We all jumped for joy over the dry, almost snow free winter, we had here in the Northeast last winter; however, if you are a pool owner, then you learned that it is not always good to have such a mild winter.
Mild temps, little snow, and little rain meant swimming pools that could pass for a swamp. Our beloved customers came into the store in droves threatening to fill in the pool if they had to clean the filter one more time. Gallons and bags of shock passed through our doors at record speeds. We sympathized with all of you during this time and we hated to give you the answer you didn't want to hear which is that you just had to let it filter, keep shocking and adding chlorine, and keep clearing the filter.
Then, you finally got it perfect, right? It was beautiful without a spec of algae in sight when mother nature struck again with one of the hottest summers on record. Again, the battle ensued of shocking, brushing, and backwashing. Let's face it, being a pool owner this summer was hard work. Well, unless you used our weekly pool service and let us do the dirty work.
So, here we are now. You are at the end of your season. Whether you handle the closing the pool
on your own or you use a company, there are things you can and should be doing to maybe avoid what you went through last spring. Here are the top ways to make spring 2017 a happy start to your pool season:
1. OPEN EARLY
We are already booking openings for many of our customers for 2017. It can take one to three weeks easily to clear your pool up following the opening. Those customers that open early are often up and running faster. The openings book up fast and so those that have already booked know they are getting opened early and will be swimming sooner.
Don't want to spend the extra money opening sooner? Think of it this way, if you open later, then your pool equipment has to run longer and harder to keep up with the amount of algae growth that occurs as the result of a later opening. All of this equals more chemicals, higher electric bills, and more man hours. The difference between an April opening and a May opening can be drastic. Consider that most winter shocks and algae inhibitors last about 90 days, prolonging your opening another month means dirtier, greener water. Of course if you do want to wait til May, there are things you can still do to "save yourself" and we will talk about those things soon, if you have the ability to open early, we say call us now!
2. USE RELIABLE, QUALITY WINTERIZING CHEMICALS
We all know that it can be very appealing to hit the local discount store to buy chemicals for your pool but for off season pool care, now is not the time to tighten the wallet. Winter chemicals are put into your pool at or about the time that the water stops circulating. That means the chemicals will remain mostly stagnant in the water from about October through April (because you are going to take my advice). There are so many reasons why it is important to buy quality products for wintertime, just like during the season. Let's start with the fact you paid a lot of money for this pool and you don't want to have to resurface it or replace a vinyl liner due to poor water quality.
But wait, there are more reasons. Many of the discount brands are diluted, have less active ingredients, or can even be expired. This means they are likely not going to do their job and if you are a true New Englander, you know our new motto is "DO YOUR JOB" so why buy a product that is not likely to work to its true potential. You need a product that is going to last the maximum amount of time or it is not worth buying so while you may have to pull out a few more dollars, we promise it will be worth it in the long run.
3. CLOSE A POOL DIRTY, OPEN A POOL DIRTY
It is never advisable to close your pool without a good vacuum. The best openings start with a clean closing. Leaves and debris left at the bottom of the pool can cause staining over the winter. While there are products that can lighten and erase those stains, the purpose of this article is to help you save time and avoid common problems, so heed our warnings, get the vacuum out and give the pool one last cleaning before the cover goes on.
4. A LITTLE LATE WINTER LOVE DOESN'T HURT
So, you know that you don't want the pool opened early or perhaps we get another warm winter. Schedule a reminder for yourself to pull back the cover and add another bottle of algaecide and a gallon of liquid chlorine to your pool about a month before you are scheduled to open. This will cover that final month when the winter chemicals have stopped working and it will get you ready for opening. If you have a solid cover, this is also a great time to pump the water off the cover and clear the leaves that have accumulated.
While we cannot guarantee that all of this will mean you will be opening up to a crystal clear pool, we can tell you that it will sure give you a great start to next season. Remember, to call early for your opening as we start to book up in early March.
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