a quick physical check of
all your winterizing supplies. This should include
the cover, the water tubes, the plugs for the skimmers
(gizzmos), return jets, and your winterizing chemicals.
You will also need an air compressor or a powerful
shop vac for proper winterization.
If you are using the green Gizzmos to plug your skimmers,
check them out and make sure that they are not cracked.
Using a cracked Gizzmo can lead to having water seep
into the pipe lines of the pool and lead to having
Backwash the filter very well to clean it out. This will clean the majority of
the filter, but some DE particles will remain in the filter. Drain
filter tanks and leave backwash valve open. On sand filters, unplug the filter
off. Put drain plug with other removed items in the pump basket. Make sure multiport
valve has no water in it. Blow it out with a compressor or shop vac.
Although it is not recommended to "Acid Wash" DE filters at
the time of the pool closing, an "Acid Wash" should be done in the
immediately run pool water through the system. It is not good to use muriatic
acid on a DE filter and then just rinse it off and immediately putting it away
for the winter. The
degrade the filter parts over the winter.
Disconnect your pump and filter. Make sure the pump is totally drained out.
Remove any drain plugs
is a good idea to store any small plugs or parts in the pump basket.
This way you will be able to find them easily come Springtime. If there is a
heater, drain it and make sure there is no sitting water inside. Blow it out
with a compressor
or shop vac. Drain heater totally and remove all
drain plugs (if any). Also put drain plugs in the pump basket for safe keeping.
We do not recommend removing the heater tray. You can remove it if you want,
you may encounter trouble putting it back in come Springtime. It is not necessary
Unscrew and loosen any quick disconnect fittings or unions at your pump and filter
system. Remember, the objective is "no freeze cracks". If the
water is all drained out of your pipes and fittings, it cannot freeze and expand
Remove all return jet fittings, the entire fitting. If you crack a fitting
while removing it, you can simply replace it next year.
They are relatively inexpensive.
Remove all skimmer baskets. Put fittings and any other items that you remove
in one of the skimmer baskets or the pump basket to avoid losing anything.
Blow out all return jet pipes using an air compressor or shop vac. Hook up air
compressor or shop vac to the return lines at the filter system. Some
people prefer to screw the compressor fitting into the drain plug of the pump.
will give a good seal and allow you to blow out the entire system from that one
spot. Keep the air blowing until bubbles
to become visible from the return jets in the pool. Put a plug in the fitting
under the water when you see bubbles blowing at full force. This will mean
that 99% of the water is out of the pipe. Make sure plug is in tight !!!
Blow out all skimmer (suction side) pipes in a similar fashion.
Put a Gizzmo-type screw in plug in the skimmer when bubbles start to become visible.
We know that this is sometimes difficult, but proper gizzmo installation is important.
Make sure that you put Teflon tape on the gizzmo threads before installing. This
insures a tight seal. If you don't want to use Gizzmo plugs and want to use
black rubber-type plugs instead, that is sufficient as long as there is something
in the skimmer to allow for water expansion when it freezes. Usually a closed
empty soda-type bottle will work. Do not just plug the
skimmer lines and forget about them. Water can easily freeze in a skimmer and
crack the plastic. Also, if you have a slide, an auto vac
system or a waterfall, you will have to drain and blow out those pipes as well.
We do not recommend putting anti-freeze type products in the pipes.
It is unnecessary if the lines are properly blown out. The anti-freeze can
cause a mess in the Spring when you go to start your system and it gets sucked
into your filter and blown back into the pool. Try to avoid antifreeze.
Blow out main drain line (if any). When
you see bubbles coming out of the drain, plug the pipe on your end or close the
gate valve. This is as much protection as you can give
to a main drain line. By doing this you will cause an "air lock" in
the line and no more water should enter the pipe from the pool side. Put duct
tape on all exposed pipes to prevent anything from getting into them.
Remove rope and floats from pool and put with the rest of the supplies.
Remove dive board and ladders. Put in a safe spot, usually a shed or the garage.
the pump and filter in your shed or garage. You probably are not going
to want to move your filter if it is a sand filter. You can leave that outside
! Remember, do not lose dive bolts or ladder bumpers. Put them in the skimmer
or pump baskets.
Mix any granular winterizing chemicals in a bucket so they totally dissolve.
