Adding extra chemicals to your covered pool during the wintertime may not always seem necessary, but there are plenty of times when it’s highly beneficial. For example, If you experience an unusually wet winter, dilution from extra rain or melted snow could lower the effectiveness of the chemicals you already typically add to your pool during the winterizing process. If you experience an unseasonably warm Autumn, a normal amount of chemicals may not be enough to keep away unwanted algae growth. The same could be said in the spring if the temperature rises and stays warm earlier than anticipated. Whatever the cause may be for chemical depletion in your pool, it’s a smart move to try to keep winter chemicals at an optimal level if you want your pool to be ready to open up on time for the spring and summer swimming season.
Understanding Winter Pool Chemistry
Whether it has a mesh or solid cover for winter, part of responsible pool ownership involves keeping your pool’s chemical levels under control during the winter months. The good news is that you don’t have to test your pool’s chemical levels as often during the winter as you do during the summer. Since the pool is covered up and not being used, you shouldn’t have as many issues with chemical levels getting out of whack as you do during the swimming season. This is because the water won’t be exposed to as much contamination from debris, higher temperatures that encourage algae growth, or contamination from sunscreen, perspiration, and the like. During normal conditions, you should only need to test your pool a couple of times a month if you live in an area with relatively cold winter weather.
If your weather gets below freezing during the winter and your pool water actually freezes, you won’t be able to test it during that time. When it is warm enough for you to test the water, just pull your pool’s cover back slightly and monitor the water as you typically would with a chemical testing kit. Check for the usual levels of alkalinity, calcium, sanitizers and pH levels.
Winter Chemical Additives for Your Pool
To help your pool stay well balanced chemically throughout the winter, consider using some extra chemicals. These would include enzymes, algaecides, non-chlorine oxidizers, sanitizers, and water balancing agents. You should speak to your local pool care specialist about which of these chemicals and what amounts are best to use in your particular region of the country.
Strategically adding chemicals can help your swimming season opening to go more smoothly, but if you don’t take the proper steps necessary to allow the chemicals to spread out evenly in the pool, it could end up backfiring big time. That’s why it’s critical to circulate your pool water after adding chemicals. This will help to ensure that the chemicals you add don’t all stay concentrated together in one area of the pool. If they do, their overall effectiveness will be diminished and, worst of all, they could end up harming your pool’s plaster and vinyl liner!
In the second article of this two-part series on pool winterizing, we’ll look at some more reasons to add chemicals to your pool during the off-season as well as discuss some helpful tips for actually adding and distributing the chemicals.
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