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Can I Leave My Swimming Pool Open Year-Round?


Can I Leave My Swimming Pool Open Year Round?

Such was the question a customer asked me recently and so I figured that being we’d not broached this subject here on the blog, as well as the fact that November is upon us, now was the perfect time to address the idea of year-round inground swimming pools.

Like everything in life, there are pros and cons of leaving your pool open during the winter. So to simplify this little article, I’m just going to list the good and the bad that comes with such a decision.

The Good

1. Pools are beautiful: Whether it’s 98® in June or 32® in January, moving water is great to listen to and enjoy. This is especially true with snow on the ground.

2. Spring Clean Up: Because pool owners often reopen for the season in May, by that point the pool has quite a bit of algae and/or other debris in it. Although this can usually be removed within a couple of days, leaving a pool open year-round means that it won’t start to see nearly the same issues, especially in terms of algae, as one that’s closed.

The Bad

1. Losing Electricity: The worst case scenario of a year-round pool is the potential of a huge snow storm where the electricity goes out, causing the water in the pool’s plumbing and filter system to freeze—leading to damaged plumbing and equipment. If you ever find yourself in this position, it’s best to immediately attempt to winterize your pool, and at least drain the pump and filter of any water in the system.

2. Cost of Electricity: Although most pool owners now have low-speed options on their pumps, an extra 4-6 months of usage does cost at least a few hundred dollars in most cases.

3. Salt System Will Not Be On: Even though this is not a huge deal, it’s one that people often forget, and that’s the fact that salt chlorine generators do not work when the water temperature drops below a certain level, usually around 60 degrees. With the cool temperatures though, water sanitation isn’t nearly as much of a problem as algae will not grow during the winter months in most areas of the world. Still, if you want to keep your pool sanitized during the cold winter months, an alternative to salt will be necessary in the majority of cases.

Thoughts or questions? Did I forget one that you can think of? As always, we appreciate our readers and value your comments.

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Water feature lines and secondary waterfall pumps most run during freezing temps. Don't want those lines to freeze up. Adds to electrical costs with the second pump. Forgeting to open that water feature line can lead to broken pipes or valves at the manifold. 
Forgeting to clean out the skimmer baskets always gets me at 5 am.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 26, 2010 8:53 AM by Jon
Yeah, good points Jon...can forget about the water feature lines!!
Posted @ Tuesday, October 26, 2010 9:15 AM by Marcus Sheridan
As long as temperatures don't stay at he freezing level for to long of periods it is not that bad. I never closed my pool in the winter as you know because you did a winter polar plunge in my pool. Even though it was an above ground pool we enjoyed looking at the pool year round with the decking and all. I did have to go out and get leaves out of the pool on a regular basis and that was a bit of a pain. I think keeping the pool open until December is the best and re opening in March is ideal. March openings give you nice nights to sit out by the pool with the lights on and any water features running, plus the water is much more clear when you open up and the filter can then handle the pollen as it falls in April. Pools can definitely be used for more than swimming.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 27, 2010 9:08 AM by Jim
So with the pump running will the site glass and pressure gauge be ok below freezing temps?
Posted @ Thursday, December 01, 2011 11:48 AM by Lane
Dear Pool  
Should Ice Swimming be all year round? 
Chioke Hassan 
Posted @ Tuesday, September 18, 2012 9:09 PM by Chioke Hassan
So, as long as I leave my pump running (I live in Georgia so we don't usually have hard freezes for long periods) the pool should be okay if I leave it open?
Posted @ Friday, October 25, 2013 6:24 PM by Pamela
Everyone here sounds like they do not blow out there lines and that is why you need to run the pump. Has anyone basiclley closed the pool, meaning blowing out the lines and lowered the water below the jets and then not put a cover on the pool? Thanks
Posted @ Thursday, October 23, 2014 3:03 PM by Ken
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