How To Shut Down Your Outdoor Pool For Winter
Whether you have had an outdoor pool for years or are new to the scene, you are going to want to stop using your swimming pool for the winter, unless you happen to live in a country with an all year-round temperate climate. In this blog, we’ll cover the procedures to get your pool ready for the winter months and months of inactivity.
Prepare the water
The first steps you will want to take is to get the water in your pool clean and free from bacteria including algae. Start by checking the pH level of your water and make sure it is between 7.2 and 7.6. You can add Dry Acid or Soda Ash to help balance the levels and get them right. Once you have got the pH to the right range it’s time to kill off any bacteria and algae in the pool. This is best achieved by shock dosing your water with unstabilised chlorine, raising the chlorine levels to around 10 parts per million, and keeping your pump running for 6 to 12 hours to distribute chlorine throughout the pool.
As outdoor pools will be subjected to winter rainfall it is a good idea to turn your skimmer valve off and drain the water level to around 4 to 6 inches below the bottom of the skimmer. This will allow the water level to increase naturally with rainfall without your pool overflowing. For cold climates protect the sides from damage caused by expanding ice by using polystyrene or other floats to act as compression barriers that break the surface tension of the water.
Invest in a winter cover
Clean down your summer swimming pool cover using fresh water and fold it away or leave it on the roller if your winter cover is designed to fit over the top. Your winter cover should help to keep leaves and debris out of the pool and should be kept as tight as possible and not be sagging in the middle. Check the tension regularly to make sure that it is still taught and keeping leaves and debris out.
Protect your equipment
Water pumps, filters and electric heaters are all expensive pieces of equipment that need to be maintained to keep them running at their best. Once you have circulated the chemicals in the top level and drained this down it is time to do the same for your equipment. All of these should have isolation valves and drain plugs to help you essentially drain the water out of them to stop them from suffering damage from water freezing and expanding inside them.
Regularly check your pool
While you probably don’t need to check it every week, a monthly check will help you spot any problems early and rectify these as quickly as possible. Check the water clarity and add more winterising chemicals if you spot any signs of algae. Likewise, make sure ice is not causing damage and add additional floats if necessary, tethering them so they don’t all float into a single spot. Finally, double check that your cover is keeping debris out and adjust the tension as needed.