Monthly Archives: October 2018

Winter is Right Around the Corner

When it comes to closing your plaster pool for the winter there are three goals for most homeowners:

  • Preserve the quality of pool water
  • Secure all pool equipment
  • Protect the pools plaster surface

Water freezes, it’s pretty simple.  When the temperature dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit the water in your pool will begin to freeze.  When the water freezes it will expand.  Water that is allowed to freeze and expand without any special treatment given to it can cause homeowners a lot of grief in the from of busted plumbing, plaster cracks, and more.  The best way to prevent these issues is to follow a precise closing method when the season ends that includes draining the excess water from the pools plumbing.

When winterizing your plaster swimming pool one key element that must be taken into consideration is the need for chemically balanced water.  If the water is not balanced when you close your pool for the season there are a few issues that could arise including: build up and corrosion.  If water issues exist when you close the pool they will still be there when the pool is opened next spring which can make the opening process more difficult.  Stagnant pool water often “attracts” the growth of algae.  Chemicals also help to eliminate issues with pool staining from dissolving metals that are not being filtered.

Before the pool is closed down for the winter is crucial that homeowners not only take time to balance the chemicals in the pools water and include additives to prevent algae growth and staining.  Not only is balanced water important but also clean water.  The pool should be thoroughly cleaned and free of leaves, dirt, outside debris.  Any outside material left within the pools water has the ability to leave unsightly markings on the pools plaster surface.

Another step that is super important when closing your pool is the water level.  The pools water level should be lowered below the skimmer and all plumbing, drains, and pool equipment should be drained.  Once the pipes are drained it is important to use drain plugs to prevent the water from seeping back into the plumbing.  DO NOT completely drain the water in your pool.  This is especially true when it comes to plaster pools.  Water needs to be kept in the pool to avoid under ground water from putting pressure on the plaster which would cause it to crack.  Although having a pool re-plastered is common, it is not practical every year and is not financially cost effective to have done on a regular basis.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at


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Make sure your pool is properly winterized

DRUMS — It’s the time of year when Steven Nicholas winterizes up to five swimming pools a day.

Properly closing down pools is a necessity, and one that ensures they’ll be in good repair for the next swimming season, said Nicholas, a pool technician at Dr. Feelgoode’s in Hazleton.

“I’ve seen a lot of people who didn’t do it properly,” he said of the post-summer maintenance. “It can cause some major problems.”

Broken pipes, destroyed liners and damaged filters are among the biggest nightmares owners can face if they don’t have their pools properly winterized.

“The last thing you want to do is close your pool with an improper balance of chemicals in the water,” said Nicholas, who on Friday tended to an in-ground pool off West Foothills Drive.

When closing a pool, he first checks the water’s chemistry. If the water is too chlorinated, it can burn the pool liner. Too much or too little calcium in the water is also a problem and can have detrimental effects on pool equipment, he said.

With a number of treatments on hand, Nicholas balances chemicals in the water, then cleans the pool.

From there, he lowers the water level to below the pool’s skimmers so he can free excess water from the pool’s pipes. If he didn’t — and temperatures fall below freezing — there’s a chance the pipes can burst. Plumbing is located a few feet below a pool’s deck so property owners would have to cut through concrete to address leaking pipes.

Nicholas tends to the pool’s filter and adds an environmentally safe antifreeze to prevent the pool’s skimmers and plumbing from freezing.

Finally, he places a cover over the pool.

“This one is a mesh cover. It acts like a tea bag. It will filter out debris but it won’t let water evaporate,” he said.

Once warm weather arrives, folks often call Dr. Feelgoode’s to have technicians peel back the cover and ready their pool for swimming season.

Nicholas said tending to an above-ground pool isn’t as difficult.

In fact, he said, pool owners often do it by themselves.

They need to check and address the water’s chemistry, vacuum debris, lower water levels and tend to their filters and pumps.

According to Nicholas, Dr. Feelgoode’s carries chemicals and equipment for the do-it-yourself types.

The store also tests water samples by running them through a special centrifuge.

“We can help them so they don’t have to be chemists,” he said.

In the coming weeks, Nicholas expects to be busy with pool closings and questions about them.

“Yesterday I had nine calls,” he said. “I’ll be doing three to five closings a day for the next week or two.”

Don’t use sewers

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reminds those who are draining pools to keep the water away from storm sewers, since the sewers can run into streams and impact aquatic life.

DEP advises:

■ Pool water may be disposed of through the sanitary sewer system only with municipal permission.

■ If lowering the water level of the pool, let it drain to a lawn to prevent it from running off into a storm sewer.

■ If a sanitary sewer system is not available, water may be used for irrigation if it does not run off the property or into a storm sewer.

■ The discharge of swimming pool water to any waters of the commonwealth without a permit is a violation of the Clean Streams Law.

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Original Date: Sept 24 2018

Written By: Jill Whalen