Properly closing your swimming pool for the winter saves a lot of time and money when you reopen it in the summer. Close the swimming pool a few weeks before the weather turns cold to ensure it’s well protected from possible freeze damage (depends on your weather zone; you might ask knowledgeable neighbours with similar pools and pump/filter systems, or at a pool supply in your area). You might wait to close until the water temperature is well below 20 degrees so algae is less likely to grow and if it does, it grows slowly.
Steps you need to take to winterise your pool
Adjust the pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness. Making sure these are all in balance protects the pool from corrosion or scale buildup that can occur over the winter while the pool is shut down. These adjustments should be made about five days before you completely close down the pool.
- Adjust the pH to a level between 7.2 and 7.6.
- Adjust the alkalinity to 80 to 120 ppm (parts per million).
- Adjust the calcium hardness to 180 to 220 ppm or higher according to product instructions for protecting a plaster pool to lessen minerals dissolving and leeching out.
Shock the water. Use an extra strong chlorine or a non-chlorine substitute to kill bacteria, some of the fungi and algae that may be living in the pool. Buy a shock product with at least 65 percent sodium hypochlorite or a non-chlorine substitute of equivalent strength. Fill a five-gallon bucket with pool water, add the instructed amount of shock granules for the size of pool, and pour it into the pool away from the pool skimmer water outlets while the filtration system is running. If you typically use a shock product/mix that is safe for people to swim in right away, it’s probably not strong enough to kill all the bacteria in your pool. Since you’re closing the pool down, use the instructed stronger shock treatment.
Stay out of the pool until the chlorine level returns to between 1 and 3 ppm over the course of a few days before proceeding to the next step.
Add a winterizing algaecide. Algaecide kills existing algae and prevents more from blooming. Algae can cause the pool to become discolored, give it a bad smell and clog the filter; so, it’s important to treat your pool with algaecide before shutting it down.
- Make sure the chlorine level has returned to 1 to 3 ppm before adding algaecide. Otherwise, the chlorine will render the algaecide ineffective.
- Buy an extra-strength algaecide. Use one meant to be used to overwinter a pool, rather than one you add to your pool on an ongoing basis while it’s in use. The stronger algaecide is meant to prevent algae from blooming all winter long.
Start getting your swimming pool into shape for next summer by following these easy steps!
If you require assistance with “winterising” your pool, then you need to contact Pool Spa & Filtration. Pool Spa & Filtration will be able to advise you on what is needed to get your pool ready for “sleep mode” in winter. From pool pumps to pool accessories, Pool Spa & Filtration will be able to assist you. To find out more about the products and services on offer through Pool Spa & Filtration, visit their website www.poolspa.co.za