The weather starts to cool down, and swimming in the pool becomes a thing of the past for most, well at least until it starts to warm up again. To protect your equipment and to prevent damage to your pool over winter, you should prepare it for hibernation season, plus you want your pool clean and ready to go when you open it up again. Here are some helpful tips to get your pool ready for winter.
Give your pool a good clean
To keep your pool in tip-top shape over the wintertime, you should give it a thorough end of season clean. First, remove any debris or dirt using your telescopic pole with a net attachment. Once you have done this, remove your net attachment and replace it with a soft brush attachment to give the floors and walls a once over to shift any fine dirt. After this, set up your automatic or manual pool cleaner and put it in the pool. Your cleaner will pick up the fine dirt and debris that is sitting on the pool floor. Sometimes, if the pool is dirty, the fine dirt can mix into the water and you might have to wait a few hours for it to settle to the bottom. If this is the case, turn your cleaner off and switch it back on when the dirt has settled. You may have to repeat until all of it is gone. Next, you should clean out your skimmer basket, you can do this by emptying the contents and rinsing it with a garden hose as bits of leaves and sticks are notorious for getting stuck in the little holes, and if they are left in there over winter, they will decompose and can affect your water quality.
Balance your pool chemical levels
Balancing your pool’s chemistry is something that needs to be done year-round and coming into winter is no exception. If you haven’t already got a water testing test, do yourself a favour and grab one online or from your local pool shop, they are inexpensive and they make keeping your pool crystal clear year-round a breeze. Your pH levels should be between 7.2 and 7.6. If it’s too high, your pool will be susceptible to algae infestations as it thrives off high pH levels. Ensure your chlorine levels are correct, ideally, they should be between 1ppm and 3ppm and your total alkalinity levels should sit between 80ppm to 120ppm. You can check these levels easily by taking a sample of your pool water and dipping a testing strip into it. It will give you an on-the-spot reading of your pool chemistry levels. This allows you to adjust any unbalanced levels.
Shock the pool
If you haven’t heard of pool shock before it means to dose your pool with a high level of chlorine. This will destroy any contaminants in your water. There are a couple of different types of pool shock and you should follow the instructions on the packaging. Make sure you wear proper personal protective wear as pool shock is a highly toxic chemical that could cause serious harm if it’s not handled correctly. Make sure no one is swimming in the pool when you shock it and the pool shouldn’t be used for at least 36 hours after shocking. You should shock your pool in the late afternoon as UV rays break down chlorine and inhibit it from working properly. For best results, run your pool pump overnight while the shock is in the pool. This will ensure it is distributed throughout your water rather than most of it just sinking to the bottom and sitting there until morning.
Prevent algae from harbouring in your pool
To prevent algae from festering over winter, add a suitable algaecide to your pool water. Again, make sure you follow the instructions outlined on the packaging.
Clean your filter out
Your pool’s filter plays a key role in keeping your pool clean and free of dirt and other nasties so, it must be cleaned out properly before closing your pool. Not doing so may see contaminants in the water harden over the cooler months and it can prevent your filter from working to its full potential. The cleaning method varies depending on what type of filter you have. Make sure you are following cleaning instructions suited to your filter type.
Put away accessories
Remove any pool toys or accessories from the pool area that won’t be used over winter. Wash them down with a hose and put them away. If you have a waterslide or diving board, consider putting a waterproof cover over them to protect them from the elements.
Invest in a pool cover
The humble pool cover is often underestimated, but the benefits it can provide are unmatched by other pool accessories. It can drastically reduce the rate that your water evaporates, prevent rainwater and debris from entering your pool and disrupting your pool chemistry levels, and it can decrease chemical loss. Before you place your cover over your pool, lower the water a little first. This will stop the cover from touching the water. Chemicals in your pool may prematurely wear the cover. Make sure you wait at least 24 hours after shocking your pool before placing your cover on. Firm fitting covers provide better protection than floating ones.
Run your pool pump daily
Your pool pump should run for at least 3 hours a day. This will prevent the water from going stagnant and turning green.
Continue to maintain your pool
Even though your pool is closed for the winter, you still have to put in a little effort to ensure it is running at its best and the water is sanitary. Aim to clear out the skimmer basket weekly, test the chemistry levels, and check to see if your equipment is working as it should. If your water level has dropped to the lower part of the skimmer mouth, top it up.
We hope this article has given you an understanding of how to close your pool coming up to winter. This will ensure your pool stays in peak working order and it will be ready to dive into as soon as you have a warm day again. If you require more information on this topic, head to our website or contact our friendly team here at Factory Pools Perth.