Winter is fast approaching in Melbourne, and as the temperatures begin to drop it’s a good idea to assess your pool maintenance regime. Whether you have just had a new swimming pool installed, or you’re looking to improve your maintenance schedule from last year, it’s important to be consistent.
Your pool could require some adjustments to account for the cold winter weather, and some minor changes may be able to save you some money and keep your pool in perfect working order. Whilst you may consider switching off your pool system over winter to save some money, this can be a very bad move. Not only can it cause damage to the filtration system, but it could cause the rest of the pool to become very dirty, causing other components to break and require heavy cleaning. Keeping on top of your pool maintenance over the colder months is the best way to keep your pool operating smoothly for next swimming season, so check out the article below for some great tips on how to maintain your pool during winter in Melbourne.
The first step to preparing your pool for winter is to give it a good general clean and remove all the dirt and debris. You can scrub the walls and the floor of the pool with a brush to remove any persistent stains or marks. This also helps to prevent the build-up of algae on the surface so you can stop it before it spreads. You can also use a pool vacuum or your robotic pool cleaner to give the pool a deeper clean. Use a net to remove any sticks, leaves or any other larger debris that may have landed in the pool. Check the skimmer baskets to ensure the filtration system is unblocked and working effectively. If you let the mess build up over winter whilst your pool is not in use, you could be left with a big clean up job once summer comes around again.
Balance pH levels
The pH level of a pool tells us how acidic or basic the water is, giving us an indication of whether or not it’s safe to swim in. The amount of chemicals used in the pool can affect the pH levels. It’s generally known that the ideal pH level for a swimming pool is between 7.2 and 7.6. You’ll want to ensure that your pool falls into this range by taking a sample and testing it. If the pH levels fall outside this range, you’ll need to treat the water appropriately to bring the pH levels within a suitable range.
To keep your water clean throughout the winter periods when your pool is not getting as much use, it’s important to keep on top of your chlorine levels too. You’ll want to keep the chlorine at a consistent level of 2-3 parts per million (PPM) throughout the winter months to keep your water clean. If you have a salt chlorinator or a cover, make sure to reduce your chlorinator to around 1-2 PPM to account for the chemicals and chlorine that will become trapped and unable to evaporate under the cover. If you end up using too much chlorine, chances are that you could damage your pool equipment so make sure to check it regularly.
Shocking refers to the process of adding chlorine or non-chlorine pool chemicals to your pool water to raise the “free chlorine” level. The aim of shocking is to raise the free chlorine level to a point where algae and bacteria are destroyed. Regular shocking of your pool helps to remove both organic and inorganic waste (such as sunscreen, bird poo, bugs etc) from the water. It also takes pressure off the sanitiser being used in your pool as it is not required to work as hard with the other contaminants taken care of. You should then wait one hour per pound of shock product added, and then test the pH and chlorine to ensure they are at the correct levels before letting anyone enter the pool.
It’s an obvious one but checking your filter should definitely be part of your winter pool maintenance routine. You should have learnt how to do this when your swimming pool was installed, but in case you have forgotten, you can learn about how to clean your pool filter. You should always check it regularly, making sure to empty out any dirt or debris that may have been lodged in your filter. Grease and oil that pass through the filter can solidify in the colder weather and will become a hassle to clean once summer rolls around.
Maintaining ground water
It’s crucial to monitor the ground water outside the pool after installation to prevent damage to the fibreglass pool shell. During installation, your pool builder should install an atmosphere pipe. It comes to the surface and gives a gauge to how much ground water sits outside your pool shell. This must be inspected regularly to avoid any movement or damage occurring to the pool shell. At Master Pools, we also provide a pump that is used to remove excess ground water if required.
After you’ve performed all the winter maintenance checks listed above, it’s important to keep up a weekly maintenance schedule even when you’re not using the pool during the colder months. You should carry out a visual inspection to make sure all your equipment is in working order, check the water levels, empty the skimmer basket, and check your chlorine and pH levels. If you keep to a regular schedule, you could save yourself a great deal of time and money if something was to go wrong
To read more about pool maintenance, visit our pool maintenance guide. If you’re interested in a free site visit to discuss a new pool installation in Melbourne or the surrounding suburbs, please contact our expert team of pool builders. Our team of professionals have years of knowledge and experience pool building in South-East Melbourne, helping create thousands of dream pools that last a lifetime!