Dump mixture into the pool. You want to avoid any undissolved granules from settling
on the pool floor and staining the liner. This is very important. If you are
using any liquid winterizing chemicals, pour them in the pool as well. Test the
pool for PH and Total Alkalinity. Adjust to normal levels using PH plus or minus
and alkalinity plus. The PH level should be between 7.2 - 7.6 . The Alkalinity
level between 100-150 ppm. Make sure one of your winterizer chemicals consists
You want the chlorine level in the pool to be rather high (over 3.0 for wintertime).
to drain any water out of the pool provided you have properly blown out
and plugged all your underground pipes as outlined above, and you do not have
a pool that has decorative ceramic tiles at the water line. This might conflict
with others pool industry. Some
used to their pool being drained down past the skimmer. This is usually done
of blowing out the pipes and using gizzmos. Realize that the higher the water
level is through the winter, the better it is for the pool cover. Pools that
are drained down low because of alot of undue stress on the pool cover, and
shorten its life. It also exposes the pool liner to the air and acn possibly
it to prematurely
dry out. The use of gizzmos prevents the skimmers from cracking, plugs the pipes
and allows the water level to remain high for the cover. This prevents the rain
from causing huge puddle formations on top of the pool cover and possibly causing
We feel the only valid reason to drain the water down in a pool is if it has
The water level must be a few inches below the tile, otherwise,
cause those tiles to crack. Aside from this situation, we feel that there is
no valid reason to lower the water in the pool. Also, you do not have to remove
or "lower" the pool light provided that you keep your water at the
Place the cover on the pool. If there are rips or tears in the cover that are
repairable, patch them with either vinyl pool patch (for vinyl covers) or with
pool cover patch tape ( for lightweight covers). Remember,
if your cover has been on life support the past couple of years, give it a proper
burial and invest in a new one.
If there are sharp points that extend
into the pool, like step units
or "ELS", then it is a good idea to put rags or cardboard between the
cover and the points on the pool which extend out. Do this right or the cover
may rip on those stress points.
If you use water tubes, lay out the water tubes, placing them through loops on
cover. Fill tubes with water about 3/4 full and tightly seal all tubes. Do not
overfill the tubes. When they freeze, you do not want them to expand and split.
Tubes should ideally be touching each other end to end. However spacing them
one (1) foot apart is acceptable. If you find that tubes are leaking, do not
fill them. Replace them with new ones. It is not a good idea to patch the old
tubes. Allow enough slack in the tube for water expansion
Ground Pool Closing (Winterizing)
all your winterizing supplies. This should include
a cover, air pillow, plugs for the skimmers
( gizzmos or rubber plugs ), winter plate ( if
used ) and your winterizing chemicals. You need these
items for proper winterization. If you are using the
green Gizzmos to plug your skimmers, check them out
and make sure that they are not cracked.
Backwash the filter very well to clean it out. Drain
DE filter tanks and leave backwash valve open.
On sand filters, unplug the filter drain plug
off. Put drain plug with other removed items in the pump basket. Make sure
valve ( if any ) has no water in it. Blow it out with a compressor or shop
vac. Please note that it is not recommended
to "acid wash" DE
filters at the time of the pool closing. It is best to do in the Springtime
so that you can immediately run pool water through
the system. It is not good
to use muriatic acid on a DE filter and then just
rinse it off and put it away.
The acid may degrade the filter parts over the winter.
Plug return pipes and skimmer and remove
Disconnect your pump and filter. Make sure that pump is totally drained
out of any water. Turn pump upside down once to make sure. Remove any drain
the pump. It is a good idea to store any small plugs or parts in the pump
basket. This way you will be able to find them easily in the Spring. Store
in a shed
Some people like to remove the skimmer box and install a winter plate with
gaskets. If you do this, make sure it does not leak.
Most people simply plug the skimmer hole with a black rubber plug or a gizzmo.
It is easier. You can let the water in the pool go down to the
skimmer, then you do not have to plug the hole at all. This
method is also acceptable, but realize that the pool cover will sit lower
in the pool. Therefore
you might want to use a cover that is one or two sizes bigger than your pool
so that you have the extra material available. Any of these methods are good.
It is simply a matter of personal preference.
Blow up and install your air pillow. Air pillows are usually used but are
not absolutely necessary. They are a good idea in case the water in the pool
expands, and breaks the pool wall.
If no pillow is available, a tire or tube will suffice. Throw them into the
pool to take up ice expansion. Tie air pillow at two places and position
Tie strings to the pool wall so the pillow does not move during cover installation.
If the pillow is leaking, either patch it or get a new one.
Remember, the pillow
is there to take up any expansion of the water which may occur due to freezing
and possibly causing the above ground pool wall to split. Pillows are not
to keep the rain water off of the pool cover. The
will always settle around the outside of the pillow and will need to be pumped
off occassionally. Remove all deck equipment from pool ( i.e ladders,
rails, slides, etc.). Add chemicals. Mix any granular winterizing chemicals
in a bucket until they are totally dissolved. Dump mixture into the pool.
You want to avoid
granules from settling on the pool floor and staining the liner.
If you are using any liquid winterizing chemicals, pour them in the
pool as well. Test the pool for PH and Total Alkalinity. Adjust to normal
levels using PH plus or minus and alkalinity plus. PH levels should be between
7.2 - 7.6 and
alkalinity between 100-150 ppm. Make sure one of your winterizer chemicals
consists of a shock-type product. You want the chlorine level in the pool
to be rather
high (over 3.0 for wintertime).
Place cover on pool and secure. Make sure that cover cable wire is tight
so that cover does not blow off or fall in pool. Make sure the pillow is
still in the
middle of the pool after cover installation. If not, reset cover and pillow.