Winter Pool Care
Spending the summer splashing around your pool and enjoying the moments of reprieve from the hot summer sun is always an absolute blast! Now that the summer season is slowly dwindling down, however, with the days getting a bit cooler and the sun creeping down a bit earlier, we know that autumn will soon be upon us. Sadly, we will have to begin covering up our pools and saying goodbye to our days spent by the water, for a few months at least.
To prepare for the winter months when the pool will no longer be used, there are a few things that have to be done so that we can be greeted by a pristine looking pool when the warm spring air once again graces us with its presence.
Inactive pools that are not properly covered and prepared for the long winter months can get damaged, so be sure to follow the correct cleaning steps!
An example of this is that when left untreated, the chemicals in the pool water can become unbalanced, which has damaging effects on the walls of your pool and leaves the water murky, with chemical deposits that can be corrosive.
How can our pools be kept safe from these damaging effects?
To ensure that you open your pool back up in Spring and are met with the same pristine-looking pool that you had in autumn, there are a few different things that you have to do.
There are 10 easy steps that you can follow to ensure that your pool is properly prepped and ready for winter!
The following 10 steps are how you can ensure your pool remains clean over the coming winter period.
To begin the process, you should first make certain that any leaves, bugs or any sort of debris are removed from the pool. using a pool wall brush or scrubbing too, you should thoroughly scrub down the walls to ensure that anything that may be sticking to the side of the pool is removed, especially the algae. It is important to clean the waterline as well, as this is usually where accumulated dirt sits.
Check The Ph Level
The PH of your pool is incredibly important, and if you do not have a PH testing kit, you should consider investing in one! If the PH level of a pool is too high, it may lead to skin irritations for those who swim in it and if it is too low, the water may reduce the effectiveness of the chlorine.
To ensure that your water remains clean and healthy over the next few months, the PH of your pool should remain between 7.2 and 7.6 to be considered safe.
Check The Alkalinity Level
For the PH of pool water to remain at stable levels while it is covered over the winter period, the water needs to have a certain level of alkalinity, this will also be determined by a pool water test kit. The optimum alkalinity level ranges between 80 and 125 ppm for gunite or plaster pools, and between 125 and 150 ppm for others like vinyl lined pools. There are both alkalinity increases and decreases to ensure that your pool remains at the optimum levels.
Measure The Water Hardness
No, we do not mean the actual hardness of the water when we speak about this! Water hardness rather refers to the amount of calcium in a body of water, and keeping this at the correct level can reduce the chances of the walls of your pool corroding.
The optimum calcium level for pool water is between 175 and 225 ppm, so it is crucial to keep your pool between these different amounts. If your water is too soft, you can add in a calcium hardness increase, but if it is too hard, simply drain out some of the water and refill your pool until the water is within the ideal levels.
Shock Your Pool
After months of using your pool, it has no doubt collected a bit of pollution! From the sunscreen that has come off in the water to excess chlorine creating murky water, sometimes you need to shock your pool to get rid of all of this excess waste.
To shock your pool, you will need to purchase a specially prepared chemical formula that is then added in the correct amounts to the pool water. These different chemicals oxidise the chlorine and leave your water as clean as possible. It is important to note that this is one of the most important steps to complete before you close up your pool for winter.
Lower The Water Level
Now that your pool has been tested and properly cleaned, the amount of water in the pool should be lowered. To do this, you need to drain your pool to about 150 millimetres below the skimmer(s) level.
Clean The Plumbing Lines.
To ensure that your pool is properly cleaned, you also need to make sure that the plumbing lines are free and clear of any potential blockages. To do this, you should blow the water out of the pool plumbing lines, a wet or dry vacuum with a blower setting can be used to do this. Once the line is dry, you can insert stoppers at the end(s) of the lines.
Clean The Pump
This may be a bit of a challenge, and before even touching the pump, be sure that you have read up on exactly what to do and how to clean out this region of your pool system. If you have completed this task with another pool, it is also important to note that every pump is different and you may need a refresher course on cleaning out this specific pump before beginning. Once you have a good idea of what each piece of the pump is and how to clean it, give it a thorough wash down! You should also remove all the plugs from your pump, filter, heater and chlorinator, and then store them in a place where you can easily get hold of them in the springtime.
Clean And Store Pool Extras
By now, your pool should be looking sparkling clean and you are nearly ready to place the cover over it. Before completing this, you should make sure that you remove all extra pool fittings that may be located in and around your pool.
After you have removed all of these different items, it is important that you wash them down, removing any dirt or algae that could be hiding in those hard to reach and nitty-gritty places! If you have a pressure washer at home, or know someone that you can borrow one from, use this to clean these items while being sure that the water being used to clean them is fresh and desalinated.
Cover Your Pool
Your pool cover is essential when it comes to ensuring that it remains clean over the winter period! Taking the necessary steps to check and be sure that your pool cover is in good condition can make all the difference when it comes to the health of the water and the cleanliness of the pool walls. Using a pool cover that is ineffective and broken will mean that all your hard work getting your pool clean would have been all for nothing. When placing the pool cover over your pool, be sure to properly secure it firmly, but not too tightly.
After completing the above 10 steps, your pool should be good to go and ready for when the days of spending time by the pool return with the warm Spring weather!