The main purpose of pool maintenance is to make sure that the water stays safe and enjoyable. With fall and winter coming, you will have the added responsibility of keeping your pool clean through several months of inactivity so it looks just as inviting when you are ready for a swim next year.
Here are some fall pool maintenance tips to keep in mind:
Skim the pool: When autumn arrives, the leaves will begin to fall everywhere and probably get into your pool. Skimming the pool on a regular basis helps to remove leaves and debris and prevent staining when the leaves sink to the bottom of the pool. Also empty the skimmer box and pump basket.
Trim trees and hedges: To reduce your workload, consider trimming the trees, shrubs, and any other foliage that may shed leaves. This will also reduce the risk of branches falling and puncturing holes in the winter cover.
Close the pool: When the water gets too cold for swimming, you should close it properly. On the last day of operation:
- Add chlorine and an algaecide or algaestat to the water and then run the pump for 24 hours so it is thoroughly mixed into the water. This will keep algae from forming for awhile.
- Drain water from the pump, filter, and pool heater. Check your pipes and motorised parts for excess water. Water expands when it freezes, and excess water in the pipes increases the risk of over-expansion that could result in costly damage.
- Drain the water to 4-6 inches below the skimmer.
- Consider cleaning out the shed and discarding any remaining pool chemicals from the previous season. You should not use the same chemicals when you open the pool next year.
- Cover the pool to keep toddlers, pets, and dirt out of the pool.
Keep the pool cover clean: It is important to hose the cover regularly to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. When cleaning, inspect the cover for tears, holes, rips, and other issues that may negate its role.
Clean the filters: There are different types of filters, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning. Generally:
- DE filters should be removed for thorough cleaning using a hose at least once a year. After hosing, soak the filter in a pool filter cleaner.
- Cartridge filters require an annual chemical bath to dissolve oils and minerals that have soaked into the fabric.
- Sand filters should be soaked in a sand filter cleaner to remove oil deposits.
If you intend to keep using your pool during fall, consider getting the pool heater inspected to ensure it is ready for the colder nights.