Winterizing a Swimming Pool
In a lot of states where there are extremely cold temperatures that lead to inclement weather such as sleet, snow and even high winds, we need to temporarily close our swimming pool for the season. This is known as winterizing our swimming pools. There are many things we need to do to get our pool ready for those chilly winter months, Some of those include removing any pool accessories, doing a deep cleaning of the pool, cleaning the filter, balance the water chemistry, lowering of the water level, draining and storing the equipment, adding preventative chemicals such as shock and algaecide, and finally, covering the swimming pool.
Do I Have to Cover My Pool?
A cover is considered a necessity when we winterize our swimming pools. If you were to leave your pool uncovered, you would really be making an unnecessary amount of work for yourself when it comes time to de-winterize. What do I mean by this? Well, you’ll have to clean out all the gunk and junk that made its way into your vessel during all those storms. Your chemical balance, or unbalance, I should say, could take a pretty penny in chemicals to restore to healthy levels. There is also a chance that you will have freeze damage! By completely winterizing your swimming pool, including a cover, you are helping to minimize the risks of contamination and damage.
Are There Different Types of Winterization Covers?
Of course there are many brands, but based on my research, there are two main types.
Mesh Pool Covers consist of tightly knit fibers. These fine fibers actually allow for water to pass through the cover, but catches dirt and debris on the surface. Their look is more textured.
Solid Pool Covers are typically made of plastic or vinyl. They do not contain holes. It is going to not only be solid in appearance, but in functionality. They are a smooth material.
A cover pump can be an asset regardless of what type of cover you decide to go with this winter. For mesh covers, they help keep the water level at the optimal height. While preventing water accumulation on the solid bad boys.
What is a Cover Pump?
The answer lies in the name, my friends. Cover pumps work by pumping, or removing, the water build up from the swimming pool cover. The pump attaches to a hose. You will place your cover pump directly on your swimming pool cover. There are manual and automatic pumps. Always make sure you don’t aim the hose towards your house! We don’t want the water to cause any damage to your home.
Cover pumps come in automatic and manual. And, no, by manual I certainly am not implying you’ll be out there removing the water by hand. The difference refers to whether or not they turn themselves on or off automatically, or if you have to manually flip the switch.
Cover pumps also come in different sizes. This is measured in Gallons Per Hour (GPH). The higher the GPH, the more water will be removed at a quicker rate.
Can Water Build Up on My Pool Cover Be Dangerous?
Water carries weight. And yes, I mean that literally. Water is heavy! Just 6” of water on your swimming pool cover comes in at over 6 tons! Whoa! As you can imagine, this causes stress to your pool cover. As this weight increases, it can cause a multitude of problems. Some of these problems are pinholes, spots that can get terribly thin and the worst, outcome, a tear! Ugh, that would be the worst, wouldn’t it? So, unless these don’t sound horrific, the answer is, “YES!,” a cover pump IS necessary!
Are Cover Pumps Expensive?
You can find a variety of prices on cover pumps. Most people associate high price with high quality. I did some searching and was shocked to find some cover pumps “on sale” for $170! Wowza. Now keep in mind, the higher the GPH, and if it is automatic or manual, will play a part in the price. But don’t be fooled that you have to pay an arm and a leg for a high-quality cover pump.
Brands are important to some people. I am openly one of them. Did you know that the trusted household, American brand Black & Decker makes cover pumps? They have smaller ones like this and even the big daddy of them all, at 1,500 GPH cover pump
Whether you go manual or automatic is totally your preference. I prefer you don’t damage your pool cover. I also prefer you don’t make extra work for yourselves come spring. See you poolside!