Although there are plenty of water worshippers out there who would love to keep swimming outdoors all year round, unfortunately this isn’t an option for residents of the Great White North. Shutting down your outdoor swimming pool is an annual event that’s as traditional as heading back to school, celebrating Labour Day or the taking in the Canadian National Exhibition. As a matter of fact, these signifiers often coincide with closing your pool. But other than these common fall rituals, what other factors should you take into account when planning your pool closure?
You definitely need to close your pool before temperatures reach freezing. Although it’s possible to keep your water temperature above freezing using your pool heater and ensure the pipes don’t freeze by continuously running your pump, if for any reason either of these fail (think power outage, mechanical failure) and the temperature is below freezing you’ll end up in all sorts of trouble. Don’t tempt fate by making sure your pool is closed down long before temperatures drop below zero.
If your pool is surrounding by trees that drop their leaves each fall, you’ll likely want to close and cover your pool before it ends up with all that foliage in the water. Not only is it a huge hassle to scoop out all the leaves, excessive organic matter in your pool water can cause other problems such as staining and filter plug ups. Save yourself the extra workload and shut down your pool when the leaves have changed colour and are threatening to drop.
If you have a robotic pool vacuum, ensure you read the instructions to find out at what temperature it needs to be removed from the pool. Oftentimes that temperature is much higher than freezing. Running it at low temperatures can damage its components.
Clean your pool thoroughly by vacuuming, brushing, shocking, sanitizing and balancing the pH of the water. Allow the sanitized water to filter through the system for at least 24 hours.
Thoroughly drain all the water from your pool pump, heater and filter system. Not doing this properly can damage the machinery and pipes once temperatures fall below freezing.