Opening your swimming pool

10 tips on maintenance for the seasonal opening your swimming pool.

Debris cover
This pool doesn’t get to be opened for summer. Instead the swimming pool and surrounds receives a complete makeover with new liner installed, new coping, plant room, and a brand new automatic pool cover from Coverstar supplied by Certikin pool suppliers Below is the same swimming pool and surrounding landscape after the renovation.
Pool safety cover
Renovated swimming pool image was taken from the opposite end, and as you can see it looks completely different.

It’s that time of year again to “spring” into action and open up your swimming pool ready for swimming weekend BBQ’s, parties. (Well almost…)

The warm weather may not be here just yet but it’s only just around the corner and besides, are you going to let a little thing such as the cold put you off swimming?

When you are ready to open your swimming pool read the 10 tips below on summerising your swimming pool.

Remove the debris cover from your swimming pool.
It is better if 2 people or more remove the winter debris cover.

swimming pool renovation
The same pool has hinged ladders so the automatic cover can close over the pool

Carefully remove the winter cover and place the stainless steel anchors in a bag.

Spread the winter cover out on the garden and clean loose debris and leaves with brush and a hose. Let the winter cover dry off to avoid mould staining.

After the cover has dried off fold up and store away with the anchors in a dry storage area.

Top up the pool water.

If you have a liner pool, then inspect for any defects or repairs needed in the pool liner like tears,  check the pool lining is not floating check the liner is fitting into the liner lock correctly.Pool in need of maintenance

Cleaning the stone copings and the pool surrounds.
Begin the pool maintenance, but before you do anything with your swimming pool, brush in sections with a water/light chlorine solution.

Be careful when using chemicals, and wear protective clothing when mixing to manufactures instructions before using.

Brush onto the coping and the pools surrounds and once treated gently hose down avoid splashing yourself and other objects like plants etc.  Next gently pressure clean and brush the copping and with water.

Brush the swimming pool walls down.
Begin with cleaning the tile band (Waterline) using the correct pool tile & liner cleaner.Automatic pool cover

Gently brush the pool walls using a pool brush to remove any green algae and other materials.

Check pool pump
Before priming and starting the pump, check the pump basket for leaves or debris then empty the basket.

Once the pool pump is circulating the pool water check for leaks

Swimming Pool filters. 

Do you know how old the filtration media is (usually sand)?

When it was last changed?

Filter sand becomes less and less effective over the years as the sharpness of the sand becomes rounded over time and less efficient in removing particles and other matter.Pool filter

Your pool would benefit from periodic changes of filter media at least every 3 to 5 years depending on how much the pool is used and other factors.

Use regular back washing and rinsing during the use of your swimming pool.

Use a leaf net for cleaning off the surface.
Remove any surface debris or leaves off the pool water with a leaf net and dispose.

Vacuum the pool floor.
Connect the pool cleaning equipment together. Fill the pool hose with pool water, place the hose in the skimmer with the skimmer basket still in, or attach to the vacuum point. Begin vacuuming the swimming pool.

Shocking, super-chlorinate, oxidising.
These terms all means the same, but most people say “to shock the pool water” because that is what a dose of chlorine does to any algae or bacteria. It’s the same as when you add bleach (which is composed of 5% chlorine, the rest is a carrier) to your kitchen.

Add the chlorine to the water and mix.

When mixing the chlorine granules remember to add chlorine to water and not the other way round). Obviously the amount you add depends on the condition of the pool water, and how effective the winterising treatments were, shock the pool water the pool appropriately and follow the chemicals instructions remember to have the filtration system running.

Testing the water is in balance.
For the chlorine to work effectively the pH, has to be at the correct levels between 7.2 and 7.6. Total Alkalinity need to be at the correct level (80-120 ppm) and Calcium Hardness levels, so use a test kit to check there preferable before you add the chlorine. Remember do not mix different swimming pool chemicals and always read the manufactures instructions.

