4 Quick Tips for Fall Pool Maintenance
Here in the subtropical climate of South Louisiana and in our neighboring states, most pool owners do not winterize and close our pools in the fall, instead we gradually adapt in our approach to pool maintenance as temperatures change.
As most experts agree, the most comfortable water temperature for swimming is between 78°F and 82°F. Our outdoor temp today is 90° and rising, my pool water temp is at a comfortable 85°F. This allows for an extended swimming season. The following are 4 practical tips that have helped me along the way to enjoy a pool with less troubles during the changing seasons.
1. Start reducing pool pump operating time - I generally run my pumps 12 hours a day during the hot summer months to insure a proper turnover rate and filtration. As fall approaches I start reducing my run time in 2 to 4 hour increments depending on outside temps and water conditions. By the time December arrives I am down to 4 hours a day run time when temperatures are above freezing. To avoid costly repairs caused by pipes freezing, you will need to run your pumps as long as temperatures are below 32°F.
2. Increased attention to skimmers, leaf raking and pool cleaner bags - In my area there are a lot of pine and other trees with various falling debris, I am emptying skimmers every other day now, versus once a week. As more trees start dropping leaves it will become increasingly necessary to empty skimmers more often, use a leaf rake daily (depending on how many trees you have near your pool and wind conditions) and if you have an automatic pool cleaner to empty that bag more frequently. And don't forget to keep the basket at the pool pump empty as well.
3. Dealing with increased evaporation -"Evaporation of water from a water surface - like a swimming pool - depends on water temperature, air temperature, air humidity and air velocity above the water surface." The days are still pretty warm here, so it's heating up the water and the nights are getting cooler with lower humidity levels. Most mornings the steam rising off the water surface is visible and I definitely notice I am adding more water during this time of the year. Check your water level daily, and add water whenever the level approaches the one-third mark on the skimmer door.
4. Maintain Proper Pool Chemistry - Last but not least...ALWAYS maintain proper pool water chemistry!
Every pool is different, and there are many of variables that should be taken into consideration. Figure out what works best for your pool!