As the long summer days fade into shorter, cooler fall weather, your pool care routine begins to change as well. This is the time of year when an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to your pool. There are a few important steps you can take this fall to make your pool opening next year as successful as possible. For those homeowners who live in colder climes, it’s possible that it’s time to actually close the pool (read our Pool Care For The Off Season) but for those of you who live in warmer climes, you may actually keep your pool open year-round. This guide is intended for those pools which are still in use during the fall.
The shorter days of fall provide less light, and therefore less active algae growth. This means that you might be able to service your pool less frequently than you have been during the summer season. Alter your schedule and chemical use to a reduced amount depending on how frequently you are still using the pool, and how the current temperatures in your area are during fall. Be sure to check daily for debris and falling leaves, though, and check the skimmer baskets frequently. Leaving the added debris too long will promote algae growth and could cause staining to the surface of your pool. An automatic pool cleaner can be an asset in cleaning those extra leaves from the bottom of your pool.
You should also be able to reduce the number of hours that your pump runs daily in the fall. As a general rule, filtration times should average one hour of run time for every 10 degrees of air temperature. This will result in energy savings and could even lower your electric bill.
Check for any chips and cracks in your pool surface or deck. It’s a good idea to get them repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage, which would be much more costly in the long run. This is especially true if you live in a region where freezing temperatures are possible.
With the lower temperatures and additional debris, your pool filter will be working harder than usual, so give it some extra attentio in the fall. Backwash your sand or diatomaceous earth (DE) filters, and replace or clean your cartridge filters.
If your pool is not seeing much use, or you plan to take a vacation, remember to keep the pool covered. This can help prevent water evaporation, keep the pool free from debris, and provide additional safety and peace of mind.