Fall Fiberglass Pool Maintenance Tips
Fall can be a sad time for fiberglass in-ground pool owners as we think about shutting down our pools and hunkering in for winter. It can be easy to neglect your pool once the swimming season is over but it is important to resist the urge to ignore your pool before it has been winterized and closed.
Keeping your pump on and circulating the water is a good idea for several reasons. A full daily 8-12 hour cycle may not be necessary, but running daily will continue to keep dirt out of the pool and keep the chlorinator making / injecting chlorine. The longer the pump runs into the fall season and the longer the water is chlorinated the less chance you will have an algae outbreak. If you have ever opened your pool in the spring to find a green 'pond' you know the heartache and the work that goes into clearing and filtering algae. Not fun. If we are flirting with freezing temperatures, having the pump running will keep your plumbing safe and prevent freezing. You might even consider running your pump on a night cycle rather than a day cycle if freezing is a concern.
There is no reason to heat the pool once you have decided that you are done swimming. The heat a heat pump produces becomes much more expensive with cooler air temperatures and there is simply no reason to put wear on the heater or waste the electricity. Running the pump during freezing temps is protection enough.
It is VERY important that you keep the water well balanced and in proper range. Frankly it is more important in Fall than any other time as your pool will be enjoying (or suffering) whatever the water chemistry is when it is closed. Bad water chemistry can do damage to your pool ALL WINTER long. Keeping up on your 'Anti-Scale' and 'Metal-Out' products is also more important now than ever. If you are experiencing scaling, Fall is when you should bring the pH down BELOW 7.0 to help stop the scale process and potentially dissolve some of the scale. Be sure to turn down your chlorinator to an appropriate setting to maintain 1.5-3.0 PPM. If you leave it at the same level as summer it will likely over chlorinate the pool.
Normal Water Chemistry levels:
- Alkalinity: 80 - 120 PPM
- pH: 7.2 - 7.4
- Chlorine: 1 - 3 PPM
- Calcium Hardness: 0 - 200 PPM (unless you have a masonry or stone water feature)
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If you have a retractable cover it should be kept closed and the cover pump should be kept on it at all times. If you have a mesh safety cover you might even want to consider putting it on as soon as the leaves start falling. The time it takes to put on will likely be less than the time it takes to get the leaves out later. When it is time to winterize the pool it is pretty simple to remove a few straps to access the returns and skimmer without removing the entire cover.
If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to reach out to us.