Winter Pool Care 101: Essential Tips for Protecting Your Pool Investment

swimming pool in the winter

As the temperature drops and the days become shorter, diligent pool owners must prepare for the cold winter months to ensure their backyard oasis remains in top condition, ready to welcome the summer season. At Cincinnati Pool & Patio, we understand that winterizing your pool is crucial to protect your investment and prolong its lifespan. Our comprehensive guide to winter pool care will walk you through everything you need to know, from water chemistry to winter covers, to keep your pool safe and secure during the off-season.

In this informative blog article, we will reveal essential tips and best practices for effective winter pool care, addressing common challenges faced by pool owners and providing expert advice on how to prevent potential damage. By following our recommended winter pool care regimen, you can minimize the risk of costly repairs and ensure an easy, hassle-free transition to the upcoming swim season.

1. Maintain Proper Water Chemistry for a Clean and Healthy Pool

Even during the winter months, it’s essential to keep your pool’s water chemistry balanced to prevent the growth of algae, bacteria, and other harmful organisms. Follow these steps to maintain optimal water chemistry during the off-season:

– Monitor pH levels: A balanced pH level is crucial for preventing scale build-up and equipment corrosion. The ideal range for pool pH is between 7.2 and 7.6. Regularly test your pool water and adjust accordingly with pH increaser or pH decreaser as needed.

– Balance alkalinity: Proper alkalinity helps stabilize pH levels, reduces fluctuations, and minimizes wear on pool equipment. Aim for an ideal range of 80-120 parts per million (ppm).

– Check the sanitizer levels: Maintain an appropriate level of sanitizer, such as chlorine or bromine, to ward off harmful contaminants. The ideal chlorine level is between 1 and 3 ppm, while the optimal range for bromine is between 2 and 4 ppm.

– Add algaecide: Algae growth thrives in stagnant water, which is common during the winter months. Add a winter algaecide to your pool water to help inhibit the growth of algae throughout the off-season.

2. Protect Your Pool with a Winter Cover or Safety Cover

A high-quality winter cover or safety cover is essential for protecting your pool from debris, snow, and ice throughout the colder months. Choosing the right cover for your pool depends on your specific needs and preferences:

– Winter covers: These covers provide a barrier to block debris, sunlight, and contaminants from entering your pool. They are typically made from lightweight, UV-resistant materials and should be tightly secured to prevent sagging under the weight of snow or ice.

– Safety covers: Designed for additional security and safety, these covers are sturdy and resilient, able to hold not only debris but also support the weight of children or pets if they walk on it. Safety covers come in mesh and solid material options, with mesh allowing water to seep through, while solid covers require a pump to prevent standing water.

3. Safeguard Your Pool Equipment from Winter Damage

Preparing and protecting your pool’s equipment, such as filters, pumps, and heaters, is vital to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. Follow these steps to ensure your pool equipment remains in optimal condition throughout the winter:

– Drain water from equipment: Remove water from your pool’s filtration system, pumps, and heaters by using the drain plugs and opening any air relief valves. This prevents water from freezing and expanding inside the equipment, which can cause significant damage.

– Remove and store removable equipment: Items like ladders, pool toys, and skimmer baskets should be thoroughly cleaned, dried, and stored away to prevent damage from the elements.

– Protect skimmer and return lines: Use winter plugs or gizmos to protect your pool’s skimmer and return lines from freezing and cracking.

4. Prepare Your Pool Water for a Smooth Opening in Spring

Taking proper care of your pool water during the winter can make for a smooth transition when it’s time to reopen your pool in spring. Implement these steps to set the stage for a hassle-free pool opening:

– Lower your pool’s water level: Reduce your pool’s water level below the skimmer and return lines to prevent potential damage caused by freezing water expanding inside your pool’s plumbing.

– Add a winterizing kit: A pool winterizing kit, complete with specialized chemicals designed for winter use, can help manage water chemistry during the colder months while reducing the need for frequent testing and adjustments.


A comprehensive winter pool care regimen is crucial to protect your investment, minimize the risk of costly repairs, and ensure an easy, hassle-free transition to the upcoming swim season. By diligently maintaining proper water chemistry, protecting your pool with a winter cover or safety cover, safeguarding your pool equipment, and setting the foundation for a smooth spring opening, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your backyard oasis is safe and secure during the off-season.

Gear up for winter with Cincinnati Pool & Patio’s extensive range of winter pool care essentials. Let us help you choose the perfect products to protect and maintain your pool during the colder months. Visit our store today to find the right solutions for your winter pool care needs, and let our knowledgeable staff guide you through the process.

Saltwater vs Chlorine

psw-saltwater vs chlorine

Saltwater vs Chlorine

Getting a pool always comes with the big question, saltwater vs chlorine?

Today we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of specifically using saltwater in your pools versus only chlorine.

Saltwater Vs Chlorine

Saltwater systems make chlorine, the exact same chlorine that is released from pool chlorine products. In a saltwater pool, when H2O + NaOCl are run through the salt cell, the electric charge breaks apart molecules to create chlorine (Cl) and a few other byproducts, which are generally reabsorbed. The chlorine that is instantly created, hypochlorous acid, is the same exact chlorine that is released from chlorine tablets, liquid chlorine, or granular chlorine.

Saltwater Pools Do Have Benefits

  • You can’t taste the salt, but it can make the water feel softer
  • Less storage and handling of hazardous chlorine products
  • Breakpoint chlorination inside the cell reduces chloramines constantly
  • Easily raise or lower chlorine levels, and view status on a digital display

Saltwater Pools Are Not Maintenance Free Pools

  • You still have to monitor the system, and test for salt, chlorine and stabilizer levels
  • You have to maintain good water balance; saltwater pool pH and Alkalinity rises rapidly
  • Salt cells need cleaning to remove scale, although some systems do it automatically
  • The cells about 5 yrs; salt system parts like boards, sensors, and switches may last longer

You May Still Need To Use Chlorine Products

  • To raise the chlorine level very fast for shock treatments
  • Maintaining chlorine level during pump, filter or salt system equipment problems
  • To clear the water during opening or closing the pool, or for treating various water problems

Saltwater can attack Soft & Shiny Surfaces

  • Galvanic corrosion can oxidize chrome surfaces in the pool, although sacrificial anodes can be used
  • Salt residue can slowly corrode soft coping stones or stone decks, although sealers can be used

Have any more questions about saltwater pools? Contact us here!

How To: Storing Your Pool Accessories

swimming pool

Storing Your Pool Accessories

After pool season is over, one of the biggest dilemmas a pool owner can come across occurs, where do I store my pool accessories?

We’re here to help.

Here’s a rundown of pool accessories and how/where to properly store them during the offseason.

Floaties and Other Pool Accessories

The best place to store your pool floaties in a dry place with cool temperatures. You don’t want them to get too hot or cold.

If stored improperly, they can develop holes, warp and even melt.


After you close your pool for the season, you need to properly store your filter cartridge.

Once you remove the cartridge, you should clean it with a mixture of detergent and water. You can soak it overnight, and then once you take it out of the mixture, you can wipe it down and let it air dry. You should store it in a cool, dry place during the offseason.


The best place to store chemicals is in a cool and dry location. Your storage area should also be well-ventilated to prevent the build-up of gasses that may be hazardous.

Have any questions about properly storing your accessories? Contact us here!