Now that we’re coming to the end of the summer, owners of outdoor swimming pools are preparing to close the pool for another year. Investing in a good close down regime will limit the amount of time spent reopening the swimming pool next spring, skimping on the process can be costly.

Winter submits many challenges to your swimming pool including high winds, leaf fall, very low temperatures and potential visitors from local wildlife, preparing for these incursions is vital.

* Firstly, confirm the volume of water in your swimming pool by using the pool volume calculator on the homepage of OPC
Pool Size Calculator

* Before winterising the swimming pool ensure all surfaces (walls, steps and floor) are clean and clear of algae, leaves, grass and other debris.

* Turn off the pool water heating system (you have done this already) always following the manufacturer operating instructions

* Brush all surfaces and ensure water is 100% clear and clean before winter decommissioning, this is critical to ensure a successful close down.

* Back wash the filter (sand or glass media)

* Remove any debris from the pump strainer basket, skimmer basket and pool surface / floor (leaves, twigs and pool toys etc)

* Check the pH and adjust to 7.2 (use either OPC pH Plus or OPC pH Minus)

* Shock Dose (use OPC Chlorine Shock Granules) and add OPC Pool Sparkle the swimming pool the day before closing the pool.

* Close the value(s) to the skimmers and lower the pool water to approx. 10 cm below the mouth of the skimmer in the swimming pool, although please refer to any recommendations from the swimming pool installer and / or instruction guides from the manufacturer.

* After 24hrs and whilst the water is still circulating via the bottom drain add Winterguard Copper or OPC Winterguard Copper Free or Klearpool Copper Long Life Algaecide (all of these products act as a long term protection against algae during the closed season). Add product evenly around the swimming pool and allow to thoroughly circulate.

* Remove and store in dry conditions, any ladders, diving boards, summer cover and other equipment.

Switch off and isolate the power supply, if in doubt contact a qualified electrician or local swimming pool company / installer.

Drain water from pump, filter and heater for frost protection taking care to retain any "O" rings and other such equipment, however please refer to manufacturer / installer guidelines.

* Finally, cover the swimming pool with a heavy duty winter cover, this will help protect the swimming pool from leaf fall and other unwanted debris / visitors throughout winter. Make sure the cover is securely fitted and all securing points are tight.

If the winter is wet and / or mild add a further dose of algaecide )add Winterguard Copper or OPC Winterguard Copper Free or Klearpool Copper Long Life Algaecide)

Periodically check the appearance of the water and test the water, January / February is good time to check on the condition of the swimming pool. You may want to add more OPC Chlorine Shock Granules or algaecide

*Use biocides safely.  Always read the label and product information before use