Preparing the pool for the winter
At the end of the outdoor swimming season there are a few things that you need to do to prepare the pool for the winter to ensure that the pool and pool equipment are protected from damage and that the water stays in reasonable condition. If you are not confident in winterising the pool yourself then we would recommend that you talk to your Blue Horizons supplier, who in most cases will be pleased to do it for you.
If you are confident that you can winterise the pool yourself then below is a brief outline of some of the things that need to be done.
1. Remove the solar cover, clean it, pack it up carefully and store it away somewhere that mice can't get at it.
2. Check the pH level and raise it to 7.6 – 7.8, this is slightly higher than the normal range and allows for dilution by rainwater (rainwater tends to be acidic) during the closed season.
3. Lower the water level in the pool so it is approximately 150mm – 200mm below the skimmer mouth opening in the pool.
4. Add a 10mg/l shock dose using Blue Horizons Granular Shock, Shock 'n' Floc Granules or Rapid Shock
5. Add Blue Horizons Ultimate Winter Time, Concentrated Winter Time or AlgiMAX Eliminator at the required dose rate, or Kleen Pool.
6. Keep the filtration system running after you have added the above products to ensure they are distributed, to do this you will need to close the valve for the skimmer(s) in the plant room and just draw water via the main drain, otherwise you will suck air into the circulation system.
7. Put bungs into the water outlets at the bottom of the skimmer(s) to stop rainwater going down the pipe.
8. In the plant room open the valve for the skimmer(s) and run the pump for a few seconds only, this will clear the skimmer pipelines of water.
9. Turn the filtration system off.
10. Drain down the pump, filter and heater as per the manufacturer's instructions.
11. Disconnect the pipe-work from the pump, if the plant room is likely to freeze or get damp during the winter it is good practice to remove the pump to a warm, dry place.
12. Float some items in the pool, old chemical containers are ideal for this but weight them first with some small stones so that they are partially submerged under the water. Doing this will take the pressure off the sides of the pool should ice form on the water's surface.
13. Put an old, weighted chemical container in the skimmer(s), this will help relieve the pressure off the skimmer sides – because although the skimmer is empty at the time of winterising it will fill with rainwater over time.
14. Fit your winter debris cover to keep leaves and other debris out of the pool during the closed period.
15. Every 4 – 6 weeks add a 5mg/l dose of Blue Horizons Granular Shock, Shock 'n' Floc Granules or Rapid Shock and brush pool to help distribute the product as best you can.