Winterizing Pools for Off-Season in Southern Nevada
For many pool owners in Southwest Nevada, swimming season is over during the Fall and Winter months. While the local climate is much more accommodating for outdoor pools than many parts of the country, it is never a good idea to leave a pool on ‘autopilot’ for the off-season. Not correctly setting a pool up during downtime can cause costly problems. We will now discuss off-season pool maintenance.
In many states, ‘winterizing’ pools includes draining the water as a necessity to prevent significant damage to the structure and parts of the pool and filter system. Because Southern Nevada rarely has ice and snow, many pool owners leave the pools filled during the offseason. Some pool owners utilize water heaters and keep their pools open all year round. For those who do not heat their pool, special care is needed to prevent time-consuming and costly issues.
The Big Freeze
One of the big problems that can occur during the off-season pool maintenance months is overnight freezing of plumbing and mechanical components of the pump and filter system. While average daytime temperatures hover in the high 50s between November and February, nighttime temperatures only average 37 degrees. Occasionally temperatures will reach the freezing point, especially at night. These temperatures are when water in the pump, filter, and plumbing can freeze and expand. The expanding ice can crack and break the pump and filter parts, as well as, the pipes between the pool and pump/filter system.
Aside from draining your pool and pump/filter system, one of the best ways to avoid freezing parts is to set your pump and filter to run from midnight until 8 am. Keeping the pool water in motion during the coldest points will help prevent water from freezing inside the pump, filter, and plumbing.
Another potential problem is having a chemical imbalance and wrong pH balance of the water during the offseason. Not maintaining proper water chemical balance during the off-season pool maintenance cycle can cause algae to bloom as the water temp climbs. Algae and ‘green water’ will need time, effort, and chemicals to get back under control, so prevention is the key to avoiding a significant algae cleanup at the start of the next swimming season. Adding algaecide with the winterizing chemicals during the offseason can help prevent a bloom from appearing in the Spring.
Debris buildup in the pump and filter system can block water circulation. Strong winds in Southern Nevada can easily blow outside debris into your pool. Debris buildup can obstruct the pump and filter system and render them ineffective. On top of not properly circulating the pool water and chemicals, the obstruction can also prevent water from reaching the pump which can cause overheating and subsequent damage to the pump system if forced to run ‘dry.’ Regularly checking and cleaning the filter system during the offseason will prevent debris from building up and obstructing the pool water circulation.
Hard Water and Minerals
Another consideration in pool maintenance for Southern Nevada is hard minerals in the water. Calcium, lime, and other hard minerals are present in untreated water. These minerals will build up over time along the pool tiles leaving a white ring around the water line that can be time-consuming and difficult to remove. It is also essential to check for any water leaks along the pump and filter system as hard minerals will build up at the leak point and will make the problem worse over time. Brushing the pool sides every week can help keep hard water stains off of the pool tile surface. When mineral buildup does not brush off, services such as glass bead-blasting can be used to clean the minerals from the pool tiles.
Off-Season Pool Maintenance
While Southern Nevada does not experience the type of weather that requires full pool winterization, there is a list of pool maintenance steps to take during the offseason. We will now review some of the typical steps to take for winterizing your swimming pool in Southern Nevada:
* Set the pool pump and filter system to run between 12 am – 8 am from November through February
* Add algaecide along with your other winterizing chemicals during the Winter months
* Filter cleaning and weekly chemical balance checks
* Brushing/scrubbing of pool tiles weekly
* Equipment and visible plumbing weekly checks