IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR…

PROTECTING YOUR POOL, SPA, WATER FEATURES

We are getting ‘the call’… “when can you close my pool, spa, fountains?

Then the additional questions: “when should I close?, what do you do to close?, can I do it?, what if I don’t close, what happens? and, of course, how much does it cost?”. Let’s take these very important questions one at a time.

Closing or winterizing any body of water should occur when you are no longer using or enjoying it and/or when the temperature starts to dramatically cool but the weather is still predictable enough to accomplish the job. In the Southwest United States, the last of October or first of November are the ideal times.

  • What is the closing procedure? A proper closing/winterizing involves a whole series of procedures.
  • All the water lines and plumbing lines are blown out and plugged.
  •  All equipment is drained.
  • The water level is lowered below the tile line so the tile does not pop off with the changes in temperature and contact with freezing water. If there is no tile at the water line, this can be skipped
  • A line of ice breaks is installed the length of the surface to compensate for the freeze and thaw expansion.
  • The water chemistry is balanced to adjust for scale forming or aggressive water conditions to prevent needless deterioration of the pool plaster or finishes.
  • The water is then shocked with a large dose of chlorine to kill any existing bacteria.
  • Algaecide inhibitor is added to the water to prevent algae forming throughout the winter.
  • The pool cover is closed to prevent debris falling into the water. If there is no cover, the water surface is then left to the elements throughout the winter. Solar blankets should not be used for this purpose as the extreme winter conditions destroy solar blankets.

Well suited for this situation:

AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A POUND OF CURE!

Can I winterize myself?
Pools, spas and fountains are usually a substantial investment and repairing them even more so. Unless the home owner is a pool professional, closings and winterization should be performed by knowledgeable and certified technicians trained in this process. Totally draining the whole pool or spa can cause even worse problems. With the ground freeze and thaw, the expansion can compromise the pool sides causing collapse or cracking. The water pressure equalizes this condition, so the pool water needs to remain throughout the winter.
What if I don’t close my pool?
Leaving a water surface unheated in freezing weather with no chemical treatment as mentioned above leaves the homeowner with a murky mess in the spring and very expensive and time-consuming repairs. Pools can stay open and operating throughout the winter if they are heated and the routine maintenance continues.

 

 

How can I make sure the company I hire knows what they are doing?

Start by calling established and reputable pool service companies in your area and asking them about their winterization/closing process. Make sure they perform the steps mentioned above and can explain them and their importance. Only trained and experienced technicians should be winterizing. This is a complicated and essential process to protect you the home owner and your investment. Make sure you and the company know the local weather extremes and are accounting for them in the closing process.

When is it safe to start using my pool, spa, or fountains in the spring?
Scheduling the company to open and start your pool could safely happen in the Southwest US, in March or the first of April after the threat of a deep frost. The opening process many times can take a week depending on the condition and location of the pool and the weather throughout the winter. It is not uncommon for the water to take up to 5-7 days to clear. Allowing this time before scheduled use will alleviate stress on both the home owner and the pool company. Call early to get your times as most pool/spa/fountain owners want to be enjoying their features before the May holidays and events.

If you are located in the Northern New Mexico area, feel free to contact Natures Creations in Santa Fe 505.471.2600 with any questions or to schedule your winterization projects.