. Secure the pool cover
  2. Check the pool water chemistry
  3. Inspect your pool equipment and plumbing

Is your Pool Cover secure?

Winter Covers protect swimming pools from dirt, debris and environmental conditions during the off-season. Safety Covers add the extra security against accidental intrusion.

Above Ground Pool Covers

Above ground pool covers use water bags to tightly secure the cover around the pool’s perimeter. If one of the water bags is damaged, the cover may not be tight; allowing debris and/or critters to enter your pool. As we all know, dirt and debris may stain the pool surface or vinyl liner, and eventually develop algae when the weather warms up. Check all water bags or weights to ensure for a tight seal.

Heavy snow and ice may begin to pull-in the cover, so double check that the air pillow is in the center of your pool. If any water is still accumulating around the pool edge, use a cover pump to remove the weight. This is also a good time to remove any heavy debris from the cover with a telescopic pool and leaf rake or net.

When all or most of the precipitation is removed from your cover, crank the cable and winch so the cover is completely sealed around the pool. Some pool owners also choose to use pool cover clips instead of a water bags. These clips will grip the top rail and hold your cover tightly. Remember to use two clips per upright.

In-Ground Pool Covers

In-ground pool owners have the option of using a Winter Cover or Safety Cover to protect the pool. Both pool covers block out dirt and debris, while safety covers add the security against accidental intruders. If using a safety cover, make sure all of the anchors are secure in your deck or surrounding pool area and survey the cover for any tears or storm damage. Make sure to fix any rips or tears immediately, before the next big storm rolls in! PoolSupplyWorld offers safety cover patches. If any water is accumulating and weighing down your cover, use a cover pump or sump pump to quickly remove the weight.

Winter covers, on the other hand, are weighted down by water blocks or weights around the pool’s perimeter. Strong winds and storm debris may have adjusted the cover, so we recommend checking the perimeter for any potential movement. Again, use a cover pump to remove any extra water weighing down the cover. You can also use a pool skimmer net, or leaf rake, to remove any heavy debris.

Check the Water Chemistry

Now is a great time to check the pool water chemistry. Hopefully not a lot has changed since the water level is below the temp for algae to grow, but let’s make sure. If your cover has moved, or debris has got in the water we highly recommend this step!

  • Using a water test kit, like the Taylor TF100 Test Kit take a sample from about 12” below the water surface. Note – the water has not been circulating for a few months, so don’t be surprised if the chemical levels are off a bit.
  • We typically recommend adding some pool shock to increase the chlorine level. Shocking kills any bacteria that may be lingering in your pool during the winter.
  • Many pool owners prefer to use a winter closing chemical kit, or a AquaPill WinterPill, to slowly distribute chlorine shock.

Check the Pool Equipment and Plumbing

You may have disconnected your pool equipment and plumbing before the winter. If not, take some time to evaluate your pool filter, pump, heater (if applicable) and other items for any potential damage. Freezing conditions can crack the plastic plumbing. PoolSupplyWorld also sells equipment covers to add a layer of protection.

Here are a few other tips:

  • Make sure all of the equipment, including the pool filter, have the drain plug removed.
  • Check the pool skimmer and make sure the skimmer protection tube, or gizmo, is secure and blocking water from entering the plumbing system. It’s okay if the skimmer protection tube is being crushed by ice – it was created to take the pressure off of the pool skimmer.
  • Ensure that the return valves or lines still have the winterizing plug in place.
  • Take one last look at your pool, cover and equipment for any possible problems.
  • Remove any potential hazards from the pool area.

We hope these steps provided a good reminder to care for your pool during the colder winter months. If you have any more tips or tricks, make sure to leave response below or send us feedback on Facebook!

With these tips, you can forward to a safe and easy pool opening this spring!

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Brian Champ
When Brian isn't writing pool-related articles, he enjoys anything that will take him outdoors: hiking, biking and trail running ...to name a few. Brian is excited to share his pool knowledge with helpful how-to guides, product reviews, comparisons, and more!