4 Things to be aware of with Arizona pools in the winter
When it comes to Arizona Pools in the Winter, there are a few important things you should be aware of. In this post, we will cover the four top things you should be aware of as a pool owner. Even though we live in a desert and we do not winterize pools like in colder climates. We still have some challenges we want to make everyone aware of. These are the top 4 things we come across in the winter months.
1. Salt systems and Arizona pools in the winter
Salt Cells have automatic protection against cold water. Salt cell generators are made to work when pool water temperatures are above 60 degrees. Arizona pools in the winter will typically drop below this temperature. When pool water temperatures fall to 60 degrees or below, the salt generators simply will shut down. This will not allow the salt cell to breakdown the salt and convert it to chlorine. Typically a cold water light will illuminate when the water is too cold for the cell to produce chlorine. This is not a malfunction of the cell but a protection mechanism. In the heat of the summer, it is common to see the salt cell turned up as much as 95% production however, the winter months do not require that much chlorine. We suggest turning your chlorine production down to about 50%. This will increase the life of your cell and not over chlorinate the water during the winter. As the weather starts to get warmer you will have to turn the cell production back up.
Automation systems and Arizona pools in the winter
Typically automation systems have built-in freeze protection. When the temperature approaches freezing, your pool equipment will automatically turn on to keep the pipes from freezing. If you notice your equipment turning on by itself, it is simply the system protecting itself from freezing and bursting a pipe. Keep all the valves open to keep water flowing. This is especially important if you have a pool with a complex plumbing system and/or an attached spa. Also, don’t forget to check ALL lines, including the vacuum lines, cleaner lines and waterfall lines, as well as the skimmers, drains, and returns. This will ensure that all the valves on your pool are open.
Pool Pressure Vacuum Breaker
Every pool has an automatic water leveler that is connected to a water source. This water source will have a pressure vacuum breaker on it usually located by the hose bib. These can potentially freeze and burst if there is a prolonged period of below-freezing weather at night. Don’t forget to wrap your pipes leading to and from your Pressure Vacuum Breaker with insulation and seal them tightly with duct tape. We would also recommend wrapping the vac breaker in a towel. The below image is what a Pressure Vacuum Breaker looks like.
Pool Heat Pumps
A heat pump uses the outside temperature and warmth to heat the pool. You should not run your heat pump during the night time in the winter months. You want to run the heat pump when the sun is up and air temperatures are above 50. We do recommend the use of a solar blanket on the pool’s surface to hold the heat in. A large amount of heat is lost via the surface area of the pool when it is not covered. Heat pumps do generate a bit of condensation during the winter. If you notice wetness around the heat pump, this does not necessarily mean that it is leaking; it may just be the normal condensation.