Don’t Forget to Leave Water in Your Pool This Winter
Why Proper Pool Maintenance and Closing Require Leaving Water in the Pool Over the Winter Months
With the pool season almost over, it’s time to start thinking about pool maintenance for the winter months. If you’re new to pool closing, you might plan to drain the pool entirely since you don’t want the water freezing and becoming stagnant over the winter. But completely emptying the water from your pool is actually harmful to the pool’s structure. You should only drain the pool water to below the skimmer and jets to prevent water from freezing and damaging the plumbing lines. Here’s why proper pool maintenance and closing means leaving a bit of water in your pool all winter long.
Protection from Damage
Leaving a bit of water in your pool protects the liner from rips, tears, and other damage caused by debris during the off-season. Water will also keep your pool liner moist, which prevents drying, shrinking, and cracking. So, to maximize the level of protection from the water in your pool, don’t drain too much of it this season.
Another important part of pool closing is to clean the pool and balance the water with winterizing chemicals. The clean, balanced water and chemicals will make your pool opening that much easier come spring. Chemicals such as algaecides, chlorine shock treatments, and stain-preventing chemicals keep contaminants, dirt, bacteria, and algae out so you don’t have to spend extra time and effort cleaning your pool next year.
Water Levels and Other Pool Maintenance Tips
The type of pool you have, and the winterizing equipment you use, will determine how much water you should drain when closing your pool. The rule of thumb—especially for in-ground pool maintenance—is to drain the water to below the skimmer and jets to prevent any water from freezing and damaging the plumbing lines in the winter.
Many pool owners also use an air pillow in the winter to prevent ice sheets from forming and damaging the pool liner and skimmer. To keep the air pillow afloat, you might need more water in your pool, so don’t drain it too much.
If you intend to drain plenty of water from your pool, you will need a tight-fitting cover that won’t sink from snow, ice, and debris. Without the support of water underneath, pool covers can easily rip from the weight of snow, and the water will become contaminated with dirt and debris, making for more work when you open your pool in the spring. By taking the steps to properly close your pool this fall, you will save plenty of time and costs on pool maintenance next year. Remember, water protects your pool, so keep your pool water clean, covered, and at a reasonable level throughout the winter.