Maintaining an outdoor pool can be more complex than an indoor one, because the pool is outside and therefore exposed to the elements, as well as the fact that the pool will likely not be in use for part of the year. If an outdoor pool is not going to be used during the colder months, it will need to be ‘Winterised’, or closed down for the season, before it is opened again once the weather is warm enough to enjoy outdoor swimming again.
Opening and Closing
Commissioning your pool (opening it in preparation for the summer swimming season), involves reconnecting the heater, pumps and chemical feeders, which will have been disconnected for the winter, cleaning and refilling the pool, checking all the chemical levels and allowing these to stabilise before the pool is ready to use. If you want a professional to open or close your pool for the season, expect it to cost around £150, excluding chemicals.
An outdoor swimming pool is obviously prone to leaves, debris and other contaminents entering the water when the swimming pool cover is off. You’ll need to skim the surface of the water regularly, ideally daily, to remove any visible debris, and your pool filters will need to be cleaned frequently too. For a deep clean, the walls and floor of the pool are vacuumed. You can minimise how often this needs to be done by keeping up with skimming and simple maintenance yourself. For a pool engineer to clean and service your pool, including checking and maintaining your chemical levels, you might pay around £75 a time, depending on where you’re based.
The pH level and chlorine level of your pool water should be regularly checked and maintained. The pH is a measure of the acididty of the water in your pool, and should be kept at a safe level of between 7.2 and 7.8. There are a number of different testing kits available that you can use yourself, and from the pH reading you can work out what kinds of chemicals need to be added, and in what volumes. Chlorine is an essential chemical added to the pool to keep it clean and free of bacteria. It’s available in liquid, tablet or powder form.
As well as these essential maintenance jobs that need to be done regularly to keep your outdoor pool working efficiently, there are also several basic checks that you can do yourself. Check the water level each time you use the pool, and keep it topped up with a hose if necessary. Water can be lost easily through evaporation and splashing during swimming. You should also carefully check your pool for cracks or any other signs of leaking. It can be difficult to tell if you have a leak, so if you’re not sure it’s best to ask a professional to check for you.