Texas Living

Chilly Dips

By Kristy Alpert 12.9.13

Diving in to pool maintenance this winter may not mean jumping into the deep end of hard labor. Follow these tips for winter pool care to keep your swimming hole in great shape all winter long and make sure it’s maintained well enough for next swimming season.

Every three days

  • Skim debris (leaves, branches, etc.) from the top of the water and clean out the baskets.

Once per week

  • Vacuum the bottom of the pool and brush the walls and tile with a stiff brush to remove calcium deposits.
  • Check and maintain the pool’s water level.

Once per month

  • Check the pH level (7.2 to 7.8 is the goal).
  • Chlorinate the water heavily.
  • Add algaecide (check with your local pool supply store to see which brand they recommend for your climate).

When necessary

  • Clean the pool filter.
  • Get the pool’s heater serviced by a professional.
  • Search for and repair leaks.
  • Turn off pump if freezing weather is imminent or winterize your pool in advance of any inclement weather.

Although most climates in Texas don’t require full winterization for swimming pools, check with your local pool experts to see if they recommend taking this extra precaution in your area. Winterization includes using an air compressor to blow water out of the pool’s plumbing, draining water from the filter and heater, adding nontoxic antifreeze to all the pool’s lines, disconnecting (and storing in a dry place) the heater, pump, and chemical feeders, and finally, cleaning the pool and covering the entire surface with a child-safe cover until a few weeks before reuse.