Few things distinguish a backyard like a pool or pond. With the coming of winter, however, your backyard's aesthetic gem and source of so much fun needs to be properly protected. Here are a few tips to help ensure that your pool or pond hibernates during the winter so it can come to life again next year.
Although draining your pool or pond might seem like the most logical step, keeping water in your pool or pond offers protection from the elements that can't be beat. The key to making this process successful is achieving a liquid balance.
When treating your water, one factor has superlative importance: Langelier Saturation Index (LSI). Your pond or pool's LSI is essentially a measure of its corrosive properties. As your pool or pond water decreases* it becomes concentrated, which means that its corrosive properties also become more concentrated. If left untreated, sensitive equipment, drains, and your pool's surface can suffer catastrophic damage. Here's a quick guide to creating winterized LSI:
- Cleanse: reaching optimal LSI removes many of the chemicals used to kill organic matter in your pool. Thus, you will want to give your water a healthy cleanse. Most pool or pond stores sell a hydrogen-peroxide product that quickly accomplishes this job.**
- Sweep: now that your pool or pond is clean, sweep your pool for any stray organic matter (leaves, insects, ect.).
- Test: now that your pool or pond water has been sanitized, you will need to test your water. In most regions, you will want your water to register between 0.0 and +0.05. If your pool is above this range, you will want to add more bleach solution. However, if its below this range you will want add a PH booster, which can also be found at your local pool and/or pond shop.
- Cover: now that your LSI ideal, you can put your pond or pool to rest for the winter. The best covers are custom made for your particular pond or pool. They protect against UV light spectrums and allow rain water to drain off the surface.
Filters, Pumps, and Heaters
Your pool or pond's functionality depends on its filters and/or heaters. During the winter, these hydraulic workhorses need to be protected.
- Pumps and Heaters: during the winter, all water pumps and heaters should be turned off and cut off from a power source. Before shutting your pumps down for good though, you must allow your LSI balanced water to circulate for a few days. This will ensure that any water that comes to rest in your pump is LSI optimized, which will prevent it from corroding your pumps valves, fittings, and seals.
- Filters: regardless of your on your pond or pool's filtration systems, you want to remove any filtration screens used by the system. If the filters look worn out and show visual signs of wear, you may want to discard them. However, if mesh looks strong and solid, you can power wash them, let me dry thoroughly, and store them in a protected location for winter. In addition to removing the filter screens, you will want to close the filter valves to prevent water from sloshing into them during winter.
Owning a pond or pool can make your home more valuable and enjoyable. These steps can help you winterize your pool or pond to make sure that you're able to enjoy it for years to come.
If you are interested in learning more about swimming pool maintenance, click here to read more.
*Note: if you live in an area where temperatures plummet to freezing temperatures, you will want to drain your pool or pond before the start of each winter.
**At this point, do not attempt to swim in your pool.