Should we close or winterize our swimming pool? We often this get this question. Especially when the evenings get cooler and the days shorter in the season we all love, Fall. With this time of year comes the age old question of whether or not to close the swimming pool for winter or to just keep it going until Spring. First, we have to tell you, this is truly a personal decision. If we were to give you a simple 'yes, you should close the pool' or 'no, keep it open' that really would not be accurate. So to help you make this decision we are going to give you some things to think about and deicide for yourself. The goal? To help you see if they are important factors to you or not. Which will make your decision easier.
Let us get this one out of the way first. Since most of us do not have 'money trees' this matters. Which way is cheaper? Let us say that you close and open your pool at the recommended time of year. I know this may not always be true, but for simple math lets just say that the swimming pool and spa get closed October 31st. Let us also assume that you open your swimming pool and spa in the Spring on April 1. The typical cost to close and open a pool is one month of service cost. So you want to save some money?
October Service + Closing = November Service
April Service + Opening = March Service
December + January + February = The only true months of extra expense
You now see that you are actually still paying for November and March service even though you are not using the pool. So how much do you really save? Well it really comes to only 3 months of pool service and electricity. That may not be worth it to most especially when you consider the following points...
2. Liner or Plaster.
No matter the material your pool is made of water that stays balanced is ALWAYS better for your swimming pool or spa. Water chemistry that gets off balance will always shorten the lifespan of the material. So is closing the pool better or worse for the pool liner? Which is better for the plaster? A clean, water balanced pool will always last longer. HOWEVER what if you have a gunite/plaster/Pebbletec/etc swimming pool that sits underneath a massive old tree? This might change things a little bit. Those materials are all porous so leaves, sap and tree debris that is left sitting even for a week can create stain issues. So if this is your situation a quality safety cover might be the best way to keep your pool looking better longer.
Not all covers are created equal. Today modern safety covers are better than ever. Those old water bag covers that look like a giant tarp on the other hand have only gotten worse. If you are not using a safety cover then this might be the determining factor. Safety covers cost money and that money will take time to recover. That said, they are SAFE, hence the name. A swimming pool with a giant tarp covering it is a huge liability. Animals, children and even adults can easily become entangled in them and could drown. So our suggestion? Unless you are considering the investment in a safety cover do not close the pool for winter. The danger is just not worth it. An open body of clear water is safer than a murky one with basically a big blanket in it.
Aesthetics for most of us is one reason we wanted a swimming pool. More and more of our customers choose to keep their pools open through the Winter because they simply like the look of an open pool with the clear water moving around. This compared to a big dark covered pool is enough reason alone for them to keep the swimming pool open and running year round. This again is up to you.
Will keeping the pool open all year wear out my pump or filter? Many might think that keeping the pool running through the winter will cause the filter and pump to have a shorter lifespan. While it is true that hours run are hours run. There again is more to consider. Pumps have seals, those seals do not like to be dry. A pool that is properly winterized must have all of the equipment and lines blown out and winterized. This leaves filters and pumps to sit dry for months each year. This can lead to damage to the gaskets and seals used in modern pool equipment which are designed to be wet all the time. So for this reason we have to call this one a toss up. Yes it gets used more but having it sit dry we have found, can lead to other problems. In the end we have to say this is a level playing field.
So what did you decide?
No doubt you decided what was best for you and your family with your situation and wants considered. We are happy to take care of closing and opening your swimming pool. Need a safety cover installed? We can do that too. Want to keep that pool looking beautiful all year? We can tailor a service plan to your needs.