With the Autumn fast approaching our focus now turns to preparing the swimming pool for the winter, in this blog we will be focusing on in-ground swimming pools, smaller above ground pools “Splasher Pools”, soft sided swimming pools and wooden style swimming pools will be covered in a further blog at a later date.

Winter places a number of stresses on a swimming pool from high levels of rain fall, the wind and prolonged periods of cold weather; preparation is the perfect remedy to minimise damage.

In the first instance, before you start the Winterisation process ensure the water is clear and clean free from any debris and anything which shouldn’t be in the swimming pool is removed.

For most swimming pool owners you will be provided with a manufacturers / installer user guide which must be followed at all times specifically when dealing with items such as mechanical pumps, heaters, filters and associated equipment, this blog concentrates on preparing and treating the water for and during the winter period.

Ensuring the water is clear and clean before the Winterising process begins which will include the following

• Backwash the filter to ensure the filter media is clean and ready for the decommissioning period over winter

• Use either the OPC Pooltester or Test Strips to ensure correct reading for pH, and Free Chlorine

• Ensure pH is between 7.0 and 7.5 adjust with OPC pH Plus (pH Increaser) or OPC pH Reducer (pH Minus)

• Shock Dose the water to between 5 and 10 PPM and maintain this reading for 2 – 4 hours. Use OPC Chlorine Shock Granules or Fi-Clor Superfast Shock Granules to increase free chlorine readings.

• There may be a slight loss of clarity after adding the Chlorine Shock Granules we recommend using OPC Pool Sparkle to restore water clarity.

• Check the Total Alkalinity (TA) of the water, this reading can often be found on testing strips and ensure the reading is between 80 – 180 ppm, if the reading is too high, reduce the TA with OPC TA Reducer or if too low increase with OPC TA Increaser.

• Depending on the advice in the swimming pool manufacturers guidelines; it is often recommended to reduce the level of water in the swimming pool to just below the skimmers however you must refer to operator manual(s) before undertaking this procedure.

After 24 hours and when the water is crystal clear you can now start the final close down procedure on the water.

• Add a Winterising Algaecide such as OPC Winteriser Copper, Klearpool Long Life Copper, OPC Winteriser Copper Free or Fi-Clor Winteriser / Multifunctional Algicide.

• Ensure the circulation is running during the application of Winteriser Algaecide to throughout distribute the solution in the water.

In the next edition of this blog we will cover maintaining your swimming pool through the winter and what you can do to help minimise the water turning green (algae infestation)

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