How to Prepare Your Pool Measurement Devices for Spring or Winter
Your pool is a significant financial investment. It's also a time investment, as it requires hard work to keep clean and beautiful. But all of this time, money and effort are worth it when you get to take a dip on those hot summer days or throw pool parties for family and friends to enjoy. Caring for your pool is a big responsibility, but the payoffs are tremendous.
Two of the most important times of the year as a pool owner are the winter and the spring. Before winter arrives in full swing, you need to properly close your pool for the season to protect it. Sometime in the spring, you'll be reopening your pool so you can enjoy it during the warm weather.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at how to winterize pool devices and reopen pool devices for the best results. As a result, you can care for your pool and get the most out of it for years to come.
Types of Pool Measurement Devices You Should Have
Pool measurement devices are important components to have when you're closing your pool at the end of pool season and reopening it in the spring. When you prep pool measuring devices for winter, you're ensuring they stay protected during the cold months when they're at their most vulnerable. When you prep pool measuring devices for summer, you're ensuring they work through pool season by reopening your pool properly.
To care for your pool all year long, you'll need the right arsenal of measuring devices. Let's take a look at some of the best and most common kinds of measuring devices.
The best way to streamline your pool prep and measurement routine is with WaterGuru SENSE. This smart device sits right in any standard 8-inch round pool skimmer and can fit square skimmers with a simple adapter. It installs in a matter of seconds and replaces your regular skimmer cover. It's also battery-operated, so you can enjoy its benefits even when the power goes out. But what it does after the installation is where the real appeal of SENSE comes into play.
SENSE's core function is as a pool measurement device that monitors the chemical properties of your pool at any given moment. It sends this information to a dedicated smartphone app, giving you information about your pool's chemistry at your convenience. This means you can know your pool's chemical levels anywhere at any time — as long as SENSE and your smartphone both have an internet connection.
SENSE is so valuable because it makes your life easier. Instead of having to go outside to test your pool's water throughout the winter, you can pull out your phone and get a reading from the comfort and warmth of your own home. SENSE makes measuring your pool's chemical levels both simple and modern, and that alone is priceless.
pH Testing Kit
Another useful measurement device or product pool owners may want to have on hand is a classic pH testing kit. For years, pool owners have used pH testing kits to measure the current pH of their pool's water. Before SENSE came around, most pool owners would go out of their way to take a sample of their pool water and measure its pH level. This process can be a bit of a hassle, but knowing your pool's pH is critical to its condition year-round.
pH is important because it tells you if your pool water is acidic or basic. The pH scale is a range from zero to 14, with anything below seven being acidic and anything above seven being basic. A seven on the ph scale is neutral, meaning it's neither acidic nor basic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a pH level of 7.2-7.8 for the cleanest, most stable water.
Other Pool Chemistry Tests
Owning a pool demands a lot of care and attention. This is one reason WaterGuru SENSE is such a game-changer. It helps you monitor your pool water's chemical levels to make the whole process easier and more intuitive. Without SENSE, the chemistry tests can start to pile up, and it can be a challenge to keep them all straight.
To help you make sure you have the right pool chemistry measurement tests, see the list below for levels you'll need to keep an eye on:
- Calcium hardness: Calcium hardness refers to the measurement of calcium carbonate present in the pool's water. If the level is too high, your water can start dumping particles onto pool surfaces in a phenomenon known as “scaling.” This is the white material you may have seen build up around your pool. If the calcium hardness level is too low, your pool water will start corroding your pool surfaces in an attempt to balance itself out. Aim for a calcium hardness level of 200 to 400 parts per million.
- Alkalinity: Alkalinity relates to your pool's pH. Specifically, proper alkalinity will ensure your pool avoids sudden spikes and drops in pH level. You'll need an alkalinity measuring kit to test your pool water, aiming for a range of 80 to 120 parts per million. Achieving this range will make caring for your pool water much easier since you'll avoid those drastic dips and increases in pH.
- Chlorine levels: Chlorine is one of the most popular pool water disinfectants. It helps keep your pool water clean and safe to swim in. The CDC recommends at least 1 part per million of chlorine in your pool water for the best results without irritating the skin and eyes of swimmers.
How to Prepare Your Pool for Winter
Preparing your pool for winter is crucial, as winter is generally the offseason for outdoor swimming in most parts of the United States. Even though your pool will be sitting unused, you'll still need to take care of it during colder months if you want less work when it comes time to reopen it. Part of that process is making sure you prep pool measuring devices for winter so you can get the best results all winter long.
Measuring your pool water's chemical levels during the winter is easiest with WaterGuru SENSE. Keep SENSE in your pool's skimmer in areas with non-freezing temperatures to have access to pH levels, chlorine levels, flow rate and temperature. Those in areas with freezing temperatures will want to lower their water level a few inches below the skimmer. These pool owners can safely remove their WaterGuru SENSE and keep it in a cool, dry place until pool season comes around again.
