Here in the South, it may be tempting to leave your pool open year-round. After all, if you leave the filter running, the odds of the water freezing are significantly reduced, right? Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to spend the money or take the time to winterize your pool right at the beginning of the holiday season, when activities are starting to pick up and Christmas shopping is just around the corner?
What if you don’t winterize your pool?
Before you decide to blow off pool winterization, here are some things you should consider in order to make your decision. The cost and expense of repairing underground plumbing is astronomical.
Since most pool plumbing is buried underground, diagnosing and repairing burst pipes is an even more complicated process than if a pipe bursts in your home. If you’re lucky, the leak will cause localized flooding in your yard so you can pinpoint the area. If the leak happens under a concrete surround, you may have a difficult time finding it.
The cost of excavation to fix and repair a leak can be enormous. After the leak is repaired, you still have to consider the cost of repairing any landscaping, decking, or concrete patio that was torn up in the excavation. Some companies offer repair options that don’t require excavation, which can lower costs. However, you can’t be sure that these options will work for your particular situation.
Leaving your filter running doesn’t guarantee that it won’t still freeze.
Most of your filter is composed of plastic parts. Even if you manage to prevent the water in your pipes from freezing, those plastic bits can still freeze. If they freeze and there is water in your filter system, those plastic parts are going to break. Then you’re going to incur a large bill from the pool repair company that comes out and diagnoses – and then repairs – whatever plastic bits have broken on your filter system.
Even the sand in your filter needs protection from freezing temperatures.
Some experts recommend removing the sand from your filter each fall, as it can calcify, turning it into rock. Calcified sand can significantly damage the delicate parts inside your filter, which adds on a lot of labor to fix a small, inexpensive part.
When it comes to winterizing your pool, the old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies best. There are many resources for helping you lower your pool maintenance expenses, and Five Star can recommend some great pool maintenance companies here in the Upstate.