As much as Southern California has a reputation for year-round sunshine, the temperatures can still drop dramatically during the winter. Do you have to winterize your pool when you live in the Los Angeles area?
Most West Coast pool builders will tell you to keep an eye on the temperatures, as that will determine whether you need to take any action. Even if you do winterize your pool, the process will be a lot simpler than it is for homeowners who live in colder areas.
Here are some winterization tips and answers to top pool professionals FAQs.
Is winterization necessary?
Generally, Southern California has a temperate climate. It’s rare to see snow, unless you head up into the mountains or the Grapevine. If the forecast shows a run of freezing weather, then you will definitely want to take precautions to protect your pool. Otherwise, you can simply keep up with your normal pool maintenance schedule.
When the temperature drops below 32°F, your main concern should be running the pump 24 hours a day until the weather warms up again. The water in your in-ground pool will be slightly warmer than the air, so circulating the warmer water constantly can keep the pipes and equipment from freezing. Since water expands when it freezes, it can crack pipes and cause major damage.
You might want to keep your pool heater on low during the freezing weather, just to keep things moving. If your pool equipment has automatic freeze sensors, consider turning those on to protect your pool.
Steps to winterize your pool
West Coast pool builders recommend the following steps:
- Clean your pool: First, clean your pool thoroughly to remove dirt and debris. It can affect your pool’s chemistry if left unresolved for long.
- Balance the chemistry: To reduce the possibility of etching or scaling, balance your pool water’s chemistry.
- Superchlorinate: Superchlorinate your pool to prevent algae formation and staining when it’s not in use. Follow the directions on the package for best results.
- Shut down the equipment: Shut down all your pool equipment, clean the filter and empty the pump and skimmer baskets. Turn off the breakers to the pool.
- Drain 2 inches of water: Next drain 2 to 2.5 inches of water from the pool, so the water line is well below the skimmer basket and tiles. (Tiles may crack if the water freezes.)
- Use a winter pool cover: Finally, invest in a good winter pool cover. This will provide some thermal insulation and keep debris out during the winter.
Following these tips will help prevent freezing in temperate climates. It will also ensure that your pool is practically ready to use as soon as spring weather rolls around. Investing the time in winterizing your pool now will save you a lot of effort later on when you’re ready to dive in once more.
Avanti Pools, Inc. is a West Coast pool builder, creating custom-designed pools and spas. When you’re ready to install or remodel your pool, give us a call right away.