Here are some other tasks that will help prepare your pool for a safe winter:
- Clean the pool: The first step in closing your pool for the winter is to make sure it's as clean as possible. Scrub your pool surfaces and vacuum any debris. Then, shock your pool to ensure it stays as clean as possible while it lies dormant.
- Drain pool lines and add pool antifreeze: If you live in an area with freezing temperatures during the winter, you'll want to drain your pool lines and run antifreeze through them to ensure no water stays behind. You should find plugs on the bottom of your pool pump, pool filter and pool heater that will let the water drain out. Antifreeze will add an extra layer of protection to your pool equipment. Be sure to do this step before the weather gets too cold.
- Run the pool pump: Run your pool pump as much as possible during the winter. Circulation will keep the water moving, which means it has less of a chance of freezing when the weather gets colder. Keeping your pool pump on also ensures the water stays cleaner, giving debris less of a chance of building up.
- Use a pool cover: A pool cover is essential for keeping debris and wildlife from getting into your pool water. The right pool cover can also provide extra safety during the winter, which is especially important if you have young children who may walk near or around your pool. Get a safety cover for the safest results, or a regular winter cover to keep debris out and allow water to filter through the material.
- Keep track of pool water chemistry: Throughout the winter, remember to test your pool's water with a chemical testing kit every week or so. For the easiest experience, open up the smartphone app for WaterGuru SENSE and get the information you need right on your phone — without having to go out into the cold.
What Happens if You Don't Winterize Your Pool?
Not preparing your pool for winter will have significant effects. Here's what you could experience if you neglect proper winter pool prep:
- Costly repairs: Neglecting any of the above preparations will eventually lead to costly repair bills. This is especially true in areas with freezing temperatures. As water expands, it can do a lot of damage to your pool equipment and surfaces and your pipes.
- Difficulty reopening in the spring: Forgetting to winterize your pool can also make reopening it a difficult task in the spring. This will be even more frustrating when you remember that many of these difficulties are avoidable. Cleaning your pool and running the pool pump throughout the winter will go a long way toward making reopening easier.
- Accidents: Letting your pool water freeze or forgetting to cover the water with a safety cover can make your pool area a place you'll want your family to avoid for their own safety.
How to Prepare Your Pool for Spring
After a long winter of waiting, you'll finally get to start reopening your pool in the spring. If you've done the right winter prep practices, then reopening your pool as the weather gets warmer will be much easier. Of course, being sure to prep pool measuring devices for summer is an important part of the reopening process in the spring.
WaterGuru SENSE is the easiest measuring device to prepare for springtime use and beyond. If you had to take it out of your pool's skimmer during the winter, simply return it to the skimmer and add a new SENSE Cassette for accurate water readings. It only takes seconds to secure a new Cassett to your SENSE, making this part of springtime pool prep a breeze.
If you're using chemical testing kits, then make sure you have all the parts you need. You may need to visit your local hardware store or pool store to get some parts if you're missing any.
Here are some of the other actions you should take when reopening your pool in the spring:
- Put any unneeded winter equipment in storage: This includes your pool cover, leaf net, air pillow or anything else you used to keep your pool in good shape during the winter. Try to avoid letting any standing water on top of your covering get into your pool water. Let these materials dry before folding them up and putting them into storage until you need them at the end of pool season.
- Reconnect any disconnected equipment: If you disconnected your pool heater, water tank or any other equipment over the winter, now's the time to reconnect them for a functioning pool system.
- Clean your pool: Give your pool a good cleaning at this time. Skim off any floating debris and clean the walls of any grime or algae buildup. You can use an algae guard if needed. You can also use this opportunity to fill up your pool to the normal level if you reduced the water level at the beginning of winter.
- Balance the water chemistry: Next, you'll test the water and balance it. Use the WaterGuru app or a manual testing kit to get an accurate read. Add the right pool chemicals to balance and stabilize the water. WaterGuru SENSE makes it easy to know how much chlorine to add to your pool by giving you suggestions on the smartphone app. This is also a good time to shock your pool water and aerate it to get it ready for the first swim of the season.
What Happens if You Don't Prepare for Spring?
If you don't do the above tasks, then the outcome is easy to predict — you won't have a clean and safe pool to swim in during the warmer seasons! Reopening your pool can be quite the undertaking, but it's the only way you'll be able to get your pool ready for parties, get-togethers and casual afternoon swims.
Follow the tasks listed above and you'll be well on your way to enjoying your pool all season long. With WaterGuru SENSE, the process of reopening and maintaining your pool is easier and more enjoyable.
Choose WaterGuru SENSE Today
If you're ready to make caring for your pool easier than ever, then WaterGuru SENSE is for you. Its ease of use and accurate measurements are two of the reasons you'll love this amazing product.
Closing your pool in the winter and reopening it in the spring is a cinch with WaterGuru SENSE. See our support page for more information on WaterGuru SENSE and what it can do for you.