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Winter, water and what to do

Not swimming so much now that winter is here and wondering what to do to keep your pool clean?

You’ll need to ‘winterise’, which means taking a few simple steps to ensure the water stays healthy and unlikely to give you any nasty surprises when the weather starts to warm up again.

  1. Clean the pool – brush the walls and floor and vacuum the pool.
  2. Clean the filter – thoroughly backwash and clean the filter to get rid of any build-up of contaminants like sunscreen and skin oils. A good clean and degreaser product should do the job. Check and change the filter media while you’re at it and make sure the skimmer basket and lint pot are debris-free.
  3. Test the water and re-balance the chemicals – either test it yourself or take a sample to your local pool shop for testing. If you’re unsure about balancing the water chemistry, call a SPASA-accredited technician.
    1. The pH should between 7.2 and 7.6 for concrete pools, and between 7.0 and 7.2 for fibreglass. To increase pH levels, add sodium carbonate (soda ash) and to decrease, add pool acid (muriatic acid, a diluted form of hydrochloric acid). Mix it in a full bucket of water first and do not add more than 500mL at a time.
    2. Total alkalinity should be 80―120ppm. To increase total alkalinity, add sodium bicarbonate. Lowering total alkalinity will be addressed when pH levels are re-balanced.
  4. Shock dose the pool – remove the cover and mix 500g of granular chlorine or 650mL of liquid chlorine with a bucket of water and add it to the pool. Leave the cover off till chlorine levels return to normal.
  5. Add algaecide – mix between 750mL and 1L of long-life algaecide designed for winter with a bucket of water and add it to the pool.
  6. Adjust the timer so the filter runs 2-3 hours per day.
  7. Re-check chlorine levels and put the cover back on.
  8. Check the chlorine level every two weeks and keep an eye on the skimmer basket.
  9. Occasionally check the water level and the filter pressure gauge.

If winterising sounds like too big a job or you're pressed for time, get in contact with a SPASA certified pool technician, who will also perform a pool ‘health check’ in spring, ensuring everything is ready to go when the weather warms up.

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