Yes, it's cold. Summer warmth is long gone and we can only think of swimming with a large shudder. Often at this time of year we have long turned off the pump and have abandoned the swimming pool to turn green. Do you know that it is actually more cost effective and better for your pool to maintain it over winter? Here are a few tips on how to do this more easily.At the end of the swimming season:
- Remove your solar cover and store covered out of weather and sunlight.
- Fit a winter or debris cover. This will stop any leaves and mess entering your pool, overfilling your skimmer basket and breaking it. These covers also reduce/stop the sunlight getting to your pool meaning you use very little chlorine over these months.
- Reduce the running of your pool pump and filter to just enough to circulate your pool each day - approx a couple of hours. This will keep your water clear.
- At the beginning of the swimming season, vacuum the bottom of the pool, balance your chemicals, backwash the filter and you are away!!
Note: If you don't have a winter or debris cover make sure you check and empty your skimmer basket regularly, fortnightly over winter is probably enough although best to check it after any weather event. If your skimmer basket gets overloaded it will crack and let debris through. You will also need to monitor your water chemistry.
Winter covers are designed to be tight and above the water level so that any leaves/debris blow away. If there is a weather event like the recent winter blast the ice/snow on your cover can make it sag. Left like this with the cover sitting on the waterline, leaves and debris will stick and rot and contaminate your water. Check your winter cover periodically and tighten where necessary especially after a decent southerly blast!!
It is better for your swimming pool to maintain it over winter - it reduces the chance of staining either due to leaves or other objects lying on the bottom. These can be unsightly and once there can be very hard to remove.
Chemical use is reduced using both a winter cover and keeping it clean over winter. The cover stops sunlight breaking down the chlorine in the water and reduces contaminants (such as leaves) entering. Once green, a lot of chemicals are required to bring back your pool to swimmable quality (much more than you would use maintaining it over winter).
It takes very little to look after your pool over winter, is cost effective and saves the awful cleanup job at the beginning of the swimming season. Who really likes cleaning up a stinky, slimy, green mess?