Closing your pool every year requires following a detailed checklist to make sure that everything is closed up, winterized, and protected over the cold winter months . When you start putting away all the pool toys and getting your winter safety cover out, do not forget to mouse proof your pool heater! While there is really no such thing as mouse proofing a pool heater, you can make them resistant to mouse damage if you must leave them outdoors. Moving equipment indoors to a safe spot away from possible mice activity is the best option.

Keeping mice out of pool heaters and other pool equipment and supplies is a very important step in closing your pool for the winter. As soon as the weather starts to turn cold, mice like to find a sheltered area to hunker down over the winter, and inside pool heaters is a favorite nesting spot.

Mice cause significant damage to pool heaters over the winter and are known to chew right through inner components and wiring. Nesting mice in pool heaters can cause irreparable damage that requires replacing the entire heater altogether.

You can avoid costly repairs and replacements by following some tips to mouse proof pool heaters:

1) Check inside your heater annually – Open up your pool heater and check for nests when the weather gets cool. You should be able to do this yourself or ask a professional. Be sure to look inside your pool heater at least every year after the change in weather.
2) Replace any frayed wires – If any wires or components are chewed on or frayed, have a professional replace the damaged pool heater parts.
3) Seal holes and entry points – Seal off all possible entry points if your pool heater is stored in a shed or garage or build an enclosure around outdoor equipment that prevents mice from getting to the heater. Sealing holes with caulk or steel wool will help to keep mice out of pool heaters.
4) Repel mice with scents – Mice have a very keen sense of smell and certain smells can help to mouse proof pool heaters. Moth balls should not be used as they contain chemicals that are toxic to people and pets. Moth balls should only be used in closed containers that children or pets cannot get to and where the fumes are contained as they are heavier than air and will accumulate on floors, posing a risk to small children and pets. If you can smell a moth ball you are exposed to the fumes.
Instead of toxic mothballs, many other scents are known to repel mice and can be used to rodent proof pool heaters:

  • Peppermint oil, citronella, eucalyptus, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, whole cloves, and mint are some of the most common natural scents known to repel mice and rodents. You can even make a cheesecloth sachet with these ingredients and place them where mice might like to hide. You can also leave cinnamon sticks around areas that will act as a mice repellant and also an air freshener.

5) Trim grasses and long weeds – Trim any tall grasses and weeds around outdoor equipment if you cannot take the equipment inside.
6) Store items indoors when possible – Since it is nearly impossible to fully mouse proof pool heaters or anything outdoors, storing your pool heater indoors is the best protection. Ask a professional to add a disconnect on your gas line from your heater to make it easier to completely remove the heater from outside and move to a safe inside area free of mice for the winter. Be sure to still check inside to make sure no nests have been started in the unit.
7) Do not place a cover over your pool heater – Covering your heater only makes it more inviting to nesting rodents.
8) Get some rubber snakes – Toss around some rubber snakes, mortal enemy #1 to mice.
9) Remove nesting materials and food – Mice do not need much to make themselves at home. Store any dry foods and pet foods in metal containers and store any fluffy, soft materials like blankets and rugs in metal or plastic containers. Watch out for cardboard boxes too as mice love to use cardboard for nest making material.

Follow these tips to help mouse proof pool equipment so you don’t find mice or rats in pool heaters and prevent costly damage for a smooth opening in the spring. You can get quality pool heaters that are more resistant to mouse damage from The Swimming Pool Store in Connecticut.

The Swimming Pool Store offers a wide selection of quality pool equipment and supplies in our large, modern pool store. With more than 50 years of experience in the swimming pool industry, we can offer suggestions to help keep mice out of pool heaters and other equipment. Contact us if you have any questions and for more tips to help mouse proof pool heaters.