Winterising your swimming pool. Getting your swimming pool ready for winter


Water testing

Debris net for swimming pool  Now that autumn has arrived, and winter is fast approaching, your pool usage has probably declined. However, just because your pool has shut up shop for the season doesn’t mean you can forget about it… doing so might leave you with a green pool, a hole in your wallet, and a stomach full of regret. So, how do you get your pool ready for winter?

Step 1. Clean it – a full Valet – a thorough clean!!pool_winter_ready

Remove all debris and foliage from the pool shell & surface, brush the shell, clear the poolside skimmer basket/s, and the pump basket. Backwash & rinse the pool filter/s. If anything is left to sink to the bottom it can stain the pool surface and be a really difficult ( and sometimes not possible ) to try and cleanup / remove later on.

Step 2. Check all equipment

Ensure the pump is working as normal and there are no abnormal sounds coming from it ( no mechanical stress noises ) and that it is not leaking. Check the pump close-up ( between the motor and the pump body ) that there is no white Calcium build-up.  Check all your pool equipment. Check the pump box/room/floor for any water residue, puddles, etc. Check that there is no white Calcium build-up on the salt chlorinator cell/s plates and the sensors which are usually located at the back of the cell ( if this is a saltwater pool of course ) Remove the cell from its housing a try using Hydrochloric Acid in a diluted form as recommended to remove any calcification on the plates and sensors. Or use your preferred salt cell cleaning solution. When you are done with the clean up flush your cell out with fresh water and then refit and check for leaks. Do not forget to reduce/adjust the chlorine output and the daily pump running time. Do not just adjust and forget.

Ensure that your pool water salt levels are correct and that the water is correctly balanced. Take a water sample to your local pool shop if required for testing. After the clean-up has been completed and the filter backwashed and rinsed thoroughly add a Phosphate remover and a reputable pool Algaecide to the water. You should repeat this probably halfway through the Winter months. Rainfall dilutes and you may find yourself having to lower pool water levels quite regularly. Remember dumping water also involves dumping Chemicals ie. Salt etc. These need to still be measured and topped up as and when required.

Throughout the cooler months, you’ll still need the pump, filter, and chlorinator ( if fitted ) to run for at least 4 – 6 hours a day ( pool size dependant ) it may require a little more. We prefer 1 continuous uninterrupted daily / nightly filtering cycle ie. not a stop, start affair during the cycle.

If needed, Pool Masta NZ can always service your pool equipment and get this ready for the Winter period. Visit us in-store or call us on 09 272 4100.

Step 3.   Backwash & Rinse your pool filter ( or remove your pool filter cartridge element and give it a good clean )

To clean contaminants from the sand or glass media filter, you’ll need to backwash and rinse the pool filter at least 1 x per month or as required in the Winter. Monitor the filter pressure gauge and water flow through the pump basket and/or salt cell housing if fitted. Make sure your filter pressure gauge is working correctly.

For a basic ‘how to’ guide on backwashing, have a read over one of our previous posts here.

Step 4.  Test, adjust, correct, and Balance the pool water.

Everything in your pool becomes more efficient with properly balanced water. You’re primarily defending against algae outbreaks, the shell surface and equipment will also last longer. The only pool covering we recommend during the winter months is that of a fine-meshed debris net. Clean, dry, and store your pool’s thermal blanket or bubble plastic cover. Following this practice will extend the life expectancy of these covers, ask yourself.. why use the expensive thermal blanket to float on the pool surface? what is the purpose? … there is very little evaporation, the pool water is usually cold and chlorine consumption is very low. A well-fitted Debris net is the way to go! …. for the winter.

If you need to shock your pool, try using Bioguard Burnout Extreme. It’s easy to use, and is great for “shock dosing” pools and treating them with high chlorine demands and/or algae problems. Remember to add this product as prescribed and recommended. For Vinyl plastic “liner”  pool addition this product or any other granular form of chlorine should be pre-mixed and dissolved prior to adding to your pool water. Staining/bleaching of the Vinyl liner ( which is irreversible ) can occur. Be careful.

Click here for the optimum chemical levels.

Step 5. Add a Phosphate remover – Algae thrives with high phosphate levels. Take out one of the Algae nutrients.

Although your pool might not contain algae, the addition of a phosphate remover like Pool Tonic, eliminates its food source. Read more here ……  …… No phosphate, equals no algae nutrients.

pool_winter_ready_1  Step 6. We recommend that you do not use your pool cover in Winter. Use a debris net instead if you have to cover your pool.

If you don’t have a debris net then it’s time to invest. A debris net cover protects your pool from the elements. The net can be partially removed 1 x per month for vacuuming purposes. During the month following high winds or bad weather, an air blower can be used to shift foliage / debris off the net for uplifting. Let’s be honest, no one wants to be skimming and vacuuming when it’s cold outside.

Step 7. Continue basic maintenance

Check the water chemistry and filter gauge every two weeks, adjusting where necessary. Your Summer pool “start up” should be Drama free if you follow these guidelines. If you have pool heating available then start up and run your heater 1 x per month for a few hours. A motor car does not like to stand turned off for around 6 months …. neither does a Heat pump, Gas heater or Solar system.

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