When should I close down my pool?
Closing your pool is really a personal choice and depends on your lifestyle. In the past, we have had some incredibly spectacular weather in September. Temperatures in the mid to high 20s for the entire month have blessed Medicine Hat in the past. The weather in September is similar to June.
Keeping your pool operational in September does not have to cost a lot more than the rest of the summer. Pay attention to the weather, and check the 7 day forecast If the weather does not look favorable for the near future, or if you don’t think that you are going to use the pool for the next couple of days, then keep it covered and turn off the heater until the day before you are going to use the pool.
Keeping your pool operational in October is also a possibility. Again, by watching the weather, you can keep your cost down by covering the pool and turning on the heater only when you think you are going to use the pool.
Are my pool’s chemical needs any different in the fall than in the summer?
If you are going to keep your pool running in the fall, you must continue to balance your water and sanitize it with some sort of chlorine. The only difference is that if you don’t keep it heated all the time you will not need as much chlorine. You will also find that water evaporation is not as great in the fall as it is in the summer. If you do not add water to the pool, you do not have to treat it. One of the biggest drawbacks to running your pool in the fall is having to remove the leaves that fall into the water. Make sure you check the skimmer basket on a regular basis when the leaves are falling.
When I do decide to close the pool, what is the correct procedure?
Just before you shut down your pool, you should give it one final cleaning. Vacuum the pool, and do a thorough backwash (if you use a sand filter) or remove the cartridge filters and clean them. Run the pump for another 12 hrs, and during this time, shock the pool to about 10 ppm with a good chlorine shock.
Now, you can turn off the pump and start to drain the pool to just below the return inlets of the pool. After you have drained the pool, blow out all the lines and the skimmer. Depending on the system, I will usually run plumbing or RV antifreeze in the lines. Now, it’s time to cover your pool for the winter with either a safety cover or a black tarp. Before your finish, make sure that you blow all the water out of your heater, pump and filter. Now, you can sit back and wait for winter to end so that you can open your pool in the spring and enjoy it again!