How to open your pool in the spring and avoid an algae problem.
One of the most commonly asked questions we get in the spring is “how do we clear up this swamp water in our pool?” Clearing up your pool water after a long winter can be more frustrating than realizing you are out of coffee on a cold day, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things you can do to ensure you open your pool with clear water requiring just a bit of cleaning and chemical balancing.
We are a day late and a dollar short on this tip, but adding a winterizing kit in the Fall helps immensely. Much like the veggies in your garden, when the water is cold algae won’t grow. Algae is not happy if the water is below 50 degrees. The winter kit chemicals dissipate after a few weeks, but they help keep your chemicals balanced and the pool clear until your water turns into a popsicle.
When should I close my pool? The later in the season you close (closer to freezing temperatures) the better chance you will have keeping your water clear. Your pool water must be clear and balanced before closing, if it looks like an organic green smoothie before you close the pool it will look and smell worse in the spring I guarantee it! A late September or October closing is a great way to set up for success in the spring. If you are already suffering from an algae bloom; take care of that before you close.
Opening your pool early in the spring is a good idea if you want clear water. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but here we go; cold water stunts algae growth. A pool opened in April or earlier (depending on the weather) will be more likely to have clear water and will only require cleaning instead of a complete sludge removal.
Operating a pool in cooler weather does not require a lot of additional chemicals. If you aren’t using the pool; you don’t even need to heat it which saves you even more! In the long term it is less expensive because you can bypass all the additional shock and algaecides required to clear up a green pool. Not to mention all the time and frustration that goes with clearing a green pool (sorry, I guess I just mentioned it.)
Just so this doesn’t turn into a novel I will leave you with one final idea: winter safety cover. This accomplishes two things. A well fitted cover anchored to your pool deck helps keep leaves and critters out of your pool over the winter months. This not only makes cleanup a snap in the spring; it also helps reduce organic material, phosphates and other science-y stuff that can lead to an algae bloom. Even more important than keeping your pool clean; it greatly decreases the safety risk of having an exposed pool all winter. Nobody wants the little neighbor kids falling into an unsupervised pool this winter. The neighbor dog that starts yapping at 4:30 a.m. may be a different story, however. These covers are designed to hold a lot of weight so should a child or pet decide to walk across the pool it will keep them safe and dry.
Pools can be a pain, but a well maintained pool doesn’t have to be. These winter tips will set you up for a great pool startup; you will be lounging pool side while your neighbors are still trying to clear theirs up!