Are you the proud owner of a new saltwater pool? If so, it's in your best interest to have at least a basic understanding of how to perform the swimming pool closing process, even if you plan on hiring a professional to handle the job.
If you want to prevent algae growth, plumbing damage, and surface stains throughout the winter, here's what you should know about winterizing your saltwater pool.
When Should You Winterize a Saltwater Pool?
Even in areas where temperatures never get to freezing, your saltwater pool needs to be on a schedule for winterization. Generally, most residential pool owners will shut down their pools around the end of September, and while a pool heater can extend this time, you don't want to push it too far once the temperatures begin to drop.
Because of the chemical makeup of the salt, once it gets below 50 degrees, it can cause salt cell damage and require extra maintenance. Start winterizing your saltwater pool between the 50 and 60-degree mark, which typically happens in Minnesota around the end of September or the beginning of October.
Don't Overdo It With the Salt
You might be tempted to dump a bunch of salt in your pool to ensure the water stays clean throughout winter, but if you do that, you could end up with unsightly stains come spring.
It's always best to maintain salt levels within the manufacturer's recommended range, regardless of the time of year. It might seem counterintuitive, but it's better to keep salt levels toward the low end of that range when winter rolls around.
To make sure the salt level isn't too high, avoid adding extra salt to your pool for about two weeks before you plan to shut it down.
Test & Balance Water pH
Make sure you properly balance the water chemistry before adding winter chemicals to the water. If your pool's pH, calcium levels, and total alkalinity aren't within the proper ranges when you shut it down, you may find salt-related mineral scales on the surfaces of your pool come spring.
Thoroughly Clean the Pool
Make sure you get your pool as clean as it can get before you start the winterization process. Thoroughly cleaning it before winter will help prevent algae and bacteria from proliferating in the stagnant water, ease the pool opening process come spring, and ensure it keeps all the great benefits you love.
Remove & Store Pool Equipment
Any pool equipment that can be removed should be taken out of your pool, thoroughly cleaned, and stored for the winter. This included ladders, diving boards, handrails, slides, etc. Do this so that these pieces of equipment won't interfere with your winter pool cover placement, which you'll apply as the final step in the swimming pool closing process.
Add Winter Pool Chemicals
If you're unfamiliar with which chemicals to add and which ratios to use, it's in your best interest to buy a swimming pool closing kit designed for your saltwater pool. But if you're uncomfortable handling this job yourself, hire a pro to ensure it's done properly.
Drain Some Water
If you have an above-ground pool, you'll want to drain it until the water level is about six inches below the skimmer. If you have an in-ground pool, drain it until the water is level roughly 12 inches below the skimmer.
But if you have a vinyl pool, this step may be optional, depending on your pool and its equipment. A swimming pool closing specialist can tell you whether lowering the water level is necessary and how much you should drain.
Remove & Clean the Salt Generator
Remove the salt cell, inspect its interior for scaly deposits, and use a high-pressure hose to clean it out well. If you prefer, you can use a plastic or wood scraper to remove those deposits instead. Whatever you do, DO NOT use a metal tool to scrape away scaly buildup on the unit's generator plates, and don't use excessive force, either. You could end up damaging your equipment if you do.
Blow Out the Lines
Of all the steps involved in the saltwater swimming pool closing process, this one is probably the most important. If you don't do it properly, water can freeze inside your pool's plumbing system, crack the pipes, damage your decking, and, ultimately, leave you with expensive pool damage.
If you're unsure how to do this properly, hiring a pro who can thoroughly winterize your pool's plumbing lines and skimmer is in your best interest.
Put a Cover On It
Last but certainly not least, cover your pool! You need to do this to not only keep debris out of the water but also an excessive amount of precipitation that can throw off the pH balance of the water.
What kind of cover should you use? Check out Winter Pool Covers: Which Type Is Right for You? for some help with your decision-making process.
Looking for Swimming Pool Closing Services Near White Bear Lake?
Don't have time to winterize your saltwater pool? Then get in touch with our team at Royal Pool & Spa in White Bear Lake so we can do it for you! We specialize in comprehensive swimming pool opening and closing services for pool owners throughout the Twin Cities metro and have proudly served the area since 1988.
To learn more or get a service estimate, give us a call today at 651-779-7606 or request a quote online, and a member of our team will get in touch!