WHY SHOULD I CLOSE MY POOL?
As we approach the colder seasons, many of you may begin to consider closing your pool. Similar to opening a pool, the specific procedure for closing a pool will vary from pool to pool. The main reason for closing your pool is to protect it from damage due to freezing temperatures. If you winterize your pool properly, you can eliminate the risk of your plumbing lines freezing and bursting when your pool is closed. You can opt to close your pool yourself or we offer our services for pool closing! If you decide on the DIY method, here are some things to keep in mind.
To start a pool closing, most people like to vacuum. This should be done first, followed by draining the pool at least 1 inch below the top of the skimmer gizmo, or at least one inch below any wall tiles.
All thermometers, toys, floaters, and safety ropes should be removed.
Another important part of closing a pool is making sure the water chemistry is close to perfect. Get your water tested and treat your pool with the appropriate chemicals.
Regardless of your readings, a minimum of quart of Sequa-Sol and Algimycin Winter should be added to maintain metal control and prevention of algae growth throughout the winter.
Next, backwash and rinse the filter before you can begin to take the system apart.
Then, turn off the heater and turn the gas line to the heater off. open the heater door, turn the pilot setting to "off", and disconnect the pressure switch if it is attached to tubing (typically located in one of the corners).
Turn the pool off and (if it has a multiport valve) turn it to "winterize".
Then, begin taking the plugs out. There will be a plug in the filter, two plugs on the pump, and plugs on the heater, chlorinator, axillary pumps, and possibly any other additional system components.
If it's a sand filter, unscrew the sight glass, pressure gauge, and backwash hose.
Also, make sure that all of the chlorine tabs are removed from the chlorinator. If you have an off-line chlorinator, remove it and connect one of the feeder lines between the two plumbing lines. If neither line reaches, make sure the holes are covered to prevent precipitation from entering the lines.
If the system has a cartridge or D.E. filter, remove the elements and clean them off by spraying them before placing them somewhere to dry before storing them.
Place a gizzmo in the skimmers and use an air blower at the pump to blow all water out of the skimmer lines. After blowing the line, add antifreeze into the gizzmo. Place an empty quart bottle into the skimmer and an empty gallon bottle into the mouth in order to prevent freeze damage.
For the main drain, blow the line at the pump until air comes out at the pool. Make sure the main drain valve is turned off completely. Then, add antifreeze to the main drain line, and use the air blower to push the water below the freeze point. Make sure not to blow for too long or the antifreeze may drain into the pool. Quickly close the main drain and add a plug to the front of the pump if the valve didn't seal.
For return lines, open a line in the system and use the blower in the direction of the returns. When air starts to come out of the returns, let them blow for at least 30 seconds to push out more water. Next plug all of the lines and check each one for any air bubbles. If bubbling, tighten or replace with new plug. Follow up with antifreeze into each line.
Blow out any other lines (fountains, slides, and waterfalls). Seal these off and follow with antifreeze.
blow out any lines at the system that haven't been yet and add antifreeze if necessary.
If installing a cover, be sure to remove ladders, handrails, basketball goals, and volleyball poles.
Next, raise deck anchors for mesh or solid safety covers and put the cover on (see cover section for more specific direction).
Once everything is completed, the final step is to turn off all pool breakers except for those controlling the automatic cover and cover pump.
For skimmer lines, use 1 gallon for close skimmers, 2 gallons for wide mouth skimmers
For 1.5” main drain lines, use 1 gallon for every 10 feet
For 2” main drain lines, use 1.5 gallons for every 10 feet
For return lines, use 1 gallon per return
For fountain lines, use 1 gallon for every 2 fountains
For slides and waterfalls, use 1 gallon per line
The steps for closing a pool differ based on the type of winter cover. Keep reading to see how your closing will change based on your winter cover!
The easiest cover for closing is the automatic cover. Make sure that it is completely shut with the cover pump on. Flip the lead bar if it can be flipped. You may have a couple of water tubes to place at the end of your automatic cover, so check to be sure!
Mesh and Solid Anchor Covers
These are fairly easy to put on. Unscrew all of the anchors placed in the cement surrounding the pool high enough to be able to attach the cover to them. Once the pool is closed, put the cover on and attach it to the anchors. make sure the cover is facing the correct direction and make sure not to get any water on solid covers which will cause them to become heavier than they already are and make sure a cover pump is on the solid cover.
Water Tube Covers
Water tube covers are typically difficult to put on. The tarp-like cover is held down with big tubes filled with water. When filling up the tubes with water, make sure to keep extra space for expansion from freezing. When finished filling the hose, make sure to press down the tab to keep the water inside the tube. Once the pool is closed, pull the cover on and weigh it down with the tubes. The cover should have loops along the sides of it for the tubes to go through. Make sure the cover is pulled fairly tight, and if there is extra cover, fold it under.
Snap Cover (Lock-In)
Snap covers are rare, but are the most difficult cover to install. They are made of vinyl and clip into a special bead receiver. It is very important to line these up almost perfectly before trying to put it on or it may not fit correctly. Make sure a cover pump and leaf net (customer preference) is put on the cover.
With cooler months ahead, you should keep these options in mind. Properly preparing your pool for winter will lengthen its life, and also make things easier when it is time to open again in the spring. It is a good idea to keep in contact with your pool care company over the winter months. You can call Angie’s Pool & Spa for all your winter pool care needs!