How to Protect Your Pool over Winter

For many pool owners it’s that age old question what do I do with my pool over winter?

In short you have two options:

  1. Forget about your pool completely and let it turn into a swamp until the weather warms up again
  2. Keep it clean during the colder months

The very best, and most economical way to maintain your pool is to continue to look after it. By doing so, you will save a lot of time, money and effort in the end. Anything else is really just going to end up costing you money when summer returns. You’ll have to spend even more time and money to bring the *swamp* to life – the once lovely pool that you neglected over winter.

Some simple ways to keep your pool happy and healthy through the winter months

  • Keep safe
  • Always add your chemicals to the water in a bucket and never add water to your chemicals
  • Always read the labels on your chemicals and follow their advice and instructions
  • NEVER mix different chemicals together

When it comes to cleaning your pool

  • Clean all your filtration equipment
  • Remove any floating debris by scooping it out and keep up with the vacuuming
  • Empty baskets, the skimmer and pump lint pot
  • Clean your filter
  • Backwash the sand filter – OR
  • Hose out the cartridge filter – OR
  • Take out the D/E filter and clean it – AND
  • If required clean out the chlorinator cell

Next, rebalance your chemicals and adjust the alkalinity levels to between 80 and 120ppm

  • To increase the alkalinity in the pool, add sodium bicarbonate to the pool. NOTE – do not use more than two kilos per day
  • The re-balancing of alkalinity – to lower levels, will be sorted when you re-balance the pH levels.

Adjust the pH levels to between 7.2 and 7.6

  • To reduce the pH levels in the pool, add pool acid – but, no more than 500mls a time
  • Toi increase the pH levels in the pool, add soda ash.

It’s time to super chlorinate your pool

  • Remove your pool cover, leave it off and don’t replace it until the chlorine has returned to normal range
  • Give your pool a *shock dose* with 500gms of granular chlorine – for a 50,000-litre pool, or 10 litres of liquid chlorine.

How to Protect Your Pool over Winter

Add an algaecide

  • Using the recommended dosage add a long-life algaecide to the specific volume of pool water

Run your pool filtration equipment

  • On the first day run your filter for at least 8 hours this is to thoroughly mix through all the chemicals added during the process of re-balancing
  • Set your pool filter to run for three to four hours a day to maintain your pool water during the winter

Use a pool cover

  • If you are using a pool cover over winter, wait until the chlorine levels have reduced down to between 2 and 3ppm.
  • On your chlorinator reduce the chlorine production output. Your pool cover will maintain up to 90% of the chlorine, produced by your pool chlorinator. Without a pool cover you’ll lose up to 70% of your chlorine levels, using a pool cover is certainly worth it.
  • A week later check the chlorine levels, if the result is between 2 and 3ppm you’ll only now need to check the chlorine levels every two weeks. If you find the level is higher you will then need to reduce chlorine production via the CPO and then re-check your levels a week later.
  • When it comes to pH – just adjust your levels every two weeks
  • The water level should only be sitting half way up your skimmer box, don’t forget, if it rains, you’ll need to drain some water from your pool.
  • Don’t ever let your pool completely drain as hydrostatic pressure can build up and cause serious damage. This could be as serious of having your pool *pop* out of the ground

Now, just keep an eye on your pool every few weeks, vacuum and remove any debris you find, with a bit of time and effort and keeping an eye on everything over the winter months, your pool will be fighting fit and ready for those warmer summer months.

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