Winterizing a swimming pool can be a daunting task but it will save problems and expense in the future. If you don’t prepare your pool for the rigours of the colder months you might find that pipe work has been damaged by freezing water and your pool may become overly contaminated with debris and algae.
To effectively prepare your swimming pool for the cold winter months you will need the following:
- An appropriate winter pool cover
- Swimming pool water treatment chemicals
- Pool winterizing water treatment algaecide
- Water testing strips
- Pool buoys or floats
- Carefully inspect your pool liner and repair any damage that may have occurred during the summer.
- Balance your swimming pool water. Ensure that the pH is in the range from 7.2 to 7.6.
- Raise your pool chlorine level to between 6 and 10 ppm by shock dosing.
- Distribute the chlorine evenly throughout your pool water by running the pool pump for about 12 hours
- Drain your pool water by about six inches to allow for rainwater to build up during the winter
- Introduce some floats either polystyrene, empty chemical containers part filled with water or purpose designed pool buoys. Ensure these are tethered in place around the swimming pool. These will lessen the pressure caused by ice should the pool water freeze.
- Clean and stow your summer pool cover
- Drain the water from your swimming pool pump, your pool heater and your filter. This is an important step that will prevent damage to expensive equipment that maybe caused by freezing water
- Fit your swimming pool cover and ensure that it is tethered tightly and not dropping in the water
- Set yourself a reminder to check your swimming pool water pH and chlorine levels regularly throughout the winter. If chlorine levels are low add liquid chlorine and be sure to stir it in to prevent bleaching of your pool liner
- Set yourself another reminder to thoroughly inspect your pool water in late February or early March. As the days begin to get longer algae is likely to begin to form in your pool. You may need to add more chlorine or algaecide to keep your pool water algae free and ready for use when the weather finally warms up.