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Winter maintenance

September 21, 2017

 

Once the swimming season has finished you must prepare

for winter and the coming months of inactivity – winterisation.

You must prepare for the cold weather and guard against

frost damage, as severe frosts can burst pipes, heaters, and

filters. Should any major work be needed then the winter is

the time to plan it.

 

The pool should be run and disinfected properly right up

until it is winterised, even if the heating is turned off.

Once the pool is winterised then the level of regular

maintenance required is very much less than during the

season. There are no hard and fast rules governing the actual

date of winterising; however, the lower ambient temperature

becomes the more expensive the heating becomes. Should

you have a lot of trees around the pool then you may wish

to leave the closedown date until after the leaves have fallen.

You must not empty the pool, without professional advice,

as hydrostatic pressures can force a concrete structure out

of the ground and ground water can lift and displace liners.

It would also be a hazard as people falling into an empty

pool will face more risk of getting injured than if it were full

of water.

 

All floating covers should be removed from the pool, cleaned

and carefully dried and stored safely away from vermin.

Slatted covers should be cleaned and rolled away for the

winter. The fitting of a proper winter cover will help keep the

majority of debris and sunlight out of the pool.

Winterising does not mean that the algae will stop growing,

so, you will need to treat the water until the water temperature

drops to about 7°C (42°F). Once the date of winterisation is

set, you must decide how the equipment is to be left during

the winter. There are two options and either one has pros

and cons, which can be explained to you by your SPATA

contractor.

 

 

Winterising options

 

Remove, clean and store all pool-side equipment and

summer covers etc. Check all filtration, heating and

cleaning equipment and report on its condition. Advise on

the servicing of heaters etc. Remove and store pool cleaner

if fitted. De-leaf and clean the pool.

Check the chemical values and adjust including a shock

dose. Many chemicals which are long lasting are

available for winterisation. However, the variance of winter

weather and temperature affects the longevity of these

products and occasional testing is recommended.

 

 

 

Option 1

Lower the level of the pool water* to approximately 30 cms

(1ft) below the skimmers as a frost precaution and plug

and empty out the skimmer. Store the pumps in a warm

environment, only disconnect and re fit electrically if trained,

otherwise ask your contractor to fit Lewden plugs (suitable

for outdoor use).

 

Isolate all electrics, drain all equipment such as pumps,

filters, heaters etc. Generally, leave the pool area and plant

room in a tidy state. Once the pool has been winterised do

not ignore it.

 

Check the water condition regularly and dose if required.

This can be easily done by lifting a corner of the cover.

Chemicals that dissolve quickly in the summer will be slower

reacting in the winter, so pre-dissolving them is essential.

*Take advice if you have a liner pool.

 

 

Option 2

 

Run the filter pump only by time clock control for one hour

per day at midday, for example, and set a frost thermostat

to 2ºC. This means that if the temperature drops below 2ºC

the pump will operate continuously, thus preventing the

water from freezing. Install a bypass around the heater and

drain the heater, electrically disconnect, or switch off other

equipment. If the pump is working the water is moving and

freezing will not occur. (You may need to act if there

are power cuts during cold weather, in which case contact

your SPATA maintenance company). You should backwash

the filter, once every 2 months, or if pool water level increases

from rainfall. As a result, recommissioning and winterising

are easier and quicker, as only a vacuum and water balance

check is likely to be needed.

 

 

Your SPATA maintenance company will be happy to advise

you on the most appropriate course of action and will take

away the worry of “doing it yourself” and ensuring that a

professional eye is cast over the whole system regularly.

They will use a planned maintenance program whereby

you are advised of the date of recommissioning well in

advance, so there is less rushing about in the spring.

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