The morning air is crisp and cool. By now you’re thinking about comforting blankets and crackling fires instead of beach towels and beers. Yet the sharp sting from your fight to tame the swamp in your backyard at the beginning of spring still lingers at the back of your mind.
With you in mind, we have put together this simple guide on how to prepare your pool for winter and ward off the return of a green slime pit.
Why Prep Your Pool For Winter?
Left untreated your pool can become the prime breeding ground for any number of parasites and bacteria. A neglected pool that has turned to green sludge is no small feat to correct. By taking the time to apply preemptive measures you will not only save your wallet but your sanity as well.
Deep Clean Your Pool
It’s time to whip out your pool care arsenal and get down to work:
- Remove any pool toys, ladders and diving boards from your pool, clean as per the manufacturer’s instructions, dry, and store
- Net out any leaves and other small pieces of debris
- Thoroughly scrub down the walls and floor
- Take extra care when cleaning areas that are usually hard to reach.
- Give the weir and pump basket a scrub
- Clean additional accessories, like a leaf gobbler
How well you clean your pool will be the determining factor to your success in this process.
Balance the Water pH Levels
Any sanitiser you add to your pool will be more effective if its pH is at the right level. Additionally, you will safeguard your pool and equipment from corrosion. Here’s how to do this:
- Take a sample of water from around elbow deep
- Following the instructions of your test kit check the pH, alkalinity and calcium hardness
- pH level, between 7.2 and 7.6
- Alkalinity, between 80 to 120 ppm
- Calcium Hardness, between 200 and 400 ppm
- Add the appropriate treatments to bring your pool into balance
- Alternatively, bring your sample to us at POOL & SPA and we will assist you
Maintaining your pool’s pH levels will keep your pool clean and your equipment will last longer.
Shock Your Pool
By giving your pool a shock treatment you are killing off any contaminants in the water. This prevents an algae bloom and the growth of bacteria.
NOTE: Using such high concentrations of chemicals can be very harmful to your skin and eyes. Make sure to wear protective eyewear, gloves and clothing you won’t regret getting bleach marks on.
- A shock treatment is usually a heroic dose of chlorine for your pool
- This treatment is commonly 3-5 times the amount of chlorine used for regular pool maintenance
- Run your pool pump and filter for several hours to distribute the treatment well.
- On a bright clear day, the sunlight can reduce chlorine levels by up to 90%, so for the best results begin in the late afternoon and run the pool system overnight
- There are chlorine-free pool shock alternatives available if you prefer
- Pool shock kits are available in-store at POOL & SPA
A good shock treatment will exterminate any remaining bacteria leaving you with sparkling sanitised water.
Clean Your Pool Filter
All of the water in your pool has to pass through the filter. So, to say the job of your pool filter is important would undermine its critical role in keeping your pool crystal clear and sanitised. Before you begin make sure to have all your tools and cleaning products on hand:
- Take your time to carefully read your manufacturer’s instructions so as not to void your warranty
- Not all pools use the same filtration system
- The three main systems homeowners use are: sand, cartridge or diatomaceous earth
- Before you start be sure to know what type of filter you:
- Turn off your pump
- According to your pump’s operation protocol, slowly release the pressure from your system
- Thoroughly clean your filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Before closing up check seals and valves for damage and replace them if necessary
Like all moving parts, your pool filter is subject to wear and tear. Keeping your filter clean will go a long way in keeping it working most effectively and also stretch its lifespan.
Cover Your Pool
If you don’t already have a pool cover, it’s time to invest in one. A pool cover is a barrier between the outside world and the water you have just put all that work into cleaning and sanitising.
- A cover will prevent debris from entering the pool and protect your pH level
- It blocks out the sunlight which inhibits the growth of algae
- By shading the pool you will then reduce the chemical loss that is caused due to direct sunlight.
- Having a pool cover will minimise the loss of water that occurs in winter
It’s going to be cold outside. No one wants to be out by the pool netting out acres of leaves or sacrificing their arm to that frigid water just to test the pH level. It goes without saying that a pool cover will become your unsung hero throughout the winter months.
Wrapping Up Our Winter Pool Prep Guide
Preparing your pool for winter may feel daunting. However, with a little forethought and our easy steps, it becomes a simple task. Remember:
- Deep clean your pool
- Balance the water pH levels
- Shock treatment
- Clean the filter
Being prepared for winter is always better than being sorry when you have a bigger cleanup job on your hands.
Founded 40 years ago, Pool Spa are experts in pool care. Chat to one of our friendly experts about the supplies you will need to prepare your pool for winter. visit www.poolspa.co.za