When considering the best time to close your pool for the winter, you should do it before the first frost. Closing it at this time will go a long way to keeping your water line and other essential equipment from freezing and sustaining severe damage.
Keep in mind that it is best that you shouldn’t attempt to close your pool too early in the season. It is best to allow the water to achieve a consistent temperature of sixty degrees Fahrenheit before closing it, as this will significantly reduce any possible algae buildup over the winter.
Below, is a pool closing guide that we walk you through the steps to closing your pool for either chlorine or salt water based systems.
Get Organized Up Front
Before heading into the task of closing your pool, make sure you have the equipment you need, and it is all in acceptable shape.
- Winter pool cover – check the cover for any visible rips or tears. If you do find small tears, attempt to repair them with a vinyl pool patch made especially for pool covers.
- Bags of water – check the bags for any possible signs of leaking and that you have a sufficient number of bags to cover the entire perimeter of your pool.
- Plugs in skimmer – it is vital to ensure that these plugs do not have any cracks or holes.
- Jet return plugs – the same as with the plugs for the skimmer, check for any possible holes or cracks.
- Chemicals – these will include algaecide, stain and scale remover, and shock. In the case of saltwater pools, it is important that non-chlorine shock treatment is used.
- Shop-vac – needed to clean out the lines.
- Remove any peripheral fixtures such as diving boards, pool slides, ropes, toys, and flotation devices around the pool.
- When removing the water slide or a waterfall, it is essential to drain the system and blow it out sufficiently.
- You should drain down the water level of your pool to where it is just below the lines for return.
Filters And Pumps
- After making sure that your pump has been completely drained, you will then disconnect both the pump and the filter.
- Ensure all water has been removed and disconnect any unions or fittings on your filter and pump systems.
- Following the disconnection of the pump, you will then need to pull the drain plug and make sure that all the water from the pump is emptied.
- Do not reinsert the drain plug. Store it in a safe place until it will be used again in the following spring.
- Leaving the valve for the backwash open, drain the filters tanks and clean the filter.
- Using a compressor or a shop-vac, you will need to blow out all the water from the multiport valve.
- You may now remove the jet fitting.
- Once the pump is completely drained, turn it on for only a second to remove any remaining water. Any longer than a second, and you may cause irreparable damage to the pump.
Drain The Lines
- It is not advised that you use anti-freeze, as when you reopen your pool you will have a mess on your hands. Properly blowing out the lines will negate the need for anti-freeze.
- With the use of a compressor or shop-vac, you will be able to blow out the lines sufficiently.
- You must make sure to drain the water from each line, and once you have determined it is clear and empty, you will then plug each line.
- It is best to use a threaded plug.
The Skimmer Hole
- Many individuals prefer a hollow tube, known as a Gizzmo, which will allow for some expansion without damaging the skimmer system.
- The Gizzmo allows its hollow tube to collapse if water is present in the skimmer and subsequently freezes.
- Another option is using a plate that fits over the skimmer that will work to keep water out. This type of device is only advised if your pool has a vinyl lining.
Plugging The Skimmer
- Remove the basket in the skimmer.
- Make sure the water level has been lowered below the opening to the skimmer.
- Using a compressor or shop-vac, blow out all of the pipes to the skimmer.
- Install either a Gizzmo or a skimmer plate.
Chemicals Should be Balanced
- Making sure that your water is balanced before closing your pool for the winter will aid in preventing any staining of the pool liner.
- The chemicals that you need to take notice of are: Total pH, Total alkalinity, Calcium hardness
- The use of a closing chemical kit will prove invaluable in assuring that your water is clean when you reopen your pool in the spring.
- Make sure all chemical granules are dissolved and test the chemical levels after adding the kit to make sure everything is balanced.
- It is not advised to use any form of floater containing either chlorine or bromine.
- Do not throw any type of chlorine or bromine tablets into the pool, as if they do not dissolve properly, they can stain the pool’s liner.
Use a Pool Cover
- There are many advantages to installing an adequately fitted pool cover.
- Your pool will be much easier to keep clear of winter debris.
- You will have a cleaner pool when it comes time to open it in the spring.
Pool Cover Installation
- After laying the cover over the pool, you will fill the water bags spaced along the edge of the cover, making sure to surround the entire perimeter of the pool.
- Check to make sure that the water bags have been securely placed through the loops along the edge of the pool’s cover.
- To add additional strength, make sure to tuck the water bags into the pockets at the corners of the cover.
- Once installed, double-check to see that it is sitting on top of the water properly.
Storing of Equipment
- Once your pool cover is installed securely in place, you may then store any of your pool equipment and accessories in a clean and dry place until the spring.
Taking the time to clean and prepare your pool for the winter months will protect it and make the process of opening it in the spring easier. Ensuring you have removed all the water from the lines and blown them out, proper balancing, and covering your pool to protect it from the harsh elements of winter will guarantee you and your family will enjoy your pool for years to come. Contact us if you need help closing your pool.