Retest the water after 24 hours.
After the swimming pool cover has been removed, allowed to dry and stored away, the pump and filter has been checked, the pool is circulating, has been cleaned, the pool water tested and shocked, leave the pool running and retest the waters pH and chlorine level after 24 hours and dose the water as necessary. Once you have the swimming pool in a balanced condition, continue to regularly maintain your swimming pool to keep it healthy and crystal clear.

Enjoy your swimming pool.

10 Top tips for winterising and closing down your swimming pool

10 Top tips for closing down your swimming pool

Now that winter is here you might be thinking about winterising your swimming pool for the coming cold months. We have some tips here at Osprey Pools to help guide you through the maze of things to do when you decide it’s time to winterise your swimming pool.Maintaining swimming pools

It is most important that you winterise your swimming pool,  as you don’t want freezing weather conditions damaging your pool equipment like filters and pumps, as this can end up costing you money,  finding water leaks all over the place. Indoor pools under  normal conditions don’t need closing.

You also need to maintain the water inside your swimming pool to keep it as clean as possible over the winter months so when the warm weather arrives it will be easier to get the pool up and running again.

Here are some of the top 10 tips for closing your swimming pool:

  1. When winterising and closing down your swimming pool,  make sure you check the pool water pH to make certain it’s balanced
  2. Check the total alkalinity (TA) and calcium hardness are at the right levels.
  3. Balancing the water in this way will help to protect the pool’s surfaces from etching and staining and it also activates the sanitiser to keep the water healthy.
  4. Add shock chlorine to your pool, (Follow manufactures instructions) and use winter swimming pool chemicals like algaecide to preserve the water in your pool to keep it looking clear and blue (but not dark green) ready for your summer season.
  5. Take off your solar pool cover, clean it down and either store it away or leave it on the roller, covered.Swimming pool cleaning
  6. Vacuum the pool, backwash and rinse the filter clean the pump basket out of debris.
  7. Now place a winter cover over the swimming pool, this will keep out most leaves and debris that might have normally fallen in. If you have children or pets you might want to consider a safety cover to stop anyone or thing accidentally falling into the swimming pool. These safety covers can save lives as children or pets and wild creatures can get tangled in a normal winter cover and drown. Automatic Pool covers are the best. Remember to place the automatic water pump to clear any water that accumulates on top of the cover.
  8. Make certain that you just have cleared out all of the water from your pump, heater, plumbing, and filter. Drain your filter by unscrewing the plug at the bottom of it. Remember to open the air valve for all the water to drain out. Do the same to the pool pump; try to make sure you get the last trickles of water out. You need to remove any chemicals from the feeder as these will damage your pool equipment.Pool in need of maintenance
  9. Before you begin this next operation you should check with your dealer or pool installer if the  water in your pool can be lowered . If it is fine to lower your pool water then drop the water level so that it is just below the skimmer and returns only. If your returns are positioned much lower down in the pool, you might want to consider asking your local pool dealer or pool company who installed your pool if this is OK to do.  Clean the skimmer basket out and remove from the skimmer place a plastic bottle about half filled with sand in the skimmer so it floats and place in the pool several plastic containers half filled with sand or similar so they float. this may help take up ice expansion during a freeze.
  10. Over the winter months you may need some intermittent maintenance on the pool. Check the balance of the pool water. Top up the pool water with more sanitiser and algaecide, there may be a need to remove some of the winter’s rain water that has topped the pool up over the months.Clean swimming pool water

These top tips are meant for pool owners in the UK and only as a general guide to assist you in closing your pool this winter. In other countries like the USA the climatic conditions can vary substantially across states and in some cases are very different from the climate here in the UK, where we have the jet streams and warm Atlantic current keeping us in a temperate climate for most of the year.

Make sure your read any and all instructions that came or are associated with your swimming pool including the labels on the pool chemicals and any pool equipment that came with it.

If all this winterising and closing the pool down for the winter is too time consuming or an inconvenience for you, or you wish to open your swimming pool for the spring and summer, then give us a call on 01600 861 851 we are local to Chepstow Usk Raglan and Monmouth. Also close to Lydney Ross-on-Wye and Cinderford and the Forest of Dean. We are willing to travel much further afield to Abergavenny Newport Cardiff Gloucester Hereford or Bristol.

John Cox TnISPE