Winter

Save money by completing a winter maintenance program

Pool owners are increasingly opting to extend their swimming season, thanks to advances in pool covers and more economical solar and gas heating solutions. However, for most of us, the traditional swimming season is tied to the natural seasons – and during winter, our pools remain covered and unused. We have some great tips to keep your pool sparkling all year round to ensure it’s ready to dive into the first hot day of summer.

Many pool owners neglect their pools in winter with good intentions – thinking they are saving water, energy and reducing their overall chemical use. The opposite is actually true. Getting the pool ready for summer after a winter of neglect can lead to significant waste of water, chemicals and energy – costing you more money than a simple maintenance regime. You also run the risk of algae growth, surface staining, equipment damage and chlorinator cell failure.

Maintaining a 12-month water management program is vital to maintaining a pool’s health and is the key for using less water, energy and chemicals. This simple winterising procedure will ensure that your pool will be ready for the first warm days of next summer:

  • Test and balance your pool water
  • Vacuum and brush the walls of your pool
  • Ensure that the skimmer basket and hair and lint–pot are free from debris
  • Thoroughly backwash the filter and clean it with recognised filter cleaner and degreaser - if there is not a strong flow of water returning to the pool when the filter is turned on, ring your local SPASA pool shop
  • Lubricate all O-rings with a silicone based lubricant
  • Add a winter shock treatment
  • Protect the pool from algae with an algae inhibitor
  • Cover the pool completely to keep it debris free and prevent leaves and debris from causing damage to your skimmer
  • Reduce filtration to four hours a day. If you have a salt pool reduce the chlorine output as the days get cooler (some chlorinators have a winterise setting). Do not turn off the pump completely, the bearings may seize and you will not have filtration to keep the water clean
  • Turn the pool lights on for at least 30 minutes a week to prevent build-up of moisture within the light and wiring
  • Ensure that you occasionally check water levels are halfway up the skimmer box opening and that the pressure gauge on the filter is not indicating backwash.
  • If you are using a pool cover, remove the cover once a month to allow the pool to breath and allow excess chlorine to escape

After completing these steps, you will only need to check the chlorine level every 2 weeks and empty the skimmer basket if it has a build-up of leaves. It is recommended that you have a complete pool water test once a month during winter to ensure that the water remains correctly balanced, and thus pool chemicals are working to their maximum efficiency.

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