“Do I need to test my pool water in winter?” This is a great question that is asked countless times every year, and thus it deserves a great answer. From year to year, you might forget what your research taught you about testing your pool water in the winter months. At Bonnie & Clyde’s Pools and Spas, we specialize in above-ground pools, and we are excited to help you with any questions that you have regarding testing your water – how to do it, when to do it, and why you should do it. There are several things to consider during the winter months when caring for your above-ground pool, things that will affect the look and function of your pool when warmer weather returns.
To Test or Not to Test…
Let’s first talk about the importance of testing the water…year-round! If you do not consistently test the water in your pool, the result could be devastating for you in the long run. Staining could occur in your pool or on your pool equipment, and the buildup of chemicals could destroy the finish as well. We created the ultimate checklist of winterizing instructions to help guide you in the process. You will want to test your water on a regular basis to help ensure your chemicals are staying properly balanced.
Chlorine is important to keep your pool water pure by killing germs. During the winter months, the chlorinator can be kept on a low setting. Use enough chlorine tablets to keep the reading between 2 and 4 ppm. High-quality chemicals are the key to keeping your water clean in all seasons.
The pH level is how you can tell if your water is too basic, or too acidic. If your water is testing on the acidic side of the pH scale, abrasive corrosion can occur on your pool’s finish. On the other hand, if this number is too high (meaning your water is too basic), an unwanted scale can begin to build up. The pH levels also help your sanitizers work more effectively. A 7.4 is a great middle-ground for the pH number.
The alkalinity number is a measure of the ability of the water to neutralize the acids that are present in the pool. This number helps to control the pH level. The alkalinity number should be kept in its normal range (between 80-150 ppm) throughout the year.
The calcium level must also be controlled (minimum of 200 ppm). A low calcium number over time can cause etching in the plaster of the pool, or cause irreparable staining. A high calcium number can leave a scale buildup and additional staining. Keep a check on your pool water in the winter to avoid finding an unwanted surprise when you go to enjoy a poolside afternoon this summer.
Remember – don’t let the colder weather keep you from testing your pool water! Keep an eye on the chemical levels at least once a week, even during the colder months. Maintaining the levels properly during the winter will make the coming seasons much easier for keeping your pool functioning as it should! You want to invest time testing your water throughout the year to save yourself the hassle of dealing with the effects of ignoring the water instead. If you have any specific questions, contact us today!