Winter Pool Chemical Levels
Winter Chemical Levels for an Easier Spring Opening
The days are shorter, the leaves on the trees are turning colors, and soon those leaves will make a mess of your pool. That’s when you will most likely rush to clean out your pool and cover it for the winter, thus ending your swim season. Time to forget all about the pool, right? Well…no, not really.
It’s important to ensure your pool has the correct levels of pool chemicals all winter long. Doing so prevents damage to your pool and certainly makes your pool opening in the spring easier and less expensive. This is especially true in climates that can have dramatic swings in temperatures from late fall, throughout the entire winter and into spring. Not maintaining pH levels will cause any surfaces that touch the pool water to corrode. Try to keep your pool’s pH levels between 7.2ppm and 7.6ppm all winter long, and keep in mind if your winter pool cover is porous, fresh, untreated water will get into your pool and throw off your pH levels. If your pH falls below 7.2ppm, you should add pH increaser which will correct acidic water conditions, slow the dissipation of pool chlorine and prevent etching of plaster pool walls. If your pool’s pH level goes above 7.6ppm, reduce it with pH reducer which will help the other pool chemicals work more effectively. A pH reducer is safer, easier and less corrosive than muriatic acid, too.
Your pool’s total alkalinity should fall in the range from 80ppm to 120ppm. Doing this will help keep your pH levels in balance, and if your alkalinity falls too low your pH levels may freefall. Too much alkalinity may add to some rather cloudy water when you open your pool. Adding an alkalinity increaser when your pool’s total alkalinity falls below 80ppm will help make controlling your pH and chlorine levels easier as well. And then comes your calcium hardness, which should always have a reading between 180ppm and 220ppm when you test your water. Low calcium levels can lead to some serious damage especially if you have a gunite pool. Low calcium hardness levels can lead to pool water leaching that can stain and etch your pool’s surfaces and eventually cause crumbling of your plaster walls, and using a calcium hardness increaser corrects low calcium levels.
Top off your pool anti-freeze to protect pool plumbing against freeze damage, especially if you weren’t able to blow out your pool lines properly. Simply pour antifreeze down your pool’s plumbing lines for optimal, season-long protection.
When it comes to algae, there’s one important thing to keep in mind: an algae problem in the fall will likely be much worse and way costlier to clean up come spring time. Make sure you check on your pool for signs of algae throughout the winter especially if the air temperatures are staying warmer than normal or you close your pool early. Maintaining your winter algaecide along with water clarifier and stain preventer will keep your pool water sparkling clear and algae free with no stains at the water line or pool floor.
Taking just a little time throughout the winter to check on your pool and pool chemicals will prevent a lot of extra work in the spring. Maintaining pool chemicals properly all winter long also will save you money when it comes to cleaning your pool at opening time along with preventing damage to expensive pool equipment and prolonging its life.