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Winterizing Your Pool - Pool Closings

Winterize Your Pool With A Pool Closing In the Fall

To avoid costly repairs in the spring, it is important to winterize your pool in the fall. Consider a trusted, professional Atlanta pool service company, Perimeter Pool Service, to winterize your pool or close your pool. If you want to do it yourself, here are some pool service tips.
  1. Check the Liner for Leaks
    Before you begin the process of treating the water and covering the pool for winter, be sure to monitor the water level to make sure that the liner is NOT LEAKING. Many aboveground pools are destroyed during the winter months if the water in the pool leaks during the shutdown period. We offer pool liner leak repair to protect your pool all winter.

    Mark the water level of the pool with a marker. Place a pan with at least two inches of water in it on the ground by the pool. Mark the water level of the pan as well. Leave the pool off for at least one day. No vacuuming and no activity whatsoever in the pool! Now check the water level in the pool and compare it to the level in the pan of water. They should be the same as evaporation and rain will affect both the pool and pan of water equally.

  2. Adding the Winterizing Kit
    When your pool is clean and vacuumed and the water level is where it should be, add the winter closing chemicals. Walk around the pool and broadcast the powdered shock first, add the algaecide second, and the stain & scale-sequestering agent last. It is NOT necessary to circulate the water after you add these chemicals. Actually, your filter and pump should be drained at this time.

  3. Remove Summer Gear
    Your solar blanket should be stored indoors. Do not leave it out in the winter unless you completely dry it and cover it with an appropriate cover. If you have anything protruding into the pool such as a light, a fountain, or a pool cleaner attachment, remove them for winter. Anything left protruding into the pool will be ruined, or worse, the liner could be ripped as the ice grips the object and moves.

  4. Pool Pump and Pool Filter Care
    You should have already backwashed your filter thoroughly. If you have a sand filter, remove the winter drain plug at the tank base. Keep this drain open for the winter. If you decide to leave your filter outside, wrap it with a Winter Cover Seal.

    If you have a DE or cartridge filter, you should remove the drain plug and open the filter top. Remove the element (cartridge) to clean it with a solution of TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate), 2 cups per 1/2 gallon of water. Soak it for 30 minutes and hose it off and then let it drip dry in the basement or garage. Do not put the element back in the filter until spring. Clean your DE filter grids or flex tubes with a garden hose spray. If they look grayish or brown, clean them with TSP also. Make sure that all the DE powder is removed from the tank. If your filter is not that heavy, remove it from the outside for the winter. During the winter shutdown, plug your pump motor in for about two to three seconds per month. This will keep it ready for a successful spring start-up.

  5. Putting the Cover on the Pool
    Pool covers are always made larger than the pool. Generally, above ground pool covers are at least three to four feet larger than the pool size. Pool covers are made to lay on top of the pool water. They are not made to stretch across the pool. Pool covers will collect precipitation on them and they are made to do this. Do not "tee pee" a winter pool cover as it will fail!

    In areas where the water will freeze, you MUST use an ice equalizer or air pillow to prevent the pool wall from crinkling. These vinyl pillows are filled with air from the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner. We recommend that you inflate the pillow two or three days prior to using it. This way, if there is a leak, you will know it before you use it! Secure the pillow in the pool with a nylon string or rope.

    If you live in a windy area, you should use cover clips. These inexpensive items will save your cover from wind whip damage.

  6. After Your Pool Is Covered
    Once your aboveground pool is covered, if you should get a large amount of water accumulated on the cover, you will want to pump that off using a winter cover pump. Having a small amount of water on the cover will help keep the cover in place.

In-Ground Pool Winterization

For in-ground pools, trust the best Atlanta Pool Service, Perimeter Pool Service, to properly winterize your pool.
  1. Keep it treated.
    Make sure that you chemically treat your pool up until the day you cover it. Keep the water clear and keep the bottom vacuumed to minimize your job of winterizing. If you close the pool with a lot of algae or leaves in it, your spring clean up will be much more difficult.

  2. Make sure the water level is correct.
    If your pool has an Aquador on the skimmer(s), you can leave the water level at the summer level (solid covers only). If you are using a Mesh Cover (where the water seeps into the pool), you must drain the water level to approximately 2" below the bottom of the skimmer. Note: The water level does NOT have to be lower than the return inlets.

