Winter Pool Maintenance
The winter months can prove to be a tough time for the majority of pool owners. During our colder seasons of wild and unpredictable weather, the home pool is unlikely to be used and will simply sit idle in the backyard. Pool owners need to remember to ensure that the pool stays in top-notch condition, even when it isn’t being used, to ensure that it will be ready to be used again in spring. So, it is important to complete a few activities at the start of winter to ensure that your pool is correctly maintained. We’ve compiled a few tips to make sure your pool stays nice and clean throughout the winter months.

Make sure you keep your pool clean

The foundation of your pre-winter preparation should be a thorough clean. Try skimming your pool regularly throughout the colder months of the year to make sure there's no organic matter left in the water that could trigger the growth of algae. The next thing you need to do is to make sure that you give all your pool surfaces a thorough clean and vacuum. Be sure to scrub all your surfaces with a broom or brush to remove any algae that may be growing or any build-up that may have occurred from the warmer summer months. One tip is to make sure you get to all surfaces to remove the build-up, this includes the floor, walls, steps, and fixtures. Manually vacuum your pool, taking care to remove any debris and organic material that have been dislodged while you have been scrubbing.

Filtering your pool

It is likely that your pool is going to become very cloudy from all the scrubbing and vacuuming that you have undertaken. You should run your filter until the water clears up. It is very important that you give your filters a good clean and thorough backwash before winter. Over the summer there will be an accumulation of oils and fats in the filter and overwinter they will thicken or become hard, making it difficult to remove next spring. Follow your filter’s backwash procedure to ensure it is clean. If you have filter cartridges, now is the right moment for you to remove them and clean them in accordance with the specifications of your manufacturer. If you have a “winter" setting on your filter, you should engage this once your filter has been cleaned. Over winter, you will have the need for filtration. However, this will not be as high as during the warmer months. You can reduce the hours of your filtration procedure to just a few hours per day during winter. Doing this will ensure the pool stays clean while it is covered up while also reducing the consumption of power. In Perth, we have milder winters, but this doesn’t necessarily prevent algal growth. Therefore, you should discuss your optimum filtration hours with a professional pool shop or pool maintenance provider and make sure you adjust the pump timer accordingly. During our average winter in Perth, depending on the volume of your pool, you should expect to run the pump for between 3 to 6 hours each day.

Correct Chemistry

The secret to a great pool is high-quality, treated water. Water can only remain great when the chemistry is correct for your pool. In the winter months, you will not need to use as many pool chemicals, but you’ll still need to give your pool a shock treatment before it is ready for the colder season. A pool’s pH level needs to be in the 7.2-7.6 range before the pool is packed up. If the level is too low it will be acidic, and if it is too high it will be alkaline, so you will need to adjust accordingly. Winter algae is a problem in Perth, however long-acting algaecides are available. This should be applied after you have balanced your pool pH levels. This will help to keep your pool water clear and reduce the time you’ll need to take in spring getting your pool ready again.  

Having A Winter Blanket

Now might be the right time to talk with your local pool shop about purchasing a pool blanket if you don’t have one already Pool blankets serve multiple purposes, in fact, they are an almost vital addition to any good pool. They will help trap heat in the pool water, and in turn this will help to stabilise the water chemistry and reduce power consumption required for heating over winter. They will also reduce the amount of time required to re-heat the pool in spring if you have turned the heating off completely over winter. Pool blankets will keep debris out of your pool, this means less maintenance and a quicker return to swimming after removing the blankets in spring.

Packing everything away

Remember – you should always put all your pool toys away before the winter season, so that they are safe and secure in the event of a storm. You can deflate any blow-up toys and give all pool toys a good wipe over with a solution of diluted bleach and water. After that you can rinse them down with clean water and allow them to dry before putting them into storage. It is also a good time to pay attention to the area surrounding your pool, such as your paving stones and decking. You could also lubricate your gate hinges and locks and make sure that there is nothing that makes the pool safety barrier any less than fully effective. It’s recommended that you check your pool chemistry overwinter at least once per month and that any adjustments to the pool chemistry are made as you would do over summer. All that is required is a little effort in winter to ensure your spring and summer days are spent enjoying the full benefits of your pool as opposed to cleaning it!