Winterising your swimming pool - shutting down for the season

Test and correct the water chemistry, clean the pool and fit a debris net/cover as below. You will thank us!

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

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


Remove all debris and foliage from the pool shell & surface, brush the shell, clear the poolside skimmer basket/s, and 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 real pain 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 or any other equipment. Check the pump box/room floor for any water residue. Check that there is no white Calcium build-up on the salt chlorinator cell/s and the sensors which are usually located at the back of the cell ( if this is a salt water pool ) Try using Hydrochloric Acid in diluted form as recommended to remove any calcification on the plates and sensors in the cell housing. Or use your other preferred salt cell cleaning solution. When you are done with the clean up ensure that your salt levels are correct and that the water is properly balanced. Take a water sample to your local pool shop if required for testing.

Throughout the cooler months you’ll still need the pump, filter and chlorinator to run for at least 4 hours a day ( pool size dependant ) it may require a little more.

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

To clean contaminants from the filter, you’ll need to backwash and rinse the pool filter at least 1 x per month or as required. Monitor the filter pressure gauge and water flow through the pump basket and/or salt cell housing if fitted.

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

Step 4. Test, adjust and Balance the pool water

Everything in your pool becomes more efficient with properly balanced water. You’re primarily defending against algae outbreaks, the surface and equipment will also last longer with properly balanced pool water. Look after your investment!!

If you need to shock your pool, there are a number of really good products available but try using “Bioguard’s” Burnout Extreme. It’s easy to use, is great for “shock dosing” pools and treating them with 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

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.


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, foliage and debris. The net can be partially removed 1 x per month for vacuuming purposes. During the month following high winds or bad weather a garden air blower can we used to shift foliage / debris off the net for uplifting. Let’s be honest, no one wants to be skimming and vacuuming your pool when it’s cold outside.

Step 7. Continue basic maintenance

Check the water chemistry and pool filter gauge every two weeks, adjusting the water chemistry when necessary. Remember heavy rainfall will result in chemical dilution. You will probably need to lower your pool water level regularly, you are of course dumping chemicals/salt when you do this. Top up chemicals/salt as required. 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 pool Heat pump, pool Gas heater or a Solar system. Keep them alive! clean out the solar panels/tubing on your roof.

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