How to Maintain Swimming Pools in Winter

By: Doheny's Pool Supplies Fast

Now that your pool has been winterized, you may think that you are done taking care of it for the season.  However, winter pool maintenance is simple and should be completed as regularly as possible.  Doheny’s Pool Supplies Fast is here to walk you through the process step-by-step, making it easy to maintain your swimming pool with the right pool chemicals and accessories, while saving money all year long.

Ensure your pool has been winterized.

Check out Doheny’s for information on what chemicals to use and what kind of winter pool covers are best for your pool.  If you live in a location with mild winters, then reference the information on how to maintain your uncovered pool during the winter months below.

Make sure your winter pool cover or safety pool cover is secure. 

Heavy rain, snow or wind can damage your pool cover.  It is important to make sure that the winter cover is in place and protecting your swimming pool.

  • Above ground pools: Check to make sure that your heavy-duty air pillow is inflated and holding up your cover, cover cable is tightened, cover clips or winter seal wrap is secure, or the winter cover wall bags are holding your pool cover in place on your above ground pool.
  • In-ground pools: Check to see if your winter pool cover is being held in place by water blocks or water bags.  If you have a pool safety cover, then make sure that all safety cover components are securing the cover to your patio/deck area.  If you are missing parts, then you can find replacement parts here.

Remove leaves and debris from the top of your winter pool cover.

Eliminating sources of debris will prevent your pool cover from being ripped, torn or otherwise damaged during the winter months.  Wet leaves can be very heavy and weigh your pool cover down.  For those using leaf nets, then be sure to dispose of leaves that have collected on top of the net.  Keeping the pool area free of leaves will also help prevent water contamination if your pool is not covered for the winter.

Check pool water to make sure algae formation has not occurred. 

Algae typically do not grow in water temperature that is less than 60 degrees; however, it is possible.  If you notice algae formation, then add shock treatment or algaecide to your pool water.  Preventing extended periods of algae growth will help save your pool’s liner, concrete, etc.  Plus, managing algae growth can be a pain when you open your pool for the summer!

Tips for swimming pools in non-freezing climates

You may live in a climate where your swimming pool can be left uncovered during the winter since the temperature does not drop below freezing.  If this is the case, then you should maintain your pool even though it is not in use.  Dirty pool water can cause many issues to your swimming pool and pose health risks for you and your neighbors.

You may want to perform a monthly or bimonthly service on your pool.

If you are lucky enough to live in a climate where you can swim in your pool year round, then you will want to perform regular maintenance on your pool.  Adjust pool maintenance based on pool usage.

Clean your pool and surrounding pool area regularly.

Algae forms when debris remains in your swimming pool.  Removing leaves, dirt, branches and other contaminants from your pool will keep your pool water clean during the winter months.  Regularly run your automatic pool cleaner if you have one.  If not, then use a handheld leaf rake to remove heavy leaf-fall.  Scrub the walls and bottom of your pool periodically to prevent algae forming on pool surfaces.

Test your pool water chemistry bimonthly.

Maintaining your pool water’s chemistry is important to keep your pool water clean and sanitary.  Abnormal pH due to low chlorine levels can facilitate the growth of algae and bacteria.

Run your pool pump for a few hours daily during periods of nonuse. 

Keeping pool water circulating is still important even though your pool is not being used for the winter.  Water circulation helps keep pool water free of algae, bacteria, mosquito breeding and other harmful occurrences when pool water is left stagnant. Run your pool pump at least 4 hours a day during periods of nonuse.  Doheny’s suggests running the pump between 6-8 hours to circulate pool water.

Maintain your swimming pool’s filtration system.

Pool filters can still need maintenance during the winter. Start by periodically checking the skimmer basket and removing leaves and debris as needed.  Also, make sure to check and clean your pool pump basket to keep it free of leaves and debris as well.

Consider purchasing a leaf net.

Leaf nets are ideal in locations where temperatures do not dip below freezing.  Leaf nets collect leaves on top of your pool to prevent them from sinking to the bottom or staining your pool walls.