We have a lot to deal with in the Winter months.  Travel, the holidays, cold temperatures and in some places…FREEZING temperatures.  Our cars won’t start.  We have to shovel our driveways.  If we have a swimming pool, well, that is just another thing on our busy Winter to-do list.  We recommend closing your swimming pool for Winter if you live in a region where temperatures drop significantly.  This can help avoid many problems both during the Winter and come Spring.

Freezing is Freezing

Freezing temperatures, whether talking about your ice box or your plumbing, is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature where water freezes.   It can be great for ice skating, but damaging to our swimming pool equipment and plumbing.  This is mainly because freezing water expands.  Our plumbing and equipment is only used to having a certain amount of water pressure moving through it and the expansion of freezing water can do both in. 

What to Do?

There are a few things one can do to prevent their water from freezing.  They can be quite expensive. These suggestions may not work in your region if it gets REALLY cold and you will be left with no choice but to Winterize your swimming pool.  If it gets kinda cold, feel free to try these suggestions.  

You can help keep your water warm with a solar blanket.  These come in a variety of sizes and can be cut to shape.  It is one of the most cost effective ways to heat your swimming pool water up to 7-10 degrees Fahrenheit.  Think of it as putting a lid on your coffee cup.  It prevents unnecessary heat loss from the surface.  It will also multitask by helping keep debris out of the water.  As you know, debris turns into microorganisms such as phosphates.  Phosphates are food for algae.

You can keep your pool heater running.  This might make sense if you are using your pool and/or spa.  Heat pumps are great at maintaining heat.  If you are thinking of this option, may I recommend an awesome, affordable, quality ComforTemp Heat Pump that can be delivered right to your door for a fraction of the cost you would pay at your local swimming pool store.  You’ll want to keep the pool heater on for approximately 12 hours a day, if not 24.  Since the temperature drops at night, it makes sense to run the heater at night.  If you own a pool heater, a solar cover is a must!  Remember the coffee cup example?  Your swimming pool loses most of its heat off of the surface.  This goes for Summer and Winter months.  I never sell a heater without a solar blanket.  Heat is money!

You can run your swimming pool pump 24/7 if you want to keep your pipes from freezing and the equipment from cracking.  This not only keeps the water circulating, which keeps the chemicals active.  It also helps maintain a stable water temperature and improve the efficiency of the heater.  Setting the valves to open will maintain optimum water levels and remember to angle the jets upwards.  If you feel you cannot do any of these. Don’t despair!  We have some great blogs on Winterizing your swimming pool.

Part of Winterizing your swimming pool is blowing out the lines before putting winterizing (expansion) plugs in.  You can hire a company to do this.  If you do, they will use a CO2 tank and a balloon to blow out the lines. Prices per company will vary, but it is usually around $150. You can also do this yourself.  Here at my store, we sell what is called a “Drain Jet”.  What it does is flush with water pressure with powerful jet action.  When using on a swimming pool You would insert the the Drain Jet through the skimmer.  You can flush in the same direction as normal flow or against the direction of the flow.  Every store will vary, but they should be around $55-$65. 

Pro Tip:  A Drain Jet can also be used for priming the pump by using the flusher to fill the inlet of the pump with water.

Hope you have a great new year and I will see you poolside come Spring!