It has been a summer to remember—very hot and very dry. We have had 55 days of 100-degree weather, which is good for 4th place since records have been kept (late 1800’s). It is likely that we have seen our last 100-degree day, as our last one is August 26th (average), with the latest ever being October 3rd (1951).
Although this is probably the best time of year to use a pool (milder temperatures, pool water is not as hot, etc.), many pool owners have turned their focus to other things (returning to school, football, camping/hiking, etc.) once Labor Day arrived.
Even though our average first freeze is not until November 22nd, we have had quite a few pool owners ask about winter pool care. Depending on several variables (number of trees surrounding the pool, pool location, whether you heat the pool in the winter, etc.), there are basically three options for DFW area winter pool care, which are:
- Continue to operate the pool – For the past 20-25 years, this has been the most popular option in the Denton area. One of the main reasons is that pools have become more aesthetic, and most pools are the focal point of the backyard. If this is the option that you choose, following are a few tips:
- Pumps—Be sure that the pump is operating when the air temperature is freezing. This will prevent freeze damage to the plumbing and the filtration system. If you have waterfall pumps or other pumps, the pump must either be drained or operating (if they are drained, be sure that they remain off and that they are not programmed to come on during a freeze). Booster pumps for automatic cleaners do not typically have to be operating, since water circulates through them when the main pump is operating. Note that main pump run times can be decreased during the winter—again, just be sure it is operating when the air temperature is freezing.
- Heater—If you have a heater, now is a good time to check that that it is operating properly. If you do not have a heater, you might consider having a pool heater installed. Pool heaters allow you to swim at least 9-10 months out of the year, as opposed to approximately 6-7 months without a heater.
- Automatic Cleaners—With the amount of debris (leaves and other windblown debris) that pools tend to draw during the fall, now is a good time to be sure that your automatic cleaner is operating properly.
- Cover your pool using a mesh cover – Due to the number of trees (especially oak trees) that much of the north Texas area has, mesh covers have become increasingly popular in recent years. Mesh covers allow water to get through, but they catch the leaves. Basically, it allows you to keep the leaves and other debris out of the pool, but since the cover allows the rainwater to pass through, you will still need to run the pump periodically and also add chemicals as needed. A properly installed mesh cover (which resembles a trampoline-look over your pool) sometimes even allows you to blow the leaves off of the cover.
- Cover your pool using a solid cover – While a very popular option in the past, this method has been used far less often in recent years. It is a good method to use if trying to avoid utility or chemical costs over the winter, as the filtration equipment is drained and turned off for the winter.
North Texas area pool owners have used all of these winter pool care options, but the best method is the one that fits you and your pool. If you want to discuss what option would best fit your situation or if you have any questions about any of the above information, give us a call at (940)384-7665.