As another summer of swimming in the sunshine draws to a close, it’s time to prepare your outdoor swimming pool for the off-season. Following these five simple steps to get your pool set for the colder months will ensure it remains in good condition throughout the winter, ready for you to dive back in come spring.
Before you start, make sure your outdoor swimming pool has been thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned, with any leaves removed.
Check pH levels
If you are not planning to drain your pool, it’s important to make sure the water balance remains steady while it’s not in use. The pH of the water should be between 7.0 and 7.4. Check the balance regularly throughout the off-season and adjust as necessary by adding dry acid to reduce the pH level, or soda ash to increase it.
Shock dose the water
Increase chlorine levels to 5-10mg/l by shock dosing the water with unstabilised chlorine. Run the pump for up to 12 hours to distribute the chlorine throughout the entire pool. This will eradicate bacteria and ensure the water is completely clean before you cover up your outdoor pool for winter.
Use winterising chemicals
Winterising chemicals will help keep your pool algae-free while it’s out of action. Again, run the pump for 6 to 12 hours to ensure the algicide reaches all areas of the pool.
Adjust the water level
Increased rainfall during the colder months could cause your pool to overflow, so it’s important to adjust the water level to allow for this. Switch off the skimmer valve and drain the water to four to six inches below it. Then, when it rains, there will be space for the water level to rise without overflowing.
Protect sides to prevent frost damage
Freezing temperatures can cause ice to form in the water, which can then damage the walls of your outdoor pool. Prevent this by half-filling plastic containers with water and floating them on the surface of the pool to protect walls from expanding ice.
Drain water from equipment
Any water which remains in the pump, filter and heater over the winter is at risk of freezing, which could cause cracks to form. Let this water out via the drain plug to prevent expensive damage to equipment when temperatures drop.
Fit a winter cover
Remove and clean your summer cover ready for storage. Use a pressure washer to remove any stubborn debris, then either pack the cover away in a dry place or leave it on the roller protected by a storage cover.
Put a winter cover in place to keep leaves and other debris out of the water. Ensure this fits snugly and doesn’t sit in the water. For added peace of mind if you have children or pets, choose a combined winter and safety cover that will prevent accidents should the cover be walked on.
Once these seven steps are complete, your outdoor swimming pool will be ready for hibernation. So you can look forward to your first springtime swim without worrying about the condition of your pool.
If you have an indoor swimming pool that you use all year round, it’s still a good idea to give it a thorough clean at the end of the busy summer season to make sure it’s in top condition for winter swims.
For more advice on taking care of your pool, or to arrange servicing and repairs when it needs some professional attention, get in touch by sending an enquiry online or by calling 01280 843101.