    If you have a sand filter and your pool has a bottom or main drain, you should put the filter valve position on Waste to lower the water level in the pool. Backwash the filter to clean the sand (media) for next season before your water goes below the skimmer opening. Most in-ground sand filters can use the same sand for approximately five seasons.

  3. Vacuum
    Another good idea is to hook up your manual vacuum and vacuum out the debris while your filter is in the Waste position. Now you can clean the bottom of the pool and drain the water simultaneously. Waste position bypasses the filter media and lets the water go out the backwash port, onto the ground. Do not vacuum the pool with your valve set to Backwash position. Be sure your valve is in the Waste position.

    If your filter is a DE filter, backwash it completely, and open the tank to clean or hose off the grids, fingers, or element. If your DE filter has a 6-Position or Multi-port valve on it, it is okay to use the Waste Position to drain the water down and vacuum the pool bottom.

  4. Pump & Filter Care
    If your pump filter is a cartridge or element type, remove the unit) and clean it for the upcoming season. There is no backwash valve on a cartridge filter.

    Blowing out underground lines: It is important to use a strong vacuum (on exhaust) to blow any water out of your underground lines. A garage canister vacuum with good velocity works well. We also sell the Cyclone Blower, which is a powerful bypass blower specifically designed for vinyl liner installations and winterizing pools.

    Another item that will make closing the pool a bit easier is the new Gigit winterizing plug. Simply replace your current "eyeball" fittings with our valve when winterizing, drain the water lines, fill with antifreeze (highly recommended) and prevent any water from re-entering the lines – all without draining your pool.

    First, blow the standing water from all the underground lines. Then, go to the pump strainer housing and remove the cover. Put the vacuum exhaust hose into the opening; close the valve so that the air goes to the skimmer only. Turn the vacuum on and hold the hose tightly into the opening. You will see water being forced out of the skimmer(s). Do one skimmer at a time to get more air into the line. You do not have to blow air into the main drain line. This water will seek its own level in the pipe coming up from the pool bottom. This will not crack or be ruined.

    After you blow out the suction lines, go to the return line at the filter and insert the vacuum exhaust into the system. You will see water coming into the pool in the form of bubbles. Depending on how the pool was plumbed, you may have two or three separate return lines that are "T'd" or "Y'd" into one line. Furthermore, since the return lines are still underwater a little, you should have a helper to plug the line as the vacuum is still blowing. Next, plug the return closest to the filter first and proceed to the next one, and so on.

    If you have a spa in the pool, you should blow out these lines completely as well. As you completely cap off the return lines, you will notice that the vacuum motor is becoming more labored (sounding a higher pitch). This means that you are doing it correctly.

    While many people add anti-freeze to the suction and return lines, at Specialty Pool Products, we do not feel that this is necessary. However, if you feel that you have not eliminated most of the water from these lines, you should use the Pipe-Line Anti Freeze which is non-toxic and will give you the protection needed. Do NOT use automobile anti-freeze in your pool lines.

    All Plugs and Drain Caps should be removed and put away for safekeeping for the spring.

  5. Taking care of the heaters.
    Heaters should be drained, and air should be blown into the heat exchanger to make sure that all water is eliminated. Place some D-Con or Mouse Away into the heater compartment. Mice can nest in the heater area and chew wires.

  6. Underwater Lights.
    Don't remove these lights in in-ground pools.

  7. Remove handrails and ladders.
    These should be removed. Lift up the escutcheons or beauty covers, take a 9/16 open end wrench and loosen the bolt that presses the brass wedge against the round railing. Stuff some newspaper into these holes.

  8. Putting the Cover on the Pool
    Now, it's time to put the cover on the pool. Anchoring the cover is the trick to effective winterizing. We recommend top quality water bags instead of blocks, wood, or sand bags. DO NOT tie bungee cords to the grommets as these will rip out. As stated before, the pool cover is larger than the pool and is made large enough that the material rests on the top of the water. Do NOT make the cover taut like a trampoline! It will fail. Safety covers, however, are made to be stretched and taut over the pool.

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Perimeter Pool Service
703 Fairgate Road, Suite 402
Marietta, GA 30064