Maintaining your Florida Pool in Winter
Even though you may not use your pool very much in the winter months, it still needs regular attention. Think of the off-season routine as a light version of the regular summer maintenance schedule. You’ll need to continue with a cleaning schedule, with regular vacuuming and brushing as needed. That includes skimming debris like leaves and insects from the surface with the net as well as emptying the skimmer basket.
You still need to check and balance chemicals so that the pool does not become overrun with algae. Algae can thrive in pools during the winter because of the varying temperature changes. It’s a good idea to check the water with a test kit about once a week. Keep chlorine levels between 2 to 4 ppm. Protect the pool’s surface areas by maintaining pH levels at around 7.4 to prevent corrosion or a build-up of scale. Alkalinity should be kept in the normal 80-120 ppm range. To prevent etching and staining, the calcium hardness should be at a minimum of 200ppm.
You should also run the pump for a few hours a day. It also helps prevent algae and it’s good for the equipment.
As always, you need to watch the water levels in your pool. During the winter, Florida experiences less rain in Winter than in other seasons, which means that water evaporates faster. Rainfall in the spring will replace much of the lost water, but you don’t want to wait for it: if you notice a drop in the pool’s water level, add enough clean water to bring its level back above your skimmers. If the level falls below the skimmer level, you’re in for a lot of problems.
Keeping this maintenance schedule during the winter months will protect your investment by preventing damage to the pool’s finish and equipment. You’ll also have a lot less work to do come springtime when you’re getting ready to enjoy the summer swim season.
If you’d rather keep winter maintenance to a minimum, you could invest in a pool cover. You’ll still need to run the filter occasionally and check the chemicals, but it is a lot less work.