Your Guide on How to Keep Your Pool Open in Winter

Pool in winter

While everyone understands that diving into cool water during the summer is refreshing, not everyone knows that swimming pools can be equally enjoyable during cooler weather. The truth is that you can keep a pool open in winter, even in cooler climates.

And before you dismiss the idea because swimming is strictly for summer, it might surprise you to learn about the benefits of swimming in the winter. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!

Why Would You Want to Keep a Pool Open in Winter?

Sure, you understand the benefits of swimming in the warmer months, but why would anyone keep a pool open in winter?

Surprisingly, you will gain both health benefits and practical benefits from keeping your pool open all winter long. And it’s not only for those who live in moderate climates.

Recommended Read: How to Clean a Very Dirty Pool

It’s good for you

There are many health benefits to swimming in cooler months. For instance, swimming when it’s cool outside can:

Boost your immune system

When you put on your suit and dive into cold water, it causes the white blood cells in your body to increase because of the drastic temperature change.

And all those white blood cells work to improve your immune system.

Get things circulating

Swimming when it’s cold makes your blood move to the surface, which warms your limbs. Once that happens, your arteries, capillaries, and veins get flushed out, which improves your circulation.

Help you lose weight

Another benefit of swimming in cold water is that it helps boost your metabolism. That’s because your heart will pump harder, and your body will have to work harder to keep you warm.

All that extra work for your body means it will burn more calories.

Woman in Pool
Photo by Drew Dau on Unsplash

Relax you

Swimming in cold water has a calming effect on people and can make you more relaxed.

Up your libido

If you’re looking to boost your testosterone or estrogen, swimming when it’s cold outside may do the trick. And when your body increases these hormones, your libido surges.

Here’s a quick video with some tips to help you swim safely in a swimming pool filled with cold water:

It’s practical

In addition to the health benefits, keeping your pool open in the winter has some practical benefits, too. For instance, by not closing up your pool, you will:

Keep your view

One of the reasons you have a swimming pool is the view. There’s nothing quite like looking out your windows to see a shimmering blue pool in your yard.

When you close your pool for the winter, you cover up all that beauty. But when you keep the pool open in winter, it’s always there.

Spend less money

The costs of opening and closing your pool can add up. But when you keep a pool open in winter, you can avoid those costs.

Just think, no pool cover, extra chemicals, or extra service charges from your pool professional.

Keep swimming

Whether you swim in cold water to reap the health benefits or install a heat pump, you won’t have to stop enjoying your pool just because the weather changes.

Have less to do

Maintaining a pool throughout the cooler months is easier because it’s more difficult for algae to grow.

Also, the plants and trees that surround your pool won’t shed leaves and branches. That means your pool pump will do most of the work for you in the cooler months!

Recommended Read: Ultimate Guide to Salt Water Pools

Consider This

Before we tell you how to keep your pool open during the winter, we want to give you some key considerations to think about.

After all, keeping the pool open when it’s cold outside isn’t for everyone. Ask yourself the following questions to determine whether or not it’s the right move for you.

Pool down South
Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

How cold is it?

People who live in the west or the southern areas of the country sometimes wear shorts during the holidays, making it easy to keep a pool open during the winter.

One of the things you should consider is the average temperature in your area. That knowledge will help you determine how often you can swim during the colder months.

For instance, if your area is frozen much of the winter, it might be smarter to close down your pool.

If you plan to practice cold swimming, this question isn’t important because you will likely swim no matter what the weather does!

How much do I want to spend?

When you close your pool for the winter, your energy bill goes down because you don’t have to run all the pool equipment. But when you keep pool open in winter, your pool pump should run whenever the temperature nears freezing.

Man Jumping into Pool
Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash

If it doesn’t run, the freezing temps could damage your pool equipment. So, your energy bill will go up in the colder months, which may or may not stretch your budget.

On the other hand, you won’t have to buy as many chemicals throughout the winter because they last longer during the colder months. Also, you won’t have the extra expense of a pool or safety cover.

What’s the point?

People think about keeping the pool open during the winter months for various reasons, and you should pinpoint yours when making the decision. For example, are you considering it because you want to look at a beautiful pool all winter? If so, weigh that against the added energy expense.

If you want to keep your pool open during winter because you plan to swim year-round, then the added expense will likely be worth it to you.

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How to Keep Pool Open in Winter Months

Now that you’ve decided that keeping your pool open during the winter months is right for you let’s talk about the steps you need to take.

