The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Pool for Winter in Australia

Whether you live in the heart of the Australian Outback, a bustling city, or anywhere in between, if you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you want it to stay well-maintained and clean all year round. And that means prepping your pool for winter—whether it’s mild or harsh—so you can worry less about maintenance and more about enjoying it during the summer.

If you’re like most Aussies, you probably have no idea where to start when thinking about getting your pool ready for winter. Don’t worry—we’re here to help! In this guide, we’ll share our top tips for prepping your pool for the cold season – from making sure your water is balanced to running preventative maintenance. Let’s get started!

Preparing Your Pool For Winter

Wintertime doesn’t mean you turn off your filter, put on the pool cover and forget about it for 12 weeks or more. Doing that is more than likely going to slam you with costly repairs and pool chemical bills when it comes time to take a dip again.
For most of Australia, you won’t have to worry about your pool water freezing, so don’t drain your pool, as this can damage the structure of your pool. Instead, it’s better to keep it running and follow the tips below to ensure your pool gets the best treatment during winter.

Consequences of Ignoring Your Pools Winter Prep

If you neglect your pool maintenance during colder months, it could lead to some serious problems. For instance, your pH levels might get unbalanced, which can damage your pool equipment and even void your warranty. Additionally, leaves, metals, and organic matter can break down on the pool floor, leaving stains on the pool surface. Chlorine gas can also build-up, which can bleach the pool around the waterline and damage the pool blanket. Worst of all, bacteria and algae can grow, making your pool water green and requiring strong chemicals to rebalance the chemicals in the water. Fixing all these issues can cost you hundreds of dollars and plenty of time, so it’s best to avoid them altogether, don’t you think?

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Run and Test All Equipment Before Storing

Winter in Australia can be a tough time for your pool, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared. After all, the last thing you want is to come back in spring and find that your pool needs some costly repairs!

To start preparing your pool for winter, make sure you run and test all the equipment. This should include pumps, filters, heaters and cleaners. If any of them are damaged or not functioning properly, it’s best to replace them now before they fail completely. Plus, this is your chance to check the settings on certain items—like the heater—and ensure everything is calibrated correctly for next season.

You should also check for any wear or tear on hoses and pipes leading to and from the pump. And if you’re leaving any chemical dispensers in the pool (for example floating chlorine feeders or automatic chlorinators) make sure they’re adequately stocked up.
Doing these basic maintenance checks now will save you a lot of headaches and keep your equipment running smoothly through winter, and your pool will be ready for action again next summer!

Balance the Water Chemistry and Add Algaecide

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Pools are more than just a place to cool off during the hot summer months – they’re an investment in your backyard, and you want to ensure their longevity. To prepare your pool for winter in Australia, it’s essential to balance the water chemistry and add algaecide.
Balancing the water chemistry means getting your pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid levels just right. The experts suggest swimming pools should have a pH between 7 to 7.6, an alkalinity of 60-200 ppm (parts per million), calcium hardness of 150–400 ppm and a cyanuric acid level of 30–50 ppm. Getting the right balance ensures that your pool remains in good condition year-round.

Shock Treat Your Pool At The Start Of Winter

For best results, you’ll want to shock treat your pool and add algaecide after testing the water chemistry and balancing the levels accordingly — that way, you’ll be giving your pool the best chance of making it through winter happy and healthy!
To prepare your pool for winter, you can add concentrated chlorine or pool shock to kill any bacteria or algae spores. You can also increase the output of your chlorinator and run the pump for at least 8 hours. After super-chlorinating, reduce the chlorinator output to less than your summer setting because winter time requires less chlorine to keep your pool fresh. Be sure to remove your pool cover while super-chlorinating and only replace it once chlorine levels have returned to normal.

After a week, test your pool water at your local pool shop for free. Check for phosphates which can kill the chlorine in your pool. You can also use a water quality monitor to check your water chemistry. Refer to the above section for a guide for the recommended pool chemical levels (note, this is just an average guide, it’s always best to follow the instructions on your pool chemistry set for the best results).
Prevent algae growth by adding a copper-based algaecide that can last up to 3 months. Use a good-quality phosphate remover if your pool water test shows phosphates are present.

Install a Pool Cover

Ready to lock away the pool for the winter? A pool cover is a must-have and one of the most important steps in preparing your pool for winter. It helps keep out dirt, debris and leaves, plus it stops evaporation that causes water loss.

Not all pool covers are made equal though, so when shopping for one make sure:

  • The cover is sturdy and fits the dimensions of your pool snugly.
  • It can withstand the kind of weather you experience in Australia.
  • You can securely fasten it in place so nothing gets underneath.

And if you’re feeling fancy and want to go above and beyond with your cover, look for one that is solar or thermal—these specialised covers can help save time and money when it comes to heating costs for next season.

Consider Using a Pool Heater

When it comes to getting your pool ready for winter in Australia, one of the best things you can do is think about using a pool heater. Sure, a pool heater might cost you a bit more when you initially instal it, but in the long run you’ll be able to extend your swimming season.

Using a pool heater has lots of advantages:

  • It heats up the water quickly and can maintain a steady temperature throughout the day
  • You can set different temperatures for different times of day to accommodate different swimmers and activities
  • You can easily control the temperature from your device or from the pool’s dashboard

When deciding on a pool heater for your winter preparation needs, make sure that you get one that is up to Australian standards. This will ensure that it’s safe to use and that you get maximum efficiency and cost savings.

Winter preparations for an Australian pool are essential and the good news is that you can take the hassle out of the transition from summer to winter. By following the simple steps in this guide, you can help to prevent further problems from emerging down the track.
If you need the gear to succeed this winter, shop at Pool Builder’s Pool Shop today. We can deliver your required pool chemicals to your door within 48 hours. Better yet, we can install them for you!

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