Prepare your Swimming Pool for Winter
Prepare your Swimming Pool for Winter
With the end of summer and the approaching of colder seasons, the chances are not to use the swimming pool for months, especially if located outdoors and not have heating system. The typical climate of your region will be decisive, but the surest is to have to prepare your swimming pool for winter, hibernating it. But what is this hibernation?
The concept is not very different from when we applied in the context of natural life: it is to adopt a set of procedures that prepare your swimming pool for winter climate, thus preventing it from being damaged not only by the weather, but also by natural prolonged inactivity.
And the potential damages are not few: the water itself can become completely unusable in the following year, with the emergence of bacteria and especially algae, which thrive without any resistance, especially with the latter case, their proliferation may even cause damage very difficult to clean/repair - in some cases even irreversible. Moreover, in regions where temperatures fall enough, ice formation can damage the whole structure and components of the swimming pool, from the tiles to the skimmer, pump and piping.
Therefore, hibernate the pool have the potential to save you a lot of money, and also some work when the Spring arrives (or when the time comes to use it again). As already mentioned, the weather is what will dictate the best time to close the pool - end of September, for example, could be a good suggestion, but the irregularity with which we have seen, maybe in October.
Choose a sunny day to do so. Then just follow these steps:
- Clean the pool. If it already has some dirt when closed it will remain there for several months and will foster the emergence of bacteria and algae. Even if they do not develop so easily in low temperatures, the initial dirt will increase the likelihood of developing during that time. Remove garbage, not only the larger (as leafs) but also brush the tiles.
- Balance the water. Make sure the water is in perfect condition, with different levels of components within the ideal values. In the case of chlorine (or alternative component use), it is recommended to apply an amount equal to the shock treatment - with proper products, using 30 ppm in pools with plaster walls and 10 ppm in pools of plastic or vinyl. Also add a considerable amount of algaecide.
- Prevent the algae. Will have to act like you're applying a shock treatment: apply chlorination of shock and algaecide (the first case, in proportions of 10 ppm for pools, plastic or vinyl, and 30 ppm for plaster).
- Turn off all equipment. Not only the pump, but any eventual additional equipment you have, such as timers, cleaning robots or heating systems.
- Reduce the water level of the pool. The aim is to make the water line is below the skimmer approximately 50 cm. At low temperatures, the water will expand and may damage the plastic parts of the skimmer or tiles. Even during the winter, you should make sure that rain (or snow) does not reset the water to the previous level - unless you have the opportunity to make this periodic inspection, it is best reduce a little the water level.
- Empty the pipe. This step can be complicated but it is also the most important for the conservation of the overall structure of your pool. The low temperatures are extremely harmful to plumbing in general, with the danger of freezing which in turn may break the pipes.
There are several ways to extract all the water that remained in the pipe, such as water pumps, you can also use your own pool pump to assist in this task, though this option is not the most effective because you never remove all the water. In this case, especially if the climate of your region is more aggressive, you can also put some antifreeze in the water circuit - use liquid suitable for this purpose and does not resort to anti-freeze used in cars, as this is corrosive. Then tape all the passages - specifically, the main drain and the water return exits to the pool to prevent them from re-fill.
- Remove objects. Will not have to do with all - particularly applies to items of furniture, such as floats or distributors. Try to analyze the likelihood of being damaged with the cold and possible formation of ice.
- Additional precautions. If you think there is a good likelihood that the water line freeze, a trick that you can use is to put some plastic bowls in your pool. Fill them with some water, enough so that they are floating: when turn into ice, the water will expand and may damage the brick. With these bowls, pressure is applied to the plastic (more resistant) and not directly on the walls of the pool! Do the same with a plastic bottle with a little water in the skimmer.
- Cover the swimming pool. There are special covers for the winter, more durable and long lasting. These will prevent the pool fills with trash (with the natural consequences that entails), and reduce the rise in water level due to rain (and by association, the destabilization of the balance of products). During winter, it is recommended to pay attention to the state of the cover, as water from rain, snow or debris can cause excessive weight, and then needs to be cleaned.
- Cleaning of equipment. This is also a good opportunity to perform a cleaning or maintenance in great detail to the pump, motor and filter. When finished, be sure to close the valves in place, leaving them in that state during the period of inactivity.
This whole process is time consuming and laborious, but the difficulty is not usually excessive. Like any other task, you can use the services of a business or professional technician.
After these tasks, it remains to wrap yourself up for the coming cold and especially not forgetting the pool until Spring. Hibernation does not imply that you may ignore it till your want to reactivate it, it's always good to check the status of the water level and the cover, or even plumbing. The best solution to problems is always prevention.
Upon return of good weather and the time to use the pool again, you just have to do all these steps again, but now in reverse order. At that time will be even more relevant to examine the state of the pipe and check for leaks when you turn on the pump again.