Protecting Equipment

May 7, 2014
Vancouver, BC
I live on the West Coast in Vancouver, BC. We do not totally shut down the pool over the winter and I would like to know what chemicals I need to ensure are kept in check in order to best protect the pool equipment. We shut off the heat but keep the pump running 24/7. I know I need to make sure there is sufficient chlorine over the winter, but do I need to keep Calcium, PH, etc in check too?

Your assistance is greatly appreciated :)


LifeTime Supporter
Platinum Supporter
TFP Expert
May 7, 2007
Silver Spring, MD
Yes, you want to maintain all of the levels pretty much as you usually would. The only exception is that the PH range be .2 or .3 higher than normal when the water is really cold (near freezing, less increase when warmer than that).

Maintaining the levels should be easier than during the summer. Chlorine usage will be much lower than during the summer, and all of the other levels will tend to be at least a little more stable than they are in the summer.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
Aug 18, 2012
Elverson Pa.
We run the pump 24/7 all year long, the pool builder suggested that we do so to lower the risk of algae. Is it not necessary? I would prefer to conserve energy.
The PB is full of it if he thinks running your pump 24/7 is going to prevent algae. All that's going to do is make your electric company happy and lighten your wallet.
The only thing that prevents algae is keeping your FC in range for your CYA level.
I run my pump 4-6 hours a day and have never had a hint of algae. I keep my FC in range for my CYA level at all times. That's why I don't have any algae outbreaks.


LifeTime Supporter
TFP Expert
May 3, 2007
Pleasanton, CA
As pwrstrk points out, running the pump has little to do with algae. Algae is prevented by maintaining proper chlorine levels. There have been studies done (see my sig) which suggest that there is little difference in water quality after about 2 hours of pump run time so running longer than that is pointless except for heating the pool, running a SWG or removing debris (e.g. dirt and leaves).

I run my pool for 4 hours a day (1 on high speed, 3 on low speed) and I have never had an algae problem. I would run less if I could but my SWG needs that amount time to produce chlorine.