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November, 2018

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Maintaining Your Pool After Freezing Conditions

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It’s that time of year again when the outdoor temperature will begin to swan dive right on down to freezing or below freezing levels. While it’s still certainly possible to keep your pool up and running during these colder months, extra care needs to be taken to prepare your pool both during and after a hard freeze to avoid costly damage to the pool and its components.

 

Follow Proper Pool Care Procedures

Are wintery conditions in the upcoming forecast? There are many things you can do to prepare your pool for the frigid temperatures ahead.

  • Make sure the water is balanced.
  • Check your skimmer and pump baskets. Clean them if necessary.
  • If the pool won’t be in use, remove all unnecessary equipment from the pool.
  • If snow is in the forecast, place a tarp over your equipment. It should be high enough for you to place a drop light beneath it (the light will add warmth), though be sure the drop light is placed far away from any plastic components, pipes, and combustible material.

 

For Pools That Are Still Running During a Freeze

Moving water can’t freeze, so the first step is to make sure your filtration and auxiliary pool pumps are running continuously. Many pumps have a built-in freeze guard that will automatically kick into action once the outside air reaches a certain temperature.

You can test your freeze guard by using plastic tongs to place an ice cube inside or next to its copper coil. If working correctly, the freeze guard should start your pool pump within 5 minutes.

It’s important to remember that you don't need to run your heater to prevent your pool water from freezing. In fact, running your heater in freezing conditions can cause substantial damage to the unit.

If your pool has ice on its surface, break it up so that the skimmers and skimmer doors are kept clear. The skimmer doors can be removed if it’s not possible to keep ice out of the way.  Adjusting the jets in your pool upwards and using swimming pool antifreeze will also help put a stop to any surface freezing.

Maintaining proper pool chemistry and water levels are crucial during the cooler months of the year. By keeping your water at the middle of the tile line, you’re preventing your pumps from drawing damaging cold air in through the skimmers.

It’s also a good idea to cover your pool when it’s not in use. A sturdy pool cover will both keep debris out of your water and maintain a higher pool water temperature, reducing the risk of the water freezing.

 

For Pools That Aren’t Running or Lose Power During a Freeze

If you experience a loss of power, start off by turning off all circuit breakers leading to your pool equipment. Then head out to the pool and open up the filter air bleed valve (you can use warm water to dislodge any ice that may be in the way).

Remove all drain plugs from the bottom of your pool pump and the drain filter, and take off all winterizing plugs/open drain valves to remove any excess water (you can place the plugs in the pump basket) and then loosely replace the lid. Adjust your valves to their middle positions as this will allow your pool water to flow back into the pool.

If you have any pipes that can’t be drained, it’s a good idea to protect those pipes with electrical heat strips, which can be found at a local hardware store. Pools with electronic ignition heaters should be covered with a blanket for an added layer of insulation. When you cover your pool with a sturdy cover, it should be well protected from freezing.

 

What to Do When Warm Weather Returns

All of your efforts in maintaining your pool during cooler weather will certainly pay off when the warm weather returns! As you’ll find, well cared for pools during the winter require minimum effort when hotter days make their much welcomed comeback.

Start by removing dirt and debris from your pool cover and the surrounding area. Check the your pool’s water levels and use your garden hose to top it off if necessary. Replace all plugs and lids, rebalance your water, run your pump for at least 24 hours and your pool should be ready to use and enjoy once more.

 

About Tampa Bay Pools

Tampa Bay Pools is a custom pool builder serving Tampa Bay, Brandon, Clearwater, Riverview, Lithia, Valrico, Odessa, Lutz, Plant City, Davenport, Seffner, and St. Petersburg areas, who understands the importance and value of your own backyard escape. That’s why we build spectacular new inground swimming pools that are easy to maintain.

We offer a wide variety of custom projects including residential or commercial swimming pool building, stunning custom features to customize your pool, outdoor enclosures for your backyard oasis, and custom spas.

Our pools can be designed to fit any style or budget; we even offer swimming pool financing options.

How to Make Your Backyard Part of Thanksgiving

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There are many things to give thanks for, and one thing that we here in Tampa Bay should be thankful for is that we live in a gorgeous part of the country where we can often enjoy Thanksgiving in the backyard.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family out in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to make the holiday more memorable this year. Here are just a few ideas on how to create an unforgettable day for your loved ones while enjoying your holiday.

 

Decorate Your Outdoor Living Area

Spruce up your outdoor living space with festive fall-themed decorations. Hay bales, pumpkins, scarecrows and flowers in autumnal shades (think reds, oranges and yellows) are all great choices.

Because the sun is setting earlier these days, string some white or orange lights around trees and other outdoor living features. You can also change the color of the lights in your pool, or, depending on your in-pool lighting system, you can put together a dynamic light show to dazzle your guests!

 

Watch Football in your Outdoor Living Room

Watching football on Thanksgiving afternoon is holiday staple in many homes. If you already have a television outside, then this one's easy, otherwise you can set up a large screen (a weighted white shower curtain or sheet will work in a pinch) and a projector so your guests can watch the game on a big screen while out in the yard or enjoying the pool.

 

Add Cooking Surfaces to your Outdoor Kitchen

Be prepared for the many dishes you'll be cooking outside by building or bringing in extra cooking surfaces. This is especially true if you plan on smoking your delicious turkey on the grill since doing that will keep it occupied for the next several hours.

 

Enjoy an Al Fresco Thanksgiving

Nothing is more enjoyable than dining under our wide open Florida skies. Set up the Thanksgiving table outside beneath a pergola or another covered area. If you want to create a separate dining space for the kids and the adults, place the children's table out on the deck or patio. That way you can finally have some uninterrupted talk time.

 

Desserts by the Fire

The festivities may be coming to a close, but that doesn't mean you have to hunker down indoors. Grab a few blankets and take your desserts, coffee, and hot chocolate out to your outdoor fireplace or fire pit so you can watch the stars twinkle in the night sky. Better yet, start a new tradition with fireside Thanksgiving s’mores. Add a little pumpkin pie filling or small slivers of pumpkin pie in between your graham cracker, chocolate squares and marshmallow for a little extra fun on this classic recipe.

 

Custom Pool Designs from Tampa Bay Pools

Tampa Bay Pools is a Tampa Bay pool building firm that specializes in designing and building custom poolscapes and outdoor living spaces in Tampa Bay, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and the surrounding areas. Let us help with your backyard transformation! Contact us today or give us a call at (813) 684-3639.

 

About Tampa Bay Pools

Tampa Bay Pools is a custom pool builder serving Tampa Bay, Brandon, Clearwater, Riverview, Lithia, Valrico, Odessa, Lutz, Plant City, Davenport, Seffner, and St. Petersburg areas, who understands the importance and value of your own backyard escape. That’s why we build spectacular new inground swimming pools that are easy to maintain.

We offer a wide variety of custom projects including residential or commercial swimming pool building, stunning custom features to customize your pool, outdoor enclosures for your backyard oasis, and custom spas.

Our pools can be designed to fit any style or budget; we even offer swimming pool financing options.