Today 02/24/2017 was an amazing afternoon! A light breeze, sunny with not a cloud in sight , and a delightful 70 degrees. It almost feels like spring, unfortunately its only February 24 here in New Jersey. It certainly was a perfect day to be outside. I’m sure for many, you cant wait for winter to be over and for spring to come quickly to get ready for pool season. Based on the calls today, we see many customers already cant wait and are thinking about the upcoming pool season. But alas, this weather will undoubtedly not last and the cold will come back. 🙁
While outside today, i noticed many spring flowers have started to bloom, it was such a delight to see and brought a smile to my face, however the pool professional in me quickly realized how bad this is for everyone’s pools. Flowers blooming in February, only a week after a 6 inch snow fall, means algae will start blooming in pools! Yikes! Its too soon for this type of weather! During a pool closing, whether done yourself or by a professional, you should be adding a cocktail of chemicals to the water right before covering it for the winter. These chemicals help maintain water clarity, prevent staining, kill bacteria and algae growth, and keep the chemistry safe for the pool finish. The life and effectiveness of these chemicals depend on many things, weather playing the largest roll. The more it rains and snows, the more fresh water is being introduced into your pool which dilutes theses chemicals. We always hope we have a relatively dry autumn and little snow fall and however much it may snow that it remains frozen throughout the winter. This helps from diluting these chemicals prematurely, We all anticipate lots of spring showers, but “hopefully” by then you have already planned to open your pool and there is no reason for alarm, Your pool is normally opened within the month and the job is relatively straight forward. If we have greater then normal precipitation throughout fall and winter however, we normally send out a flyer expressing our concern and things you should do or have us do on your behalf. But what is happening now doesn’t really fall into this previously mentioned “best case scenario” category. What we are experiencing is “late spring” weather only 2.5 MONTHS EARLY!
What can be expected is all the snow and rain we’ve recently encountered has added water to your pool. GREAT! THAT’S PERFECT because we take a lot of water out during the closing and all the rain and snow is saving you a large water bill of filling it up come swimming season. The added water is not of any concern to us. The concern is all this water has lowered the effectiveness of your chemicals added during closing. If it was still 30 degrees this would not be a problem as algae wouldn’t grow because it is far too cold for its reproduction, however on a 70 degree day, the greenhouse effect under your pool raises the temperature substantially and gives any bacteria that entered your pool with the perspiration a fighting chance to thrive! This is very bad for your pool! It can cause staining, pool surface damage, and one heck of a chemical bill to correct it when you’re ready to open the pool. But it can be easily remedied NOW without opening your pool. The objective is to adjust the chemistry of your water in order to prevent this algae bloom from occurring. If not, the algae can run a muck which takes a toll on your equipment coming opening season, and drags out the time frame it takes to get your pool back to looking picturesque and swim-able.
Avoid the frustrating and headaches during the opening by following these simple steps:
- remove whichever corner of your winter which is located in the deepest part of your pool
- Fold back the corner just enough so you can easily see and access the water. (this is a good time to monitor your water level. If it is up to the tile line, entering the skimmers, or is within 4 inches of this scenario stick a submersible pump in to lower the water. This time of year the water should still be at least 8-12 inches below operating level as New Jersey averages 4 inches of rain per month in march, april, and may. If you are located outside NJ check your average precipitation in your area to come up with the number that’s right for your location
- Once the water is at the correct level it is now time to add your cocktail of chemistry enhancers. We use the following chemicals: (for too many reasons to list in this posting) **if you really want to know why we use these over just adding chlorine or other things some companies chose send us an email and we’ll write a post about it 🙂
- Oxidizer: (Potassium peroxymonosulfate)
- Borates: (sodium tetraborate pentahydrate)
- Disinfectant/Oxidizer: (potassium peroxydisulfate)
- Non-Chlorine Shock: (Tetra[carbonato(2-)]dihydroxypentamagnesium)
- Once at a time dilute these items in a 5 gallon bucket of water and pour them into your swimming pool. repeat this process for each chemical. DO NOT pour all the chemicals together in one 5 gallon bucket. Once full bucket of water per chemical added.
- Water has a high solubility so there is no concern you are adding these in one place. The equilibrium will correct itself and spread throughout the pool.
- Now your all set to close off the corner of the pool you previously opened. You can now rest assured your pool was properly taken care of and you can sleep peacefully.
If you prefer not to spend time hunting online and purchasing large buckets of each chemical we mentioned above, we have put together a package of theses chemicals to make it easier for the homeowner to do on their own without breaking the bank. Just remember to order the correct amount for your pool size.
Here is our custom package we mentioned above: Winter Chemical Kit
Good luck and we look forward to the upcoming season!