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
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
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.
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.
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.