You will be able to enjoy your pool throughout the cold months, but you will have to take some precautions to ensure your pool — and the equipment that runs it — stays safe and functional.

Here’s what you need to know.

Install a wingman

If your pool freezes, it can cause equipment and pool damage unless the pump is running. That’s why it’s important to install a sensor that automatically turns on the pump when the air or water temperature reaches about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your pool has a controller system, you likely have a freeze sensor. If not, you can purchase one to install on the controller.

But, if your system doesn’t have a controller system, you have a few options. You can install a freeze sensor on its own or a speed pump that comes with automatic freeze protection control.

Watch your features

Do you know all those gorgeous water features that surround your pool? You will have to winterize them until the spring in order to prevent any damage from occurring.

For example, the pumps and pipes for water features, such as jets, fountains, waterfall, or cascades, should be winterized if you live in an area where it snows.

If a freeze hits your area, you should run deck jets or fountains that spray all day and night until the freeze passes.

Don’t close them off

To best protect your pool and its plumbing during the cold months, you should take steps to keep the water moving, so it doesn’t freeze.

That means you should slightly open all valves, pipes, vacuum lines, waterfall lines, cleaner lines, drains, returns, and skimmers. And if you have an attached spa, keep the spa drain open, too.

Don’t forget the pumps

In addition to opening the lines so water can run through them, you should also run all of your pumps.

As long as your valves and pipes are partially open and your pumps are running, even water that is at the freezing level won’t freeze in your equipment or plumbing.

Take it easier

During the warm summer months, you put a lot of energy into cleaning your pool. But once cooler temperatures hit, you can slack off a little on the cleaning, but not too much.

During the winter, you won’t have the same amount of debris falling into your pool because the trees and vegetation are bare. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean your pool, although you won’t have to do it as often.

Because you won’t use your pool as much as you do in warmer months, coupled with shorter filter runs due to shorter days, your pool could become stained unless you stay on top of the cleanings.

Watch the pool, and if you begin to see stains or buildup, vacuum and brush it to remove any debris or stains.

It’s smart to create a regular pool maintenance routine just like you do in summer, although you won’t have to do it as often.

Keep a good balance

Just because it’s winter, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to pay attention to your pool’s water balance. In fact, because your pool’s water will be open to the climate all winter, you will have to pay as much attention to it as you do in hotter months.

One chemical that won’t require much attention is chlorine because it lasts a lot longer in cooler weather, as does algaecide.

But you should consistently check your calcium, cyanuric acid, pH, and alkalinity levels to ensure they stay balanced. If you don’t, the unbalanced pool water could lead to wall and floor surface staining.

If This Happens

Leaving your pool open in winter is a great idea and will afford you many more days of enjoyment. But you should be aware of a few things that could go wrong.

Ice
Photo by Scott McCulloch on Unsplash

Help, my pool is frozen

Don’t panic if you see that the top portion of your swimming pool water is frozen. As long as your pool pump and filter are running and your valves and pipes are partially open, it should be fine.

But if it bothers you, buy a pond heater that floats on top of the water to thaw it out.

My pump failed or the power is out

If your pump fails or you experience a power outage while the outside temperatures are freezing, go immediately to the equipment pad.

There, take off the drain plug on the pump, heater, filter, and all other equipment. If you cannot get the equipment running the same day, winterize your pool to protect it from damage.

My equipment is frozen

If you find that your pool equipment has already frozen, it’s time for drastic measures. You should quickly shut down the pump power and then arrange heavy blankets over the pump and the pool filter.

Next, remove all drain plugs from the filter, pump, and heater. Using a small space heater, place it underneath the blanket, ensuring that the area has adequate air ventilation.

Then, wait until the equipment is thawed out and drain it. Finally, check it to see if it still works.

Don’t forget that you can add an extra layer of protection by wrapping your exposed plumbing with a heating cable. This will provide some protection if your equipment fails, or you forget to turn on your equipment during a freeze.

Recommended Read: The Best Patio Heater for Cool Summer Nights

You Can Keep a Pool Open in Winter

Enjoying your swimming pool year-round is just one of the benefits of owning a backyard swimming pool.

When you decide to keep your pool open in winter, don’t forget to check with your local pool professional to determine whether you need to do anything specifically for your climate or area.

After that, enjoy the many benefits of swimming in cooler weather!

Do you have a habit of leaving your pool open in winter? If so, we would love to hear about any tips or tricks you care to share with us! Just leave them in the comment section below.


Featured Image by Eunice C on Unsplash

Pool Guide Team

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