Rainwater and Swimming Pools

rain poolIs it okay to allow rain water to get into your pool, or is it better to cover it?  This is a question that many new pool owners ask themselves the first time it rains after their pool is installed.  After all rain water is supposed to be fairly clean right? So how could it have a negative affect on your pool?

After your pool is installed you will find that there is some initial maintenance that you will have to do.  Basically you fill your pool with water and you then you will have to add chemicals, ie. chlorine, algecide etc. to make it healthy to swim in.  From there you will likely be checking your pool chemicals once a week to maintain that ideal amount.  Obviously this represents a fairly significant investment of time and money.  If you fall behind or just brush it off, and you are not keeping up with it then you may find yourself spending more time and money to get it back to where it needs to be.download

Rainwater can change the chemistry of your pool.  Just as it is, it can “dilute” the chemicals in your pool.  Ideally you want to keep your free chlorine level between 2 and 4 ppm. (Parts per Million) So this is based on the amount of water in the pool.  If more water is added to the pool then you will have to add more chlorine.  So if a lot of rain water gets into your pool, the amount of water increases and in turn you will have to add more chlorine.

LXI400P_LXiHeater-1-1Another thing that is likely to happen is really only an issue if you have a heater or heat pump installed.  Obviously it costs money to run a heater or heat pump.  That being said, if the set temperature is warmer than the temperature of the rain water (which it will likely be) then the cool rain water will decrease the temperature in the pool and you will have to run the heater or heat pump more often to maintain the desired temperature.
So back to the original question.  Is it okay to allow rain water to get into your pool?  The answer is really yes.  It is okay for rain water to get into your pool.  This will not cause enormous problems for the pool and in fact many pools are open to the rain all of the time.  However, if you have the luxury of covering your pool while it is raining, then I would certainly recommend doing so.  It will decrease the amount of time and money you put into maintaining your pool.

Automatic Pool Covers – Things to Know

5When someone gets a vinyl liner in ground pool installed with an Automatic Pool Cover, there will usually be some questions that arise regarding that cover.  Should I close my pool every night? Should I open it during the day while I am at work?

These are good questions and the answer to both of them is… It’s up to you.  I say that because ultimately it is up to the owner of the pool to decide what he or she wants to do with it.  There are some questions you should ask yourself before making this decision.  Is the pool fenced in?  Is it heated by a gas heater or heat pump?  Do you rely on the sun to heat the water?  Are there a lot of trees nearby?

automatic pool coverIf your pool is heated by a heat pump or gas heater, then I would recommend closing the cover at night.  This will help save money on heating cost in the long run.  Basically cool summer nights can really suck the heat out of a pool.  The result would be that you would have to run your heat source more frequently to keep the pool water at the desired temperature.  This in turn would result in an increase in your electric bill or gas bill.  By closing the cover over night you will effectively trap the heat in the pool.  Therefore you will be able to maintain that desired temperature without having to run your heat source as frequently.  Granted there still may be some heat loss over night but I assure you that by keeping the pool covered, you will minimize the amount of heat loss.  If there are a lot of trees around the pool then by keeping it open for long periods such as over night or during the day while you are at work you will run the risk of creating a chore for yourself.  Trees lose leaves throughout the summer and fall.   If you have an open pool nearby then you will likely find that these leaves are landing in the water resulting in you having to scoop them out.

auto cover UvThe other thing that should be considered is do you have a fence around you pool/backyard.  Obviously an open pool in your yard that is not fenced in, and sits open is somewhat of a liability.  If you have a fence around your pool and you don’t have a heat pump or gas heater then you may want to leave your pool open during the mid day heat to allow your water to heat up.  Although you may have a fence around the pool there is still a certain amount of liability to worry about.

Ultimately I find it to be more beneficial to keep your pool covered when it is not in use.  You will cut down on heating costs, decrease the amount of potential debris in your pool, and be able to rest easy knowing that nobody can gain access to your pool while you are not around.