Winterizing Saltwater Pools with Care
Winterizing a pool is recommended when the temperature drops to the point where you are no longer planning to use it. Care should be taken in winterizing saltwater pools to retain the proper salinity and pH levels. Winterizing saltwater pools is similar to closing a freshwater pool.
Salt Industries offers the following recommendations:
- Completely clean the pool. This means thoroughly brushing the sides of the pool and running the vacuum to remove all debris.
- Clean the filter system and the skimmer basket completely. Do not lower the water level in a fiberglass pool. The recommended water level for all inground pools all year covers about two-thirds of the skimmer basket.
- Check the alkalinity and the salt level with test kits. The pH balance should be around 7.6 before you close down the pool. Do not add salt to the water unless the salt test strips for are below 3200 ppm. The alkaline level should be below 400 ppm to prevent the buildup of crystals. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing your electrolytic chlorine generator, the salt cell, for the winter. It is a good idea to check the pH balance and saline levels during the winter months.
- Add products to the skimmer that will protect your pool against stains and scales. A floater can be used to slowly release enzymes into the pool over a period of time to help the pool stay clean.
- Run the pump and filter system for 8 to 10 hours after cleaning the pool. The heater can be turned off and the pump can be set on a timer to run less often during the winter. You also have the option of adding winter plugs to the filter system, but the water should still be filtered even when the pool is covered.
- Cover the pool with a tight cover that will keep it clean during winter storms. Remove any excess water from the cover after a heavy rain or snowmelt. You may want to remove a diving board, slide, and other accessories if you are in a high-wind area.
Saltwater can freeze although it will freeze at a lower temperature. You can install a freeze protector that will allow the pump to circulate water in freezing temperatures. Check the skimmer occasionally and do not allow ice to build up and block circulation to the intake system. The pump system can be covered with insulated blankets for extra protection.
Careful planning while winterizing saltwater pools will conserve energy and protect your pool during extreme winter weather conditions. The process of preparing your pool for summer fun will be easy.