Here are our top tips to avoid any nasty surprises next summer when you want to enjoy your pool again.
Maintaining your pool’s pH levels is essential. If unbalanced, the water can cause skin irritation, appear murky or discoloured and erode pool equipment.
pH levels range from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Anything above that is alkaline and anything below is acidic. In Australia, it is recommended to keep pool water between 7 and 7.8, with 7.4 being the ideal.
Grab a testing kit from your local pool supplies store and check your levels. If the pH levels are too low, add sodium bicarbonate. This will turn your water cloudy but will fade in a couple of days. Make sure the pool pump is switched on so it circulates through the water and wait an hour before testing again. To lower the pH level, use muriatic acid (a liquid acid also known as hydrochloric acid).
Any leaves left in your pool will deteriorate and settle on the bottom, leaving discolouration, so ensure you give it a thorough clean with the water scooper. If you don’t have one already, underwater vacuum cleaners (AKA creepy crawlies) are a must-have for pool owners. They run automatically and pick up sand, leaves and debris lying on the bottom of the pool.
While you’re at it, clean your pool filter. The most common filter is a cartridge type. To clean this, you’ll need to rinse off the debris with a hose and let it air-dry thoroughly. Next, prepare a solution of 1 part pool chlorinator to 6 parts water in a large bucket. Submerge the filter and let it soak for 3 to 5 days. Once soaked, rinse it in a bucket of clean water and allow to air dry once again before returning it to its position in your pool.
A pool cover is one of the best ways to keep your pool as clean as possible over winter. There are motor-assisted roll top covers, manual ones which are best for custom shaped pools, and solar covers. Solid and mesh pool covers like this one from Just Covers are the best for closed-pool season. They are cost-effective, and provide superb protection and have the added benefit of reducing water evaporation while simultaneously allowing rainwater to pass through.
Follow these tips so when summer returns, your pool will be ready for use.