Preventative winter maintenance
Don’t go cold on your pool this winter!
While winter may see your family curled up on the couch rather than splashing about in the pool, it’s still important to keep your pool in good shape.
Preventative maintenance can potentially save you time and money further down the line – and ensure your asset is protected.
“Regularly spending a little bit of time making sure everything is looking good and operating well will save you a bigger (and perhaps costly) job later on,” explains Chris Fitzmaurice, Swimart’s Australasian manager.
“It’s important to protect your investment and don’t let it ‘go to sleep’ over winter. And with the unseasonal, unpredictable weather we have been experiencing of late, you may even be able to take a dip during autumn and winter so it’s ideal to have your pool ‘swim ready’ for that last minute swim.”
Not only that, windy and stormy weather can blow leaves and dirt into the pool which, if left to settle, can become difficult to remove.
Here are Swimart’s top tips for keeping your pool in great shape till next summer:
- Balance the water: The pool’s pH level needs to be between 7.2 and 7.6. Taking a sample of pool water to your local Swimart store will tell you exactly what the pH is. If the level is not correct, add the appropriate treatment to bring the pool to the correct level
- Clean the pool! It’s important to brush the walls and floor of the pool and then to vacuum the whole pool thoroughly. Algae thrives in unclean water, so don’t forget to clean the skimmer baskets and the pump’s lint basket of debris
- Clean the filter: Ensure that the pool’s filter is sparkling clean, as any grease or oil deposits will harden over winter and make the filter harder to clean in the warmer months, not to mention reducing its overall efficiency
- Use a shock treatment: It’s recommended to use a regular shock treatment throughout winter. Once you’ve added the shock treatment appropriate for your pool, run both the pump and filter for several hours to ensure it has been well distributed throughout the pool
- Protect against algae: Use an algaecide that’s appropriate for your pool
- Check chlorine levels: To keep your pool clean and clear, it’s important to keep your pool’s free available chlorine levels at a constant level of 2-3 PPM (parts per million) at all times during winter. If you’re using a salt chlorinator and a pool blanket, remember to reduce the output of the chlorinator to 1-2 PPM, as pool blankets trap chemicals and chlorine, and can cause high chlorine levels to occur, resulting in damage to pool equipment if not monitored carefully
- Maintain the pH and Total Alkalinity levels: Total Alkalinity (the measure of the ability of your pool or spa water to resist changes in the pH) is the overseer that keeps the pH of your water where it needs to be. If your buffering capabilities are too low (low alkalinity), your pH levels can swing drastically from highs to lows
- Run the filter: The pool’s filter should operate for three to four hours each day. If you’re using a timer, adjust it to suit. Remember if you switch the filter on during off-peak periods, you can save money
- Cover the pool: This will prevent water loss and also stop debris from entering the pool. Ensure you have a good quality pool blanket or cover. Swimart offers an extensive range of Daisy pool covers, so just speak with your local Swimart technician and they can recommend the most appropriate cover according to your needs
- Keep up your maintenance schedule: Once you’ve completed your preparation for winter, it’s imperative that you stick to a maintenance schedule, even though it’s cold and the pool is not being used. Once a week it’s important to do a quick visual inspection of your pool and make sure all of your equipment is working properly. Also check the water level, empty the skimmer basket and check your chlorine and pH levels. If in doubt, or if you need help, Swimart’s technicians are available to provide advice and service.