• How to close your swimming pool for winter

How to close your swimming pool for winter

Many pool owners have a love/hate relationship with their pools. You love it over summer, but begrudge the time you spend on it during winter. But winter pool care doesn't have to be hard. By winterising your pool at the end of summer, you'll spend less time tending to it during winter. You can winterise your pool with a solar cover, but a proper leaf /debris cover is a more effective option.

1. Adjust the pH to 7.6 and "Superchlorinate" (5ppm chlorine). This will control algae and bacterial growth in the water. When superchlorinating, chemicals must be premixed in water and carefully added to the pool through the filtration system. This will ensure the chlorine is equally distributed through the pool. Failure to do this can lead to spot bleaching of the pool finish.

2. Use a good quality algaecide (such as Lo-Chlor or similar). Algaecide will inhibit algae growth and help stop the pool from turning green. When adding algaecide, ensure the filter runs for at least 6 - 8 hours (depending on your filter size) to ensure even distribution. 3. Normal water operating levels should be maintained and your pool should be covered with your pool cover. The cover acts as a protective membrane - reducing chemical use and keeping out unwanted debris and dirt, such as leaves. If allowed to remain in a pool, leaves become water-laden and sink to the bottom. This results in unsightly staining of the pool, which can be very difficult to remove. Take any leaves off your cover before they decay. (And before you remove your pool cover).This is easily done with a blower or pool brush on a telescopic handle.

4. Automatic chlorinators (chlorine, salt or ionic) need to be adjusted. Turn the time cycle back to approximately 2, for the usual duration. After one week, check that the chemical levels are adequate and adjust the time cycle accordingly if required. (Your filter need only be operating for 2 - 4 hours per day at this time.) Once the right balance is established after the initial few weeks, a monthly check is all that's required through the winter period. Note: Most automatic pool cleaners can still be operated underneath your pool cover.)

5. When reopening your pool, water chemistry should be checked and restored to recommended levels. Be sure to store your pool cover correctly to maximise its life. If you are storing your cover for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to wash it (with a mild detergent, eg. "Sunlight") to remove any debris and chemicals before